The Happiness To-Do List

1. Hug more people because you absolutely adore them, and since time changes everything, make sure to hug them now—make sure to hug them more often. It’s a universally free way to tell them that you care. That you’re sorry; that your heart aches and craves and desires them. Hug them because it’s Wednesday. Because you don’t want to say goodbye. Because after three months of silence, you finally have the courage to forgive them. Hug them for no reason at all.

2. Talk to strangers: when you’re out at a bar and a guy wearing a checkered button down shirt approaches you with a splash of confidence, give him the time of day. Talk to him, and the stranger on the park bench eating a raisin bagel. Talk to the women with the bedazzled nails ringing up your produce at the grocery store. The guy devouring some Vonnegut at Barnes and Noble. Embrace the rush of how simple it is to meet a stranger and then, in seconds, feel as though they are no stranger than anyone else who is permanent in your life. Not even a little bit, not even at all.

3. Be open to the idea of dating. When asked, say yes. When there, be present. First impressions are decoupaged in chaotic fear and blistering nerves. The person who you are sitting across from on this an inaugural date, may end up being the person who is still sitting with you at 80, when you’re wrinkly and up a few bucks in a game of bingo.

4. Wear the most expensive and ridiculous item of clothing in your closet on a random afternoon. Rip off the tags and put it on, just because. Try not to wait for an invitation to the right kind of party or an excuse to wrap your delicate body in something that once dazzled you from a far on a wooden hanger at the store.

5. Tell people you love them.  Say it every single day. Say it for the first time as soon as you realize it/when you’re petrified/even if you’re terribly frightened whether or not they may say it back.

6. Learn how to say please, thank you, and I’m sorry.

7. Repeat #6, more often than you’d like.

8. Believe in yourself. Give yourself a good stern talking in the mirror every so often in order to migrate around the concept of what you are worth: which is everything, no matter what. No matter if anyone else has ever said differently.

9. Follow your own advice. The words that make the tears sparkle on the check bones of a friend come from somewhere. They are alive, within you. It’s the very immediate moment after you’re through comforting the heart of another that you must also make the decision to believe, to trust, your sudden spoken truth.

Do these things more often, I beg you.

Please, just do them for no reason at all. TC Mark

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Jen Glantz is the world’s first professional bridesmaid and founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. Her new book, Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire) [Atria Books] is available now.

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