This is a photograph of a modern family at play. Can you see? There are three children, all with something in front of them, heads down, occupied with their own worlds. Get me. I’m the one taking the photo, so my phone isn’t far from my hand, is it? And I think after this picture was taken, I posted to Facebook so I’m really not a good example to the children in my house.
But that doesn’t matter. You see, hygge isn’t something you feel (or even want to feel) 24 hours of every day, 7 days a week. Nor should it be.
Today is Good Friday in the Christian calendar. Now, I’m not going to go all religious on you here except to say…. I struggle with Good Friday in the modern world. The day is a very special holy day to me as a Christian: it’s the day we remember that Jesus died on the cross, and that we have the freedom to build a great relationship with God as a result. It’s the worst day of the Easter story, in terms of I always found it a heavy day to cope with, it made me feel sad, it always made me cry when I was a teenager. It’s a solemn day. (I was raised a Catholic)
It flies in the face of the brightly coloured eggs and bunnies that make Easter in the modern world. In US slang, it’s a real downer.
But life needs downers. Life needs moments when we stop smiling and start crying. Life needs us to look around and see the bad, the sad, the mad things. We can’t live in a hygge bubble. We can’t be satisfied with our own lot in life. We need to see beyond. WE need to see, and act and then we can rest again. Rest without action to precede it is sloth. Action without rest is a recipe for burnout. Just as Easter, for Christians, needs the day of sorrow, of pain and of humiliation (both ours and Jesus) that precedes a day of rejoicing, happiness and wonder that is the Resurrection. Pain and wonder: two sides of life. We all need one to fully appreciate the other.
If you are a Christian, may I wish you a blessed and holy Easter weekend. If you’re of any other faith, may I bless you and be thankful that there are so many different paths to walk and that through something as simple as hygge we can walk them together.
****How to Hygge the British Way Blog isn’t monetised. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things just because. I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I think will help to promote hygge in a busy life. To do this, I need support. Even just the price of a coffee adds up to a book over time, and it means I can stay independent. Would you help? Please consider clicking through to paypal.me/HyggeJem and leaving even a small amount. I’d be very grateful. Thank you.***