‘It’s the best feeling when you wake up and it’s warm and cosy, and you don’t have to go to work’ – Emmy Rossum
Hyper colour t-shirts, Tamagotchi, Tai Bo, Feng Shui; If there’s a bandwagon you can bet your ass i’ll be the first to jump on it and the latest thing that’s been all over the place recently is the Danish concept of Hygge. It’s been so trendy in 2016 in fact that the Collins Dictionary named it runner up word of the year (after Brexit). Blimey, that is trendy.
Pronounced ‘hoo-gar’ (to rhyme with ‘cougar’ if that helps) it’s the Danish word for the feeling of taking pleasure from small, everyday things and making them meaningful. It’s made me think of the dynamic in Newman Towers and how hygge we really are. Dave usually focuses on our long term goals, creating a comfortable future for us which allows us to retire at 45 and general world domination. I usually focus on our short term happiness; holidays, weeks away or even just looking forward to what we’re having for tea on Friday night.
So the elements of hygge that appeal to me are taking pleasure in the small things. Whenever Cheryl buys me a cup of coffee on the way to work without me asking for one, my heart does it’s own little happy dance, and there’s little I love more than being in our local pub on a Friday night next to the fire with a large glass of wine. The elements of hygge that appeal to Dave are the minimalist aspects. The theory of not own many material ‘things’ but what you do own has great value and meaning to you.
So here’s the issue. Let’s set aside for a second the fact that this is clearly a ploy for places like Next, M&S and Boden and to flog checked blankets and scented candles at three times the price because all of a sudden it’s ‘hygge’ and it’s trendy. Isn’t the idea or creating a comfortable , cosy and minimalist life for yourself going against everything we’re taught about having dreams or ambitions or striving to be better? There’s a risk of becoming completely content with what you’ve got is conducive to not really ever growing or avoiding things that are too difficult.
While its great to take pleasure in the small things, because sometimes, well life can get pretty crappy and if we always dwell on the big things all the time then we’d all be miserable bastards to be quite frank. But is the answer really in hot chocolate and marshmallows and fleecy pjs; cosy like a log cabin in the mountains you see in cheesy romcoms? Isn’t it better to find the joy in the little things that involve people rather than things, buying someone a coffee or arranging some quality time with your friends or just being kind to people. And shouldn’t we be doing all stuff anyway?
So other than acting as catnip for instagrammers I fail to see really how this is a concept that we all need in our lives. After all if all hygge is, is being cosy under a blanket with some coffee and a marmite sandwich, well i’m pretty hygge already. We just happen to call in Sunday in our house.