A quick word about hygge.
You can’t force hygge. It’s not something you can demand. It’s something you can coax, but mostly it’s something you live and nurture. It’s being present.
For me hygge is an appreciation of the simple things, appreciation of what brings a feeling of peace, when things are balanced. I’m a homebody by nature. No matter where I’ve lived (and that’s a lot of places) I like creating a place where when I enter I can take a deep breath and be myself. I love creating decor by hand for my home, putting a personal touch in the place I’m living in with things I’ve built or collected from history. I love candles, sitting by a fire, home baking. And if I go too long without my homebody/hygge time, I get out of synch.
I only learned the word HYGGE a few years ago, but it’s a word I’ve loved from the start. It’s a Danish word that I’ve found many definitions for mainly because we don’t have an equivalent word in English. I suspect it’s also because it evokes so many feelings and can be found in so many settings that to explain to someone what hygge means, you need more than one word to convey the feelings that hygge is.
Traditionally hygge has a Nordic sensibility to it. I grew up in the Canadian prairies with a definite winter and living-off-the-land sensibility. I now live in Montana at the foot of the mountains. Of course not everyone has access to the same resources but Hygge can still be found in any culture and at every economic level. You can have hygge on your own, by yourself. Introverts like me can be very content in hygge in isolation. Anyone can create and have hygge. Anywhere. Anytime.
There is a wooden sign hanging in our small hallway that reads: “life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful”. It’s a reminder to be conscious of the things that really matter … especially on the days where I feel low or overwhelmed. That’s a kind of hygge.
It’s in the candle you light, it’s in the cup of tea or hot chocolate you’re sipping, it’s in the bowl of cherries you get to savour because it’s finally cherry season. It’s in the birthday party you throw for a friend, it’s in the wool sweater you wear and the home-made quilt you get to wrap yourself in as the long winter nights close in.
It’s in the name I chose for my “business”. My business that doesn’t exist yet, at the root of it are pastries that evoke hygge or supports others in their pursuit of good flavours and sweet hygge. My goal is to also take it beyond pastries into other hygge supports. It’s a process I have no choice but to be patient with.
Hygge is a confidence that you are where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re meant to be doing – whether it was your end goal, or it’s a “means to an end”. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. You can create a bit of sweetness wherever you are.