Friday, November 10, 2017

Gettin' "hygge" wid it!

Note: Just this once, "Hygge" is be pronounced as I read it the first time I saw it = "higgie". (Will Smith would be proud of me.)

I do believe that winter will come to us soon. It's about 4℃ today (39℉), grey and overcast with the threat of rain. But temperatures will drop this weekend to 1 degree and continue that way for all of next week. Thank goodness my studded winter tires are already on the car.  We get a lot of snow here on the west coast of Newfoundland.

Since moving back home, finding this amazing job and deciding to rent rather than own, my life has become more simple and less stressful. My job allows that when the schools are closed, the office is closed as well; so I've no pressure to get to work on storm days. Also, in true chivalrous manner, my landlord shovels and plows which leaves me with the easier task of just cleaning off my car. Driving is quite tricky here in winter; city streets are plowed but they're never really clean; there's just too much snow falling too often. But I drive slowly and calmly and don't worry about going anywhere quickly. I'm pretty laid back about the winter thing.

Living alone can be lonely, especially when winter forces most people inside. But I'm discovering all the time that living alone has so many unforeseen perks. And these are what I choose to embrace rather than think of possible days of grey, emptyness. Apparently, I've been practicing the Danish art of "Hygge". 

Hygge (pronounced "HUE-gah") is a Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). 

When I became a single parent of 3 small children, I realized the need to take care of myself first -- to try to create a place of quiet and peace so I could be a better mother, friend and employee. Candlelight bubble baths with soothing music (and wine 'n' chocolate) were a necessity for me. Now that I'm on my own, Hygge is something that I practice daily.
I come home to my (sometimes) neat, quiet home and greet my apartment with a "Hello honey! I'm home!" I turn on my TV to the Spa Music channel, and as I take off my work clothes, I relax and attempt to "take off" the cares of the day. I prepare dinner and try to be mindful as I eat. I don't answer my phone while I'm doing this.

Depending on the day of the week, most evenings I have a relaxing bath in dim light, listening to quiet music OR I'll sit in my PJs and revive my tootsies in a Eucalyptus soak. Candles are lit, tea or mint water is poured, magazines and my crossword puzzle book is by my elbow, and I already know my lineup of favorite TV shows for the evening. I have a lovely faux fur throw nearby when the evening turns cooler, and I spend a few moments just being grateful for the NOW. I only answer or make phone calls when I feel I'm ready. 
Weekends I take a walk outside in the crisp air. And if I want a fire, I turn on the fireplace channel on my TV; I don't have to worry about ashes or embers on my floor AND I swear to you, the apartment feels warmer. Hahaha!
So, all these years, I've been gettin' "hygge" wid it without realizing there was a name for what I viewed as an indulgent necessity.
I hope you practice Hygge! It's good for the soul!



this sounds wonderful. i definitely need a little Hygge in my life too.

Kay G. said...

I remember reading about HYGGE last winter and I love the sound of it, the warmth the coziness!
I also love that you say "HOney, I'm home!" when you get home to an empty house. You are so funny and sweet, I bet the house loves it when you get home! :-)

sabine said...

Dear Doris, you know well what's best for you. Your hygge-routine sounds wonderful. Winter mostly is not so hard in our place, but I love to stay warm and cozy at home as well. Drinking a cup of tea or hot chochlate, reading or watching a film is what I like to do.
Sabine xxx