Saturday, October 8, 2016

31 Days: Hygge.

This is Day Eight in the 31 Days Series. 

I've been seeing more and more articles recently on the Danish idea of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga).  

Hygge translates roughly to "cozy" in our language, but it's actually so much more.  It's about creating moments of intimacy and the Scandanavians consider it a very important part of their lives.  They burn candles without apology at outside dining spaces in the summer during the day.  They eat cake and breads.  They use blankets in front of the fire or television.  They add textiles and lighting to their homes to make them more inviting.  They combine mundane tasks like having laundry mats with coffee shops inside for brunch and coffee.  They bicycle around town and enjoy being with each other. They protect their work and life balance.  Hygge is not about adding pretty trinkets and fun activities to your life, it's all about cultivating good feelings throughout your day and in your homes.  

Hygge is the sort of small I'm looking for in my life.  

It's interesting that we sometimes want to hoard our special moments like expensive candles.  We love the scents, but we don't want to burn through them quickly.  We only really bring out the pretty decorations at the holidays, and we tell ourselves we should only enjoy special baked treats on occasions and not on a daily basis.  Blankets and hot cocoa in front of the fire is not for every night, only when the Hallmark channel starts showing Christmas movies.  

But shouldn't we treat every single day as something special?  What if we decided to stop being selfish with our special moments and feelings and embraced the gift we receive each morning in the shape of a new day?  What if we examine our calendars and schedules and routines and recognize that so many of the extra things we do actually steal from our happiness and joy?  What if we went home in the evenings after a long day at work and truly stepped away from our jobs and decided to be present with the people we love the most?  What if we actually observed the Sabbath and rested?      


This weekend we are facing a tropical situation in eastern NC.  I'm thinking being stuck inside on a rainy and windy day is the perfect opportunity to practice adding a little more hygge in our lives.

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