A new word: Hygge

By Leslie Parks - Wednesday, July 05, 2017

As I get older, I more often openly rebel against trends. It seems as though everyone jumps upon a bandwagon and I run the other way intentionally.  I don't know why, I just feel this rebelliousness in me that refuses to like a particular trend. A few years ago there was this trend about choosing a word for the year and embracing it. It may still be something however I could never find a word or even the desire to do so. And then this word came into my life: Hygge. It is more of an idea than a word really. There are blog posts, books, magazine articles and Pinterest lists on the idea. It has become a trend to hygge and it is a trend that I am embracing. Hygge is a Danish word yet as I think back to my childhood, I see aspect and moments of hygge.  It is the lunches eaten outside, the days of summer biking to the pool, the excitement of Christmas presents under the tree. It is the afternoon nap on Saturday. The first truly warm day of spring, the crisp autumn mornings that turn into a hot autumn day.  Its the evening meals with everyone around the table talking and laughing. The word may be Danish however I truly believe that every culture has a way of connecting with each other and the moment at hand. I think as we get global, faster pace, needing to accomplish, make everything beautiful and branded we forget to be real. I struggled for many years to find the "joy in the mundane" because everywhere I looked I was reminded to spin plates. Reading books and articles on Hygge, I'm encouraged to be present in what I am doing.  Enjoy the suds on my hands as I wash plates, smell the fragrance of the clothes as they come out of the wash, feel the warmth of the clothes from the dryer on a cold day, remember the memories created with the hiking shoes from the day before they piled on the floor. This word is encouraging instead of demanding. It reminds me that mundane is only tedious if I make it that way. I can slow down and see small beauty in everything. I'm reminded of what I enjoyed as a child.  I didn't care about our kitchen counters as a kid.  I just wanted the rice krispe treat on the counter that my mom made.  I didn't care about matching towels in the bathroom, it just felt good to wrap up in a warm towel after my bath.  I didn't care about a beautiful photo perfect camp, I just wanted to camp, play in the water, make instant oatmeal in the morning and smores at night. Somehow I had lost my way and hygge is reminding me of the relationships and memories attached to them. It is less about a perfectly plated gourmet dinner and more about who I am having dinner with.  So yes, I am jumping on the hygge bandwagon, but more of how it encourages me to slow down, live life as I am, be comfortable in me.

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