hyggelig year? maybe.

It’s late December. The holidays are over. The last time I wrote something here was early this summer and now we are in the beginning of winter! Gah! I’m at the library with a couple days to myself on winter break from work while my son is at daycare (don’t judge — he stayed home with me yesterday and we have to pay for daycare whether or not he goes!). When I’m here at the library with this blank white space in front of me, I just don’t know what to write except perhaps a few concrete details about my life. I’m just tired. This seems to be a new pattern — I only have moments to write on my days off, which, as most moms know, aren’t real days off but time to check off items on the to-do list. So, I’ll make this quick and head out to do some errands.

Well. As in recent years, I kind of forgot hygge was my ‘word of the year.’ Although I began the year with a spirit of hygge, I wasn’t intentional about cultivating it the rest of the year. I’m sure the hygge moments existed, the cuddles on the couch, dozens of cups of coffee, board games, laughter with people, and so forth, but I forgot to try. It was a good year, though. My family is happy and healthy. We lost a few chickens (as expected) but otherwise, we are all good. God is good.

I’ll have another update with my plans for 2019 soon. Cheers, friends.

 

the year of: hygge.

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Resolutions? Bah. Never really works out for me. No one needs a huge list of goals at the beginning of the year set with great intentions but then becomes some odd to-do list and you feel like a failure when you don’t do something so you give up altogether (yes, that was a long run-on, I don’t care). Keep it short and simple. I just have a word.

Five years ago, my word of 2013 was light.
Four years ago, my word of 2014 was release.
Three years ago, my word of 2015 was nourish.
Two years ago, my word for 2016 was presence.
This past year, my word for 2017 was authentic.

This year? The word for 2018 will be HYGGE.

To me, HYGGE is

  1. slowing down. taking a breath. calm.
  2. togetherness. community. connecting.
  3. thankfulness. embracing the small things.
  4. coziness. warmth.
  5. well-being. happiness. health.
  6. comfort. peace. being. simplicity.
  7. all these things rolled up into one word.

There are two things about 2018’s word that are different than my previous words:

  • It’s not an English word. It’s actually Danish. But, who cares.
  • It’s somewhat of a trendy word. But I just heard of it a month ago. I’ve stopped caring what people think (can you tell??), so what if it’s a trendy word. I like it. And I think it encompasses just what I need.

I also have a secondary word: intention. Within this hygge [pronounced “hoo-geh”] year, I want to include a specific purpose, and intention behind everything I do. Really connect with others. Pay attention. Manage time better. Waste less time on things that don’t matter.

2017 was an incredible stressful year for us. Actually, the end of 2017 added a lot more stress (hello, everything breaking and tight finances) and we rang in the new year on a somewhat icky note (stress and sick). I really need to let go, calm down, and find peace again. I carry a lot on my shoulders and it really weighs me down. I am not myself.

In 2018, I need less electronics, less stress, less mess, less worry, less distraction, less debt. I crave more community, more candlelit evenings, more writing, more bread dipped in olive oil, more wine, more cake, more time with those in my life, more Jesus.

Time for hygge. Cheers.

the year of: authentic.

Awhile back, I was introduced to the concept of a “word of the year”  (or “one word” as some know it) and absolutely loved it. I dislike resolutions and while I enjoy having goals, I hate feeling pressured by myself to achieve several goals. Instead, I thought about how I wanted my life to look for the year ahead and searched for a word that would encompass that vision.

Four years ago, my word of 2013 was light.
Three years ago, my word of 2014 was release.
Two years ago, my word of 2015 was nourish.
Last year, my word for 2016 was presence.
This year? My word for 2017 will be AUTHENTIC.

To me, AUTHENTIC is

  1. being honest with others.
  2. being honest with myself.
  3. letting go of holding back and letting myself flow.
  4. embracing who God made me, instead of creating an image of self.

I typically hold back my weaknesses, negative thoughts, and stressful events as to not dwell on them. I’d rather focus on the good things. But the problem with that? It appears that everything is fine, even when it isn’t. When I hold back these things, it just builds up inside me. I don’t let it out, I don’t share the struggles, and then, I have mini outbursts or breakdowns at home and feel even worse…. withdrawing and hiding more. Not healthy at all. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Most of us probably do this. Don’t we?

I don’t know how much I will be able to write this year, but I hope that when I do, I am honest about what’s really going on in my life and the emotions I am feeling. I hope I can be open with you about joys and my struggles. There are plenty of joys, and I know how wonderful life is, but I’ve also had dark moments of internal struggles these past couple years. As much as I just want to focus on the positive things, I also don’t want to deceive anyone into thinking that things are better for me than they really are. I have hurts. Doubts. Struggles. Disappointments with self. Stress. And so forth.

And I want to be able to share these things without fear of judgement.

If there’s one thing I noticed, it’s that being open invites others to say “me too!” and connect. We are never alone in our struggles… and this is a reminder we all need. I know I need this right now as I deal with sleepless nights and a tiny one depending on me for everything while I try to manage my own life. It’s exhausting. Honesty draws out honesty.

Above all, not only do I need to acknowledge and shed some light on my struggles, but also release them to God. I do an absolutely terrible job of worrying instead of praying. Even when I pray, I still worry. I worry, stress, worry, stress. It’s awful. I need to let that go.  I need to depend on Him.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

I already expect that this year will have challenges. The last two years have been difficult, so why not this year? We have a new baby, jobs are changing, finances are changing, and there’s a lot we as a family and I as an individual hope to accomplish this year (including some things we weren’t able to accomplish last year). I know my plate will be full. I know I’ll be frazzled. I know I’ll also be excited and happy. And I pray that I let myself feel it all sometime, instead of ignoring the downsides and trying to keep it together.

Time to be real. Let’s go, 2017.