Hygge and planning, planning and hygge. Not two words that usually fit automatically together, but I am firmly of the belief that you need both in your life to be truly happy.
Hygge is, indeed, an unplanned, loose, nebulous feeling that won’t come to order and definitely not if you write in “Time to hygge” on your planner. My best hygge moments have been the ones I wasn’t expecting: the impromptu meal with friends, the unplanned afternoon in front of the fire, the picnic that happened because the sun was shining and we decided there and then to grab some food and run. But all of these things rely upon the rest of my life being planned to one extent or another, and especially at Christmas.
I love Christmas: there’s been a Christmas page in my planner since about July, when I start pencilling in things people might like, and sorting out possible activities. Events like the theatre and meals out need to be planned in advance at this time of year, and I like knowing that we have some experiences to look forward to when Christmas comes.
I also love being planned when it comes to the house, and shopping for food. I have lists in my Evernote Christmas notebook that I have used for at least 15 years, well-honed lists of the food that we always need and use over the holidays. I used to just have them as word documents to print out every year, then as Googledocs to open and save. Now I am an Evernote user, and I love it. I can access the lists on my phone or computers, print off, edit or delete at will. I really do like having a digital system that is so easy to use. But I also need a physical, written space. I like having something to take with me even when the batteries have died, or I can’t just grab the phone. That’s when my trusty planner comes in.
I either have a ring-bound planner or a notebook planner on the go at all times. For the last few months I was in this beautiful Kikki-K Traveller’s Planner. Irresistible blue with a Scandi pattern: it is gorgeous, and doubtless I’ll be in it again sometime.
The benefits of this system are that I can adapt it to suit what I need at the time. Currently my notebook has November and December months marked in, but none in 2018. I have (in the past) drawn a whole year’s worth and ended up not using them, so now I don’t bother.
Christmas present lists, my to-do list for December and notes on events and activities I want to do sit very comfortably alongside daily lists, books to read and pages for planning one-off events.
Don’t worry, this picture gives nothing away, except for the fact I like to buy my own presents. The Husband gets me a couple of surprises, but otherwise I am pretty much guaranteed what I want. I do, of course, use his money (with his permission).
And I can make lists to my heart’s content. One day, when it’s not Christmas, I’ll go through and tell you some of my favourite lists. The one on the left here is the food that we only ever get for Christmas list. On the right are the daily activities I want to do to take care of myself this December. I don’t want to get to Christmas feeling worn out, tired and weary, so I’m planning my self-care Advent. I wrote about it in this blog post here, and these are basically the ideas off the cards put in list form in my planner. I’m starting it next Friday, so that will be lovely. A small break each day to centre myself and hopefully build in some rest.
I find the bullet journal system helps me to record things in my life that might pass unnoticed, like that quote that caught my eye, the crafter whose sculptures I want to look at closer at another time, and the feeling of gratitude I got when my son told me that he loves the house because it smells good enough to eat. All of these get tucked away, with very little rhyme or reason, and that’s how I like it. I’m not a structured planner girl. I never like having the number of pages for each thing allocated to me. I love the freedom of bullet journalling, and the fact that I could dress each page up prettily if I wanted to, or have the messiest page ever. That I can be free and planned at the same time.
It also helps me to clear my brain, and to free up my attention for other, softer stuff. I find I relax better when I know that everything I can plan for has been thought through. I can let my brain go off on one, and see what thoughts come to me. Or I can let my brain relax and just enjoy the moment, wherever I am. Free to hygge without pressure. For me, that’s how hygge and planning go together.
How’s Your Planning Going?
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