In the Danish language, hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) cannot be translated into English using a single word. Though there are many ways to describe hygge, most define it simply as the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness.
The definition of Hygge gave us three English words , friends, family and graciousness – combined under the heading of simple pleasures. While I agree that these three words represent pleasures, I have trouble thinking them as simple.
Friends – Finding time for friendships in 2017 is a challenge for some. All to often we resort to on-line communication as our friendship fix, which is better than no time but can become addicting by the lack of personal effort required. After all sitting in your favorite chair with your hair up, no make-up and pajamas does not quite require the effort that meeting for a glass of wine does. If we are not careful we may lose the personal connection in favor of personal comfort.
Family – A pleasure to many if so they are so blessed. A struggle for others in so many ways. Families can be spread far and wide, each member has their own capacity for availability. Work life balance is a major battle to balance as is Children and their activities. For some a disciplined routine is required to ensure family time but that means that someone has to be the ruler, the organizer, the enforcer! And who is willing to be that person!
Graciousness – Is such a lovely word. Characterized by good taste, comfort and ease. Images of indulgence marked with kindness and generosity of spirit should most decidedly be captured by the word hygge.
Thinking of hygge and the way it roles off the tongue -“HUE-gah”…. fills the heart. There is an awareness of security. During frigid and wind swept winters, weather in in the Midwest of America or the Scandinavian countryside coziness is the most welcomed visitor and if he brings along snuggly well then you’ve certainly got hygge!
Like the dog days of summer the hibernal solstice, also known as midwinter chips away at our graciousness. We are cold. Our cars are cold. We haven’t seen sunlight in forever, or so it seems. The eternal optimist in us all may chime in that, “at least there are no mosquitoes” but that does not halt the winter blues. An extra effort is required to first identify the simple pleasures and then make the time to enjoy them. I present a list of a few simple pleasures that come to my mind – can you add yours in the comments?
- Meet a friend for coffee
- Invite a group to a Netflix binge
- Visit your favorite makeup counter – choose a bright lipstick
- Breakout your china and invite a few friends for tea and cake
- Indulge in a wine tasting
- Be creative: cook a new recipe, create a vision board, arrange grocery story flowers and stems.
The rest are up to you dear friends: