embracing hygge (i.e. comfy-cozy-chillaxing)


It's snowing again today. Oh, snow.

Over on Facebook, one of my friends posted a link to an article on hygge - a Danish term which I'm going to loosely translate as "comfy-cozy," because that's what my family calls it when we are having content, companionable hanging-out times together.

When I read that article, I thought, "Oh my gosh, exactly!" It's wonderful to have a word to describe what our family intuitively does. (Like wabi sabi. When I first encountered that term, I recognized it as something I already intuitively knew, I just didn't have an English word for it.)

Our "comfy-cozy" isn't just about snuggling under a warm blanket, although in the winter FOR SURE we do.  (Having snuggling blankets on the couch is a MUST for winter, for me.) It's about having the whole family together, just be-ing. Reading, doing art, playing music, talking, playing Lego, knitting, surfing the web, playing games, drinking tea or eating communal snacks. This is pretty much how we spend a great deal of our time together.

Chillaxing.

I can see how it might look lazy, if you're used to the busy, busy, busy American culture. But it isn't lazy. It's actively reducing stress. It's recharging. It's pretty much my number one priority as a mom, to make sure that we all get enough "down time" in our days.

(And so we do.)

You can see this in my instagram feed. Feet up, on the couch, reading a book. This is comfort, simple and plain.

Where I think our hygge fails, though, is that we haven't yet been able to find friends who also live this way near us. We don't have hanging out friends here because almost everyone we know lives too far away to just hang out with. Or they're too busy. (The "too busy" syndrome means having to schedule times to get together. Which is fine, but it isn't very conducive to simple hanging out. And neither is having to drive any length of time. There's too much juggling to do, with a long drive.)

So for now, we embrace our family hygge. And that is enough, because it has to be enough, for now.