Here I now find myself approaching the middle of February and I feel as though I am still waiting for that moment to catch my breath after Christmas. The month of January was always going to be a busy month with so much to contend with; finances after Christmas, the clear out and tidy up, back into school routine, the dreaded January blues and a tonsillectomy. That’s not even mentioning being home alone for two weeks as captain aboard the ship with a 5 year old, 3½ year old, 18 month old, and our latest addition of a 12 week old puppy. FUN, FUN, FUN, and FUN!!!!What most of us tend to do when Christmas is over and when we are about to start into a new year is think about what way we are living our life, what needs to change, how we are going to do things differently, what is it that needs to improve, and it doesn’t stop there. There are so many of us who start a new way of living personally, aiming to eat better and exercise regularly and have visions of supermodel proportions for when the summer comes. For our children we think how we need them to get into a better routine, how we need this to stop and that to start, and do this from now on. In our homes we wish for better organisation and strife to clear out all rooms and be in possession of less stuff in general. On the whole we wish to declutter our lives and allow room for physical, personal, emotional and spiritual growth to bring it all back to what matters most.If you didn’t know what the word ‘Hygge’ means, you should do so by now. For those of you who are like myself and it was something new, according to google it is pronounced “hue-gah”, or if that still gives difficulty it sounds a bit like “hooga”. In the words of Marie Tourell Soderberg herself; “in a nutshell, it is a Danish word for finding happiness in the little things of life”. I haven’t yet read or bought her book ‘hygge – The Danish Art of Happiness’, but I intend to at some point when I ever get those 5 minutes to myself. What I can do though is relate to those words and make them specific to me.
“in a nutshell, it is a Danish word for finding happiness in the little things of life”
Marie Tourell Soderberg
In this modern age that we are all living, surrounded by so many influences and forms of social media, too often we can be over critical of ourselves letting insecurities and self doubt come to the fore. We may find that we start to question ourselves over our thought out plans and purpose, letting negativity creep in and lose sight of our goals and targets. Perhaps awareness and possible comparison to others can slow or halt our own motivation. Having motivational support and benefitting from uplifting tones can be all that we need. Those words of Marie Tourell Soderberg remind me about how enjoyment and pleasure can be sought in the very simple and basic things. How with each new day we are blessed and how we should be thankful. Every single one of us has the potential to do well, to be a good person and put to use the gifts and talents we were blessed with. It is up to us to make every second count and make our every day moments of ordinary life precious, special and meaningful.For those of you in a similar position to my own, busy raising our young families, with very little time to our own, when one job gets done there are another 100 waiting in line, feeling tired, weary, perhaps run down from putting the needs of our own to the bottom of the pile, at times perhaps overwhelmed with so much we are juggling and everything that requires our attention……getting to the end of the month, or it may at times be the end of the week and realistically on those really bad days when the bowl of cornflakes has been tossed off the table, toothpaste has been wiped down the school jumper, and a blow out nappy as occurred all around the same time as needing to run out the door to make the school drop off in time for school……getting to bedtime is an achievement. Keeping our heads above water, keeping our legs circling beneath us is all at times what we need to be doing to just keep going.Getting the glance from others who equally are struggling to strap into a car seat their contesting 3½ year old, you hear the unspoken words of “I get you, I understand”, having the supporting hand of another on your arm express with their touch “its ok, it will get easier”, seeing others in the same position as your own you can exchange those unsaid words “a coffee, I need a coffee!”. Sitting at weekly gymnastics in a roomful of other adults, children, toddlers and babies smelling a nappy that needs changed or a toilet that needs visited you share the similar thoughts as those around, “are you serious?, again? I have just sat down”, being stood around during meal time with the masses as they lose a bit of cut sausage to the floor, some spiral pasta roll off onto the table, and their grated cheese and sweetcorn fall tenderly onto their laps we go about having a taste of the fallen cuisine and inwardly think, “oh I am so hungry but I don’t have the energy to start to make mine”. Hearing the supporting words from your loved ones say,” just take 5 minutes to yourself, sit down and get a cuppa” is all the encouragement you need at that stage to just keep going. Through our senses we can relate, support and strengthen. We are all the same, just keeping going is what’s key. I am aware it may sound as though I am moaning, quite possibly that’s how it comes across; I’m not really, just sharing an extract from a typical day. Truth be told, I am loving life. As busy, difficult, strenuous and emotionally exhausting it can be at times I am so thankful and appreciative to be able to be doing what I am, having been blessed to raise these little people who one day God willing will be adults – such enormous and incredible responsibility I have been granted.Expectations are all too relevant to each of us. For me at times I set perhaps too high an expectation of what is achievable. As much as was hoped to motivate, it can actually in truth demotivate us when we realise we are unable to achieve what had been planned and so we can feel disappointed. Setting ourselves realistic and achievable targets is important. Keeping level headed and understanding only so much can be done at one time. Reminding ourselves that we will always have something more to do and that’s ok. The time we have with our young families is so precious and something which escapes our very knowledge. Unaware as to how forceful time is with pressing on we are perhaps blinded with everything else, that we do not see how very quickly they are growing up before our eyes. Reminding myself to stop, forget all the housework needing attended to and just go play, spend time, and enjoy our children at this stage of life as everything else will wait and still be there afterwards. Go make that puzzle, build up the lego, craddle that baby doll and put on that pan of plastic food. Enjoy and find pleasure in these very simple and basic things.