Monday, November 7, 2016

Hoo-gah! Hoo-gah!

Do me a favor. Before I go any further please read the title in your best Al Pacino voice (in your head, though. Or out loud. Makes no difference to me). Done? Ok. Onward.

That's actually how you're supposed to pronounce hygge. You've probably heard of this concept by now as it seems to have become some sort of cultural phenomenon. I had no idea it was a thing until my sister Alicia said to me a couple of months ago "Hey, did you ever hear of hygge?"

So, what is it? The translation I keep seeing is 'coziness,' but it's more than that. It's a feeling or a mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday things more meaningful, beautiful, or special. It's being aware of a good moment whether it's simple or special. It's acknowledging the moment instead of drudging through it. It's taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing, things. It's really enjoying the companionship of the people around you instead of burying your face in some electronic device. No wonder Denmark frequently tops the list of world's happiest countries--hygge is a way of life there.

So why am I going on about this? As I mentioned in my last post, I've felt a little bit of myself missing over the past few months. My crafty inspiration is at an all-time low, the news and social media have been nothing but politics for over a year now (and angry politics at that), all of our favorite celebrities are passing on (I still get sad when I think of Alan Rickman), and I'll just toss it out there that I'm batting zero when it comes to relationships this year. This single lady has been feeling quietly angsty for the past few months.

But it is now my favorite time of the year. The cozy time of thick socks, bonfires, hot chocolate, sweaters and boots, pinky-purple sunsets, and let's not forget...Christmas. It seems the perfect time to press the reset button on myself and my psyche, and to get back to enjoying those little moments.

I'm thinking fires in the fireplace, lighting candles, curling up with a book, knitting, holiday crafting, and so on and so forth. Embracing that to-do list as a 'get-to-do' list instead of a 'have to do' list. If we have to do things, we may as well make it so that we actually get to enjoy it, right?

Going forward, I'm making this more of a part of my life. I live in Philadelphia, and not Denmark, so it might take a bit more practice for me to get the hang of it, but I need to get back to that part of me that used to do this all the time without even realizing I was doing anything more than amusing myself. And I thought it might be fun to share my hygge 'journey' with you. 

If you're interested in finding out more, I'm starting with this book--

and using a journal I've been saving for just the right thing to note those moments that happen along or that I have a hand in creating. The goal is mindfulness and actively creating that feel-good life through simple things. Maybe you'll join me? Or maybe you'll call me silly. Either-or.


  1. You're totally right Bethany, we need to be more aware of moments. When I visit my friends in the local Mennonite community, they have this down to a T. Since they do not use electricity, you'd think they'd be tired from extra chores, but there's a calmness in their everyday manner that is so refreshing. Thank you for reminding us that it's more about the journey than the destination.

  2. Hahaha, yes... hygge means gezellig. That's another one for you ;-) Our gezellig is of all seasons though and consists of stroopwafels and speculaas!

  3. This is a lovely concept. I'm going to try it!

  4. I've been on the hold list at the public library for this book. After seeing your post I went ahead and ordered a copy from Amazon. I felt like I needed a little splurge. It looks like a great book.

  5. I definitely don't think you're silly. I probably need a bit of this in my life. Life has been so hard this year.

  6. I have a question on the items you sell in your shop. I went and put several trim items in my basket and the total for all came to be $16.21 which is great but the shipping added up to $32.45. Is that correct? I would certainly be interested in all the trim that is left but don't really want to spend twice the amount in shipping. Maybe there is an error in the calculation? I would appreciate if you would help me understand this.

  7. Thank you so much for responding so quickly and for the explanation. See my email response.



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