Isn’t it marvellous when someone puts into words something you’ve always felt but never quite knew how to say?
Whether it’s Shakespeare’s “all the world’s a stage“, Fred Hoyle’s “Big Bang“, Joyce Carol Oates on finishing a first draft as “pushing a very dirty peanut across the floor with your nose” or even “having butterflies in your stomach” there are few feelings as exciting (I think) as discovering a perfect new way to express something true.
English is amazing for this. It’s the magpie of languages; the gaudy lovechild of German, French, Latin and Greek; pickled with hand-me-downs and festooned with baubles like “chutzpah“, “deja-vu” and “pastiche“.
And yet there are many wonderful words we’re still missing. Words like “gigil” (Tagalog for “the irresistible urge to hug something cute“), “ikigai” (Japanese for “the things that make life worthwhile“) or “saudade” (Portuguese for “an almost paralysing nostalgia for things that haven’t or may never happen“). 😍
Anyway. It’s my birthday today and I spotted my favourite new word (the word that kicked off this email) on the wall of a café as I was enjoying my breakfast with Erin.
That word is “hygge” (hoooɡ-uh) – Danish for “a calm, cozy time with people you love; a complete absence of frustrations or anything emotionally overwhelming, often enjoyed with good food, drinks, warm blankets and candlelight“.
Mmmmm… 🤤 It’s my theme for the weekend and something we could all use a little more of in our lives.
So here are my questions for you…
“When was the last time you felt hygge? Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing? What made it special?”
Got something? Ok cool.
Now, take a few seconds to really pause and relive that experience.
“Can you see it? And smell it? And touch it? Are you smiling yet?” 🙂
Now, here’s the big one…
“What ONE thing could you do this weekend to welcome a little more hygge into your life? To experience a little more joy either alone or with people you love?”
It doesn’t have to be big. It could be 15 more minutes of snoozing. Or pausing to reflect as you watch your kids eating breakfast. Or calling a friend who makes you feel great. Or lighting some candles in the bath. 🛀
Whatever it is, write it down, make it happen, enjoy every well-deserved moment.
And whatever you do, have a magnificent weekend and go well,
Arthur “I’m Making Waffles” Worsley