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Day 234 - Hygge

Hygge is a Norwegian (and Danish) word for creating a space or atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable, happy and cozy. It is a gentle frame of mind. It is taking time to slow down, relax and experience the joy in little things. It is being in the moment.

My friend Lise, from Norway, posted this on her Facebook page the other day and I loved it and felt like it captured the essence of something that the pandemic gave to me. I have always had a comfortable home. I am not one of those people who just moves in and leaves things alone. I am a project girl. I can’t seem to rest until everything has a place and everything is in that place. Some might call me obsessed...

While my home has always been decorated and comfortable, it wasn’t always a place that I could enjoy. I know that sounds weird...but it is true. My home was more of a showcase for my obsession than it was a comfortable and enjoyable place to live. A museum to my ocd.

However, in the time of Corona, I have changed my space and my orientation towards the place I dwell. Without knowing it, I transformed my home into hygge. My whole thought process about my home has softened. I have relaxed. I have become more gentle in my space as a result of being forced to remain here. It is like I have had this not so subtle aggression to the place I live, like it was supposed to provide me something that I was lacking.

The pandemic gave me permission to stop. It made me stop. It made me stop going to work, the store, the mall, the social events. It made me stop it all. And I was forced to inhabit this foreign land called home. And I learned to be grateful. I learned to love this place that I have been living my life from. It has always been home base but my thoughts surrounding it were more like that of a constant and unrelenting chore list, project generator instead of a place that I could turn for solace, comfort and rejuvenation.

I recently finished my backyard and now have a place to practice relaxing. I know that anyone who knows me, understands that I suck at relaxing. I am a being in motion and usually when I get my abode the way that I want it, I sell it and begin again. But I am not doing that this time, choosing instead, to learn to do deeper, right here where I already am. The backyard is my teacher. It is the place where I am choosing to spend my time and learn what hygge has to teach me. I am slowing down. Choosing to lie in the hammock instead of fold laundry. Choosing to float in the pool rather than fix the pillows on the couch or make the bed. This may seem like a tiny little, even ridiculous thing but for me it is huge!

I am beginning to reorient my life towards hygge. Toward this place of peace, contentment and away from grasping and collecting. I am ok, right now where I am, in my bed, cat on my chest while I type out characters on my keyboard, sipping hot coffee while I wake up to this new and amazing day. My daughter sleeping peacefully beside me. Another cat a the foot of the bed, and our dog on my feet. I do not recall a time in my life where I have been more content. I cannot remember a time when I have loved my life more. A time when I have felt so lucky and cared for...and I believe that this is hygge in action. Having your insides and outsides reflect each other and compliment each other. I have all that I need. Actually I have way more than I need, but I appreciate it all. My grasping, clinging mind is learning to settle in the moment and showing me that I am ok exactly where I am, at home, safe and well.

I am so grateful to have had this time. That I have been able to learn to enjoy the quiet. The downtime. Instead of hating the quarantine I have been able to make it my own and change my orientation to life and living. It all started with fear of dying and has resulted in a joy of living. I can see now that I am surrounded by those I love and my home is comfortable and supporting of my life. And for me today, hygge is where I want to stay. It is my solace, my comfort and my joy and it is right here surrounding me, protecting me and providing me all I have ever be where I am and have that be enough.

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