It’s sunny outside, and I’m in work, wishing I could go for a long walk and clear my head.
Life is just so busy at the moment, and work, home, external forces are making me feel like I’m just a speck of dust in a whirlpool that is beyond my control. This is not a situation I’m particularly used to or fond of.
I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling, either. I would imagine most of us now could come out with a list of things that have set us on edge, from the big ones of world politics and pandemics to the small ones of adult children who look at you like a two headed monster whenever you say anything that doesn’t fit their world view. On a good day it’s a head shake, a roll of the eyes and I’m ready to roll again.
Then there are days like today. I’m not sure if I roll my eyes that they’ll return to normal. I’m pretty sure my tongue is feeling sensitive from where I’ve bitten it too much to stop myself from blurting out a few hometruths and I know for sure that the world is not big enough to accommodate my fears, tears and anxieties about life, life and life. I feel like crying, but fear if I do I will never stop. And yet I know from personal experience that a damn good cry, in private, with nobody asking me am I okay or what the matter is may be just the cathartic clearing I need to shift the blue funk I find myself in and let me move on to a different stage.
Crying, for me, is like a decluttering of the soul.
I’ve always been a cryer, from very young. It’s my reaction when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I laugh too much, feel too much, get angry, get released. I cry. I’m like the opposite of Cameron Dias in The Holiday. My problem is not that I never cry, more that I cry too easily. When I don’t cry, when my brain won’t let me respond to something: that’s when I worry about myself. If I don’t display my emotions at a moment when it would be perfectly natural to, then it either means I have them deeply buried inside, or I’m not feeling any at that instant. Neither is good for me.
I’ve found, as I grow older, that I don’t cry quite as easily as I used to. I can, for instance, have a blazing conversation with someone holding opposing views and stay quite calm, persistent and point-specific. I can get riled on the telephone over bad or disrespectful service and then cry when I put the receiver down. I can give people a piece of my mind, then walk away and cry out of sight. This is an achievement for me, and sometimes a welcome one. It means things like being able to sing a favourite Aunty off at the funeral. And being able to listen patiently when someone downloads their cares to me as a supportive friend.
But then there are days like today, when I feel like crying so much and just can’t. At the moment, I can’t cry because I’m in work, and who wants a receptionist answering the phone and snivelling as she does so? I can’t cry later because I’ll be home, with three children who do love me, but who sometimes seem more like the velociraptors from Jurassic Park than people; circling and looking for any chink in their keeper’s armour to attack through. I know the thought of me being unhappy for longer than five minutes is a worry to them, and attack is a good defense, but it’s not the support I need.
I could do with a walk through the woods, or a stroll by the sea. I’d love to climb a small mountain to sit at the top, to find a cliff to look over or to sit on a bench by a river, letting it flow past me while tears flow through me. Today I can do none of those things. So, shortly, I will close up my laptop, drive home through the local park and pull up for ten minutes, or perhaps quarter of an hour. I will watch the sky, and the clouds going by. I’ll pray, probably, to whoever is listening. I’ll sit in silence, and let the emotions slide through me. Will I cry? Possibly. Probably not. The silence will act as a layer of cotton wool, gently sheltering my inner turmoil. Silence is, after all, golden.
And then I’ll finish my drive home, walk in with a cheerful “Afternoon all! How’s life?” and, like many mothers before me and myriad, myriad mothers after me, pick up my life, make tea and get on with things. Because when push comes to shove, my worries are small things compared to the whole power of the Universe. My whole span of life is a speck of dust in the winds of time and I, fragile creature though I am, have a strength I know little about that carries me through the seasons of sorrow.
I know this post isn’t very hyggely, but it’s very human. Hygge, happiness, contentment, joy… they’re not permanent states. Nobody lives in a state of hygge 24/7, and if they tell you they do, then they’re lying. We live in a real life, where blue moods strike on the sunniest of days. Where happiness and sadness lie side by side in a person and it’s perfectly true that tomorrow I will be happy, and yesterday I was happy but today… just today, with the sun shining on the window just so, a full inbox calling me loudly and a week that is simultaneously too long and not long enough…. today I feel like crying.
This, too, will pass. Thank Heavens.
(The header photo today is by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash. I chose it because I loved the pink umbrella. Even on the greyest day, there’s a splash of colour, love and hope if we can see it. When we can’t spot even that, we really need help.)
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How to Hygge the British Way is my gift to the world. I don’t get paid for writing it, I’m not in it for the kudos, financial rewards, to become an influencer, work with brands or otherwise make any money from the blog. That’s why there are no ads, and any products I mention and recommend have either been gifted to me or bought by me with my everyday wages or donations from supporters.
I do get a couple of pennies each time someone buys from the Amazon links on my page, as an Amazon Affiliate, but otherwise if you’d like to support me, I like to give something back in return. That’s why I write books. You can find a full list of my books at my Author’s Page on Amazon, but especially recommended for this time of year are:
Happier: Probably my most personal book, it’s the story of how I used hygge and the little things in life to help boost my happiness. I still go back and reread to remind myself what I need to do to be a happy human.
Cosy Happy Hygge: Setting up a rhythm to life and rituals to enjoy it to make for a more balanced life that handles waves and storms better.
If you’d like to support me, but don’t want to buy a book, I have a Paypal.Me account as Hygge Jem. Every little helps, so even a few pence goes towards the books, goods and courses I use and recommend on the site. I’m grateful for every little bit that brings me closer to my dream of full-time writing, and I know I couldn’t still be writing if it weren’t for the support of many readers and friends out there. Thank you all for every little bit of support, emotional, physical and financial, you give me.