It’s been a glorious few weeks here in the UK, hasn’t it? Weather wise, I mean.
Life wise… well, we’re all learning still to cope just about with what gets thrown at us, worrying about jobs, future plans, whether our area will be in lockdown, out of lockdown or any of the myriad legalistic issues that throw their spokes into the wheel of life and derail our wagons as we forge our paths.
Stress just seems to be every where I look at the moment. Anxious questions about health are followed just as soon after by anxious questions about job security and the future. It’s not golden, not for many people, not by a long chalk.
I’m not a prophet, but I think this year will be a real test of everyone’s resilience. There are so many layers of worries laid on worries laid on concerns that what happens next month will be worse, not better…. and I cannot even go near the US in an election year. 2020 has been crazy, and the crazy is not going to end soon. Hold on to your faith (in any deity or none) that we will survive. Ideally, we’ll survive together. Hopefully intact mentally and physically.
In the meantime, we’re all finding ways to cope. Ideally, ones that don’t involve putting on weight, drinking too much alcohol or taking illegal substances (except banned books: I’m all in favour of a good banned book, if it’s been banned for the right wrong reason… like it makes you think).
My rescue remedy is green peace. Green peace is walking through woods, forests, fields and meadows. It’s finding a bench in a park that faces on to a mixed herbaceous border or walking down a lane next to a hedgerow filled with elder, brambles, hawthorn and the like. It’s finding the nature spot that lets you breathe easier and lets you rest in the everlasting cycle of life that is Nature.
This weekend, I got the rarest of treats: a half hour walk through my local woods alone. The woods are old woodland, mostly used in the 19th Century as a drive and garden walking area for a local Hall (now sadly gone) and preserved now as a local nature reserve. I’m not a birdwatcher, and not usually fast enouh to spot small creatures in the undergrowth, but thanks to my Mum taking me on nature walks when little, I do recognise the plants and trees around me, mostly.
So I wandered, and I breathed, and I greeted the dogs (although the dachshund was not in the mood for saying hello) and I watched the butterflies dancing and mating in front of me, and I enjoyed a slight breeze, and the kiss of the sun dappled light caressing my face, and the sussuration of leaves… and all was well. For the 45 minutes of my walk, all was well.
And when I came back, I decided that life is always going to be hard and difficult and stressful, because life always is, but that I can do something about my small patch of it. I’m not a world leader, I’m not a giant corporate body and I’m not an influencer. I’m just a human being. I can only push for the people around me to be cared for, provided for and mentally supported. I can encourage positive vibes in the world, share positive actions and create positive environments both actually and virtually. I hope that’s what The Hygge Nook is, and that it’s a welcome environment for all. I will work hard to keep it non-political, in a world where politics makes life harder for us all, and to keep it as a space where the small things in life create a haven of peace that can be shared even in the darkest spaces together.
I’m pulling back from Twitter for the rest of August. It’s a time vampire, by which I mean it sucks the time away from me without giving me anything in return. I’m also cutting back on all social media, except Instagram (which reposts automatically to Twitter and Facebook) and The Hygge Nook. Life has got complicated and August, traditional holiday break season, is a good time to retreat and pause.
I’m focusing on taking more walks, with or without a companion, and getting into green spaces around me: the garden, the local park, the woods,open fields. I’ve got a new step counter and the ambition to reach between 8,000 and 10,000 a day. Silent, or with a companion. I need my head cleared and I need to do that myself. August is a good month for a reset anyway. I usually go away and come back with a new plan or renewed purpose. This year I’m having to create that retreat feeling myself without changing location. Hard, but not impossible.
I’m writing my latest book: it’s on simplification and living small. I’m in the collection stage, curating quotes, filling pages with the plans and barebones before I start to write in earnest. I can’t decide whether to assemble a short online course on hygge and happiness as well, or whether there’s any call for it. It would be a paid course, and assembling it would take me a few months. And I’m still simplifying my own life and living space. It’s a life long project, of course it is, because curating, editing and sorting out what belongs to me as I am now is a task that will never be finished. Life is never still. That’s both a massive pain and a brilliant challenge.
How to support me…
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