If you're among those stumped (and I know I was, for many years), I want you to sit down during Dating Detox and make a list of the things that make YOU happy. Not the things that your mother would like to see on the list. Not the things that the Bible tells you to enjoy. Your list doesn't have to include grand accomplishments, like getting a PhD, living in a mansion, winning the lottery, or having twins. Let's take baby steps, and start thinking about life's simple pleasures. Here are a dozen quick happiness fixes for you to consider:

1. Get lost in your favorite book, TV show, or movie. Rent Gone with the Wind. Indulge yourself in your favorite chick lit. Have a Sex and the City marathon.

2. Take a long hot bath with your favorite scented bath oil or bubbles—candles and soft music are nice as well.

3. Take a quick weekend vacation. Was there a place you used to love as a child? If not, a spa weekend is always fun. If you're on a budget, get some girls together and go camping. Or maybe go visit your favorite cousin whom you haven't seen in ages.

4. Pet, hold, or hug something soft and furry, even if it's just at the pet store. You could also offer to walk your neighbor's dog.

5. Work on your favorite hobby. Even if you haven't enjoyed it since high school, get back to painting, photography, scrapbooking, knitting, training for a triathlon, baking the best chocolate chip oatmeal cookies on the planet, or whatever it is you do that allows you to express your creativity and makes you feel a sense of accomplishment.

6. Write a nice letter. Email doesn't count. Take pen in hand and write to someone you care for and tell them how much you appreciate them.

7. Plant something. Have you always wanted an herb garden or pretty flowers by your door? Gardening is both relaxing and rewarding.

8. Listen to happy music. Forget the whiny girl stuff, the violent, misogynistic rap, and the songs that make you long for lost loves. I love you, Alanis Morissette, but you have to go. I don't care if you have to download a collection of your favorite TV theme songs, just listen to something that makes you want to move and feel good.

9. Sign up for a class or workshop. Ever wanted to make sushi? Learn more about wine? Master sensual massage? Now's the time!

10. Explore your roots. Find out who you are, where you came from. You can google the word "genealogy" and you'll instantly come up with dozens of sites that will help you learn about your ancestors. You can also make calls to members of your family who might have already climbed your family tree. Gaining a sense of who you are and where you came from is a wonderful thing.

11. Eat chocolate. I have some reservations about recommending this because once you start, it's so hard to stop and you certainly don't want to overindulge, but a piece of rich, dark chocolate can be good for both your heart and soul. Teuscher Champagne Truffles are my personal favorites—make sure your vibrator is nearby.
Become Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger. Published by Atria Books. ?? 2009


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