| by Brielle Clarke

Don't Skip your Necessary Happiness Enhancements

“There are some things that I just refuse to compromise on. I will not buy cheap, shitty cheddar cheese... I will not buy shitty coffee... and I will not -- I WILL NOT -- take a shower with terrible soap, or use bad lotion... To me, these are the things that, no matter what else is going on, they’re just small enough, and they remind me of what it is to be a human being.” - Danielle Vincent (“International Day of Hunkering,” Facebook Live)

Growing up, my mom was a frequent flyer of a very well-known coffee shop. A latte and a lemon loaf were her usual fare, and it was a highlight of my childhood when she’d slide her coffee over to me with a wink and pretend she didn’t notice me taking a sip.

Now, I don’t go 48 hours without visiting the café down the road.

On the best day, that first sip of magic bean juice only serves to amplify the feel-goods.

On the worst, that same beverage is the warm blanket reminding me that there are still things in the world to look forward to. People call me crazy for spending five dollars on a latte and, trust me, folks, I’ve done the math. And yet, I can’t help but wake up every morning excited to greet my local barista again.

I’m not the only one who indulges in little luxuries.

My dad, who is normally conservative with his money and has worn the same cheap brand of shoes for the last 20 years, likes to spend his free time buying rocket parts. He’s the last person you’d expect to splurge, but when it comes to constructing model rockets, no can of paint or parachute is too extravagant. He has to have it.

My best friend has filled her wall with over 350 Funko Pop figurines, my partner has a library of more video games than he can play in a quarantine, and my coworker, Veo, uses e-books as an endless method of discovery to make the harshness of existence a little less harsh.

These little luxuries are what I like to call our “Happiness Enhancements.”

They’re -- as Danielle says -- the small things that remind us of what it is to be human, and they’re what we owe ourselves for making it through another day, as easy or as difficult as it may have been.

What's your favorite Happiness Enhancement? And yes, "Outlaw" is a perfectly acceptable answer. ❤️

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