Unsuccessfully Hygge

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Have you reached that age when there always seems to be something to do? Or, have you successfully trained yourself to always strive for more, do more, be more? Do you find yourself so busy that you’ve actually started putting “relax” on your to-do list?

Okay, now I’m exaggerating. I’m not at that point… yet. (Maybe give me a couple more years).

As you know, last weekend, this weekend, this year in general – I have been trying to better manage my time and priorities. The latest? The hygge life.

Have you heard of Hygge?

If you haven’t yet, you probably need to step up your Instagram stalking and/or lifestyle website browsing game because the phenomenon is everywhere and has basically infiltrated editors, friends and bloggers alike. (Just kidding. Stay strong and don’t let the internet brainwash you… except my blog.)

Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.

And because it’s trendy, but more importantly involves candles, blankets and coffee – achieving that feeling/moment was my new GOAL. IN. LIFE.

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So, before I start, let me just say I had a kick ass day. I got shit DONE. So, I’m applauding myself and you should too. Be proud of yourself – even if you didn’t get that much done… because if that was the case for me, I would be applauding myself even even more (explanation below).

I recently read a post on The EveryGirl (admittedly about Hygge – it’s an obsession) that said, ‘Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or mulled wine. Snuggle up and savor that warm beverage and bonus: find a good book to curl up with,’ and ended with the ask, ‘When’s the last time you actually allowed yourself to relax?

The ask stuck with me.

When was the last time you actually allowed yourself to relax?

And I was sold.

I’m going to Hygge this weekend! I’m going to read, I’m going to cozy up with a blanket, I’m going to light a candle (or two!), make some tea, wear cozy PJs, reflect…

… and relax.

Well this weekend turned into last weekend. And Hygge? I did not.

So this weekend I was determined to Hygge. I had gotten all of my errands, chores, adulting responsibilities done last weekend and that’s why I was so busy, so this weekend it would be totally doable.

So, Saturday started with my simple morning routine: dog park, gym. Last weekend I was super jealous of my friend (kidding but not kidding) because she meal prepped on Sunday instead of Monday (President’s Day Holiday), so after I worked out I figured I could grocery shop today and not have to worry about it tomorrow. Hygge could wait.

I got back from the grocery store and realized I could shower and change into my cozy clothes so at least while I meal-prepped I’d be sort of hygge-ing. Then I saw 8 brown paws (fur is usually white) on my bed and added them to the mix (they could hygge too once they were clean) and made a mental note to wash the bed sheets, too.

After closing the doggy door and chasing the puppy around the house, Nellie Jo peed on her dog bed. So my list became a little longer with washing the dog bed after the human bed, and I decided if I was going to be relaxed (and efficient), I should probably make a to-do list. So, I grabbed my notebook and my hygge book (Turtles All the Way Down by John Green), and figured out a game plan. I could read in-between laundry loads, while tackling another task after a completed chapter. Remain hygge.

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What was the most perplexing challenge I faced (and realized), was just how hard it became to turn off my brain.

To just simply be.

Not worry about moving the laundry. Not wonder what the Heartworm/Flea/Tick medication inventory looked like for the dogs (I know, random, but my brain went there and it turned out to be low so was replenished thus today), run the dish washer, and oh wait has it been 46 minutes? I should probably check the washer (because what a travesty if the washer cycle had been completed for a minute and not moved directly to the dryer to start another load…).

By the time it was 4:15 and I had just started a dryer cycle, I realized I could read one chapter, take the dogs to the dog park before sunset and be back in perfect time to move the bed sheets from dryer, towels to dryer and thus make the human bed before cooking dinner and meal prepping (I REFUSED to let meal prep hold until tomorrow). Efficiency at its finest…

and then I paused.

I breathed.

I finally sat down and took 5 minutes for myself, to doodle a thought most viciously running through my head at that moment.

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Once you get to a certain age and have certain responsibilities, there is always something you can be doing. Had I trained myself so expertly that even when I was trying to ‘hygge’ – my brain had still full control of my mind, my purpose?

When was the last time you actually allowed yourself to relax?

I wouldn’t let myself sit down for one Chapter of my book without needing to feel like it was earned, a reward. My brain was so trained that I wouldn’t allow myself to declare Saturday “hygge” day – and just light a candle to enjoy a calm afternoon. And yes, I was convincing myself tomorrow – tomorrow can be the day I hygge. But I had been saying that last weekend. I had said that yesterday.

It came full circle when I was at the dog park and my same friend who enviously meal-preps on Saturday, had indeed meal-prepped on Saturday so declined joining me with her own puppy. When I told her what I was doing and if she wanted to meet up, she simply replied, “I’m currently laying in my bed right now – and honestly I’m too cozy to leave.”

She wasn’t even trying to Hygge and she hygge-ed better than me.

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