musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Home

Home

With the rains coming and going, it feels good to nestle in to our little house on the hill, to sit in front of a fire with a nice blanket on my lap, and to hold a cup of caffe latte in my hands. I just want to be warm and cozy. I recently read a book that may help me do that in new ways.

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living is a light, feel-good book about how to bring more “hygge” into one’s life. Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga) is loosely defined as those elements of feeling homey and cozy –a fireplace, candles, wool socks and blankets, nurturing food, good company and conversation, a warm sense of belonging. It’s the feeling of creating a safe, comfortable, comforting environment.

Written by Meik Wiking, the book is a sweet guide on how to create a sense of pleasure and comfort in one’s life. Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He and his fellow researchers have been studying what makes people happy. And since the Danes often top the list of the happiest people on the planet, he seems the perfect guide to help others experience some of that happiness.

The “hygge manifesto,” as Mr. Wiking calls it, focuses on atmosphere (turn down the lights; light those candles), presence (“be here now”), pleasure, equality, gratitude, harmony, comfort, truce (no drama, no politics!), togetherness, and shelter. 

I particularly like his Hygge Emergency Kit, which includes candles (of course), “some good-quality chocolate” (!) , your favorite tea, homemade jam, your favorite book and more. I also like the reminder that hygge is about the importance of “now.” “It is about keeping in mind that you live right now, allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have, not what you don’t. Cliches? Totally.”

The book’s design is lovely and simply Scandinavian, with lots of sky blue, muted orange, beige, and yellow, so it, too, is a comforting book to look at and read. My only concern is that the word hygge or variations of it are used quite often in the book, but what can you do? If you’re talking about hygge, you’re talking about hygge. See. Even I have used it a lot! And, actually, it’s kind of a fun word to say.

I will return often to this book, just for the comfort of its content and look. And now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll light some more candles…glassybabys, of course! Happy hygge-ing!

 



6 thoughts on “Home”

  • I think the Dane’s have it right and so do the Buddhist. Being in the now or being present has to be a maxim for a happy life. Enjoying the good conversation, the good food, the beautiful weather is not always easy. As a teacher, I hated Sundays. Why? As hard as I would try to enjoy the day, I was most often not present to the joy around me. I was constantly thinking about my week’s lessons, grading papers or feeling guilty because I wasn’t. I often spent my Sunday afternoons setting up my classroom. It wasn’t that I was disorganized (well maybe a little). I was just anxious to do the best job I could Monday morning and in order to do that I had to work hard on Sundays. In other words, Mondays loomed. I am by nature a worrier. My mother was the same and she often would say at least I came by it naturally. Meaning I guess, I got it from her. Thanks Mom. 🙂 Now that I am retired, I would give a lot to be able to be present for all those beautiful Sundays, I missed. And to tell you the truth, I have enjoyed most Sundays during my retirement. I am getting better, I think, but Mondays no longer loom.

    • I remember some of those days when I was “in the future” rather than “in the now.” Perhaps we have more wisdom now to realize the importance of enjoying the gifts of the present. Still easier said than done when responsibilities or challenges in the future can pull our attention away from our here and now, but definitely worth a conscious try. Breathe in, breathe out. Ahhh…

  • The “hygge manifesto,” as Mr. Wiking calls it, focuses on atmosphere (turn down the lights; light those candles), presence (“be here now”), pleasure, equality, gratitude, harmony, comfort, truce (no drama, no politics!), togetherness, and shelter. =
    MY SAUNA!

  • Your beautiful, rustic home (my favorite house in the world) is the definition of cozy. It is a joy just to be there. xoxo

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