Tuesday, August 29, 2017


I first discovered hygge (pronounced like "hoo-guh") late fall last year, as the leaves were falling off the trees. It was something I always knew I needed and aspired to in my life, I just didn't realize there was a Danish term for this concept. "The true essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness, and it’s basically like a hug, just without the physical touch," says Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute and author of The Little Book of Hygge. "Some of the key ingredients are togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort."

Ever since I learned about hygge, I've been obsessively trying to incorporate that into my life. Over the years, I've fallen in love with Nordic and specifically Scandinavian culture. Their culture, traditions, philosophy, outlook on life, design, food, lifestyle, landscapes, etc. In case you don't know the difference, here's a convenient explanation per Wikipedia. (Honestly, I'm writing it out here to remind myself.)

While the term Scandinavia is commonly used for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the term the Nordic countries is used unambiguously for Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, including their associated territories (Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Ă…land Islands).

Today was all about hygge, rest and recuperation. It was so necessary. When you're overworked and over-exhausted, you forget that there's more to life than your job. There's so much going on outside the four walls of the office. Last week, I was under extreme pressure and stress and I forgot all about self care. I neglected all my basic needs - I was sleep/food/exercise deprived. It was very extreme, but somehow I got through it... almost unscathed, but pretty traumatized by the experience. You know what they say? What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. I really hate that saying, because I don't think everyone is necessarily strong enough to get through that level of physical and mental stress.

We're human beings, not machines! After this harrowing experience, I was reminded that I am only human. I am made of flesh and bone. My heart is pumping blood through my veins. I'm made of millions of cells. We only have one life, so how do you want to live it? Think about that. Life is a gift - don't take it for granted. Self care is important. Hygge makes life worth living. I'm going to continue to hygge until bedtime.

Last thing, one of my favorite poems by E. E. Cummings.

the trick of finding what you didn’t lose
(existing’s tricky:but to live’s a gift)
the teachable imposture of always
arriving at the place you never left 
(and i refer to thinking)rests upon
a dismal misconception;namely that
some neither ape nor angel called a man
is measured by his quote eye cue unquote. 
Much better than which,every woman who’s
(despite the ultramachinations of
some loveless infraworld)a woman knows;
and certain men quite possibly may have 
shal we say guessed?”we shall” quoth gifted she:
and played the hostess to my morethanme

the trick of finding what you didn’t lose by e. e. cummings