Getting Hygge With It

There is no more hygge feeling than curling up with your sleeping son on a rainy afternoon and falling asleep listening to his breathing. My hygge levels reached new heights. I have been carrying that feeling for days, drawing on it as my stress levels have soared and my health came under siege.

As the seasons are changing, my body has issued out an all access pass to every germ out there and they all thoughtfully brought a plus one and stayed for the after party. I have become that irritating sick person with my tissues and throat lozenges.

However, I have persevered because I have something that a lot of people need and I was not going to let flu get in the way of that.

The South African National Blood Service requires 4 500 units of blood a day to keep up with demand, one unit can save up to three lives. It costs nothing and if you meet the donor requirements you can donate a unit every 56 days. All in all it takes around 20 minutes. Not content to donate just my own blood, I threw the challenge out to my incredible colleagues and we all donated blood on Friday. We each left with a pint less of blood and a heart full of knowing that combined, forty five people could live another day.

I have also adopted two cots at http://www.tlc.org.za, an organisation that looks after abandoned babies. For a minimal amount each month, my contribution will provide nappies, food, clothing and anything else that these two little people may require.

What I have come to with doing these two very small things is that if I have a choice and the means then there is no reason to not act. By being healthy and having some disposable income I have had a positive impact on five people.

My heart is full of hygge, my life is full of hygge, I’m a hygge ball.

Still blowing my nose though.

And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it – Birdy

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Hygge + Hair

I never have my hair done. It’s an indulgence that makes me uncomfortable and I also avoid staring at myself in a mirror for an extended period of time. As my journey of hygge and happiness has evolved, I have realised that it is important to look after oneself.

But it doesn’t come naturally.

My hair is a sore spot for me. It is suffering from an identity crisis. I have noticed that the condition of my hair is the most obvious sign of how I am feeling about myself at a given point in time. Right now it is stressed, unloved and falling out.

Add to the fact that I am intimidated by traditional salons with their harsh lighting, loud noises and impersonal service I avoid having my hair done professionally as much as I can.

And then, my brothers came to the rescue and are helping me help my hair.

Forbici Salon [owned by said brother and brother from another mother] is designed to make people feel good. The lighting is easy on the eye, the decor is welcoming and chic without being pretentious and most of all everyone who comes through the door is happy to be there in that hygge space. You can’t force that feeling, that is real. Living plants and artwork pop up in unlikely places, feathers lift in the breeze and faux animal heads watch over you. My cappuccino came in a burgundy and gold cup and saucer. Massive couches and modern chairs, faux fur blankets and sliding doors to the garden lift my spirits and I am content. I am cosy. I am safe.

My heart is full.

Forbici is a thirty minute drive from my house but I will return because my two brothers are helping me heal my hair and in turn, myself.

It is not indulgent to make yourself feel good, it is traitorous to put yourself on the back burner. When you are on the back burner you simmer, then you boil over and then the flame goes out.

All the stars are closer – Kendrick Lamar

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The Milk [and hygge] of Kindness

It’s one thing saying you’re going to be kind and quite another putting it into practice. This whole week I’ve been feeling that my kindness towards others has just resulted in people taking advantage of me. So, I re-evaluated things. Firstly, I had to come to terms with the idea that those who seem like they don’t deserve kindness perhaps need it the most and secondly, I am a finite resource that relies on the principle of give and take [like most living things].

Perhaps it is not the true gist of kindness but I have decided to be more selective with who I hand it out to. No one needs to be a martyr.

Kindness is defined as friendliness, generosity and consideration toward others. I do believe that I am a kind person generally but I have ramped it up somewhat in my day to day life. I am also making more of an effort to show kindness and appreciation toward the people I hold close to my heart.

It is tiring.

Before I say anything I think about the impact that it will have on the person hearing it. Every action of mine is taken to autopsy and cross examined for motive. I’m worried that I will overthink myself to death and in essence, be killed by kindness.

People say that it is easy to be kind, but it isn’t. When you are faced with a daily onslaught of bad news, gloomy outlooks and generally bad tempered people it is too easy to fall into that same trap. Kindness is like a tree, it needs to be fed and nurtured over a long period of time but it can be destroyed in seconds. Don’t be the woodcutter, no matter how temptingly sharp your axe may be.

True kindness is very much like warm milk, seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, sipped whilst you are wrapped in a blanket. True kindness, given without motive and received with gratitude is hygge for your heart.

Be kind. Be happy. Always keep the faith that people are better than you think they are. And so are you.

Guard well within yourself, that hidden treasure kindness – George Sand

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