I was reminded during the Delaware Children’s Theatre’s sold-out run of Frozen Jr. (coming soon to Cab Calloway and HB du Pont MS) about Hygge. Pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish concept cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.
Breaking news: Hygge is my word of the year. I’m 46 now and I love nothing more than a glass of wine and the cozy comfort of conversation on the couch with friends I’ve known for decades, or friends I feel like I’ve known for decades. I want to read books by the fire (winter) or on the screened porch (summer) or sit by a fire pit. I want to hear the laughter of my children and their friends, the clicking of legos being sorted through and assembled, and the sound of pages turning. I want to host a small group of dear friends around my kitchen island, and I want to enjoy dinner with my family.
Saying no and committing to less is helping us really embrace this lifestyle and I am HERE FOR IT. For years, my bucket was filled by feeling helpful (PTO, signing up for all the committees, being part of the solution instead of part of the problem) and the desire to be relevant (let’s go try to do all the things all the time) and now, my bucket is filled by me filling it up with the things I felt like I didn’t have time for before. It’s been a slow change — but solidly in my 40s (my dad would say that the marching band is on the field, it’s half time) has me wanting to do less and enjoy it more.
I remember vividly a new year’s eve at my grandparent's house when I was 8 or 9, and counting forward to figure out how old I’d be when it became 2000. 27. What would my life be like at 27? I *do not* recall wondering, while dancing at the Logan House to what must have been the Red Alert Band on Y2K, what my life would be like in 2020. Spoiler alert: it’s good. We are rich in all the ways that matter most and excited for what lies ahead.
Hygge New Year.