1. To pet a dog.
Experience the unadulterated love and adoration that comes with meeting a dog. Find some happiness in knowing that in the moment that you are scratching behind the dog’s ear, you are one of their favorite people on Earth.
2. To find your next favorite song.
Listen to it once from beginning to end with zero distractions. Listen to it again. Keep it to yourself as your own little secret, as your own private joy that no one can take away, then at the exact moment when that song is everything to you, share it with everyone else.
3. To laugh.
For a brief moment at the beginning of any laugh, your troubles flee your mind, and your burdens feel a little less heavy. Live for those brief moments; look forward to the moments that last just a little bit longer.
4. To make someone laugh.
You know the phrase, “it’s better to give than to receive”? The same thing goes for laughing. Even if you feel incapable of laughing yourself, lighten someone else’s day. You don’t know how much they might need the laugh.
5. To cry.
When you fall hard and slam into the concrete, there’s no reason you need to bounce back up as if you’re not hurting. Stay down. Nurse your wounds. Stand when you’re able. Limp until you can walk; walk until you can run.
6. To be there for someone else when they’re crying.
You don’t need to be the one to perform open-heart surgery or be the one to glue a broken person back together. Just be there with tissues, and apply band-aids when you can.
7. To observe.
Pay attention to the tiny complexities that exist in everything around you. The way birds chatter mid-flight, or how everyone returns a baby’s smile. Focus on the small things, and the giant mountains will seem a little more manageable.
8. To be observed.
Some people will judge you, some people will marvel at you. Take that knowledge and live in the blissful ignorance that you don’t know which they’re doing when they look at you, and revel in the fact that it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re marveling at yourself.
9. To read a good book.
Experience an entire lifetime in a collection of chapters. Take some time to be someone else, to love intensely, to lose intensely, and then return to your own story with a lifetime of knowledge.
10. To enjoy a person’s company.
Whether it’s a roommate, a spouse, or a stranger, take a moment to soak in another person’s presence. You don’t need to talk to the stranger, just appreciate that they’re sitting in the same coffee shop as you, going about their day just like you, and in that moment, you’re not entirely alone.
11. To wake up the day after tomorrow.
Sometimes life just isn’t going to make any sense. The Kardashians become famous. The local store stops carrying Nutter Butter cookies. But wake up everyday knowing that you won’t fully understand why things happen, just that they do. Laugh when applicable; don’t when it’s not. Accept that sometimes Life throws things at you knowing that it’s going to be nearly impossible to overcome it, but it will hope that you try anyway.