The last few weeks have been lovely.
I’ve consciously been on social media less, read less and done less than ever before. I’ve kept no to do list handy, planned no activities or thought ahead by no more than 24 hours a day. Even what we eat each evening is chosen from a variety of meats and ingredients bought in the weekly shop.
And it has been heavenly.
In the time I haven’t been doing anything, I have cleared my summer clothes out of their storage space, washed and sorted them, tidied up the books in the bedroom, cleared out the study that has lain quiet for 10 months since my husband moved back out to the office. I have cleared out my baking cupboard, emptied my pan cupboard and sorted a junk drawer.
I’ve cleared my medicine box and reorganised it into a dinky first aid tin. I’ve installed spare shelves under the sink and tidied my serving dishes up.
I’ve ripped out the pictures from past magazines, found my inspiration books (inspired by these by this excellent lady) and collected glue, scissors and a good black pen in a basket next to my chair to begin collating and creating mood boards again.
I’ve walked in the woods, wandered around the park nearby and breathed deeply under the greenwood trees.
I’ve been busy enough but still not busy, if that makes sense. My body has been doing things but my soul, my brain, hasn’t been needed. I’ve pressed pause on modern life, and it has been good.
In so many ways I’d love to stop being on Facebook or Twitter completely, but the need to promote my writing, to advertise myself means I have to keep coming back to it and pointing at my work and asking for readers, followers and customers. I’m contemplating designing an online course for release after the summer, and planning/writing a new book, and they won’t sell themselves if you’re an independent writer. But I’m in need of a new relationship with Social. One that I control. One that I can pick up and drop when I need to. I think, like the baking tins and the bedroom books, I will be paring back on my online presence. I’ll be popping in The Hygge Nook, yes, of course, because the members there are my friends and a lifeline to sanity and softness, but I think I will be more conscious about the time I spend online. I need that time to live, now.
The life pause that the pandemic has let me have has been wonderful. I let everything slide, everything stop. It’s my choice now whether to pick up the sticks I dropped, or go out and find new ones. I’ve been a member of the WI but I’m looking at that and wondering whether I really want to be in such a large, formal group, or whether I should start a small friendship grouping that meets up once a week for crafting, sharing a meal, talking about books or culture. Not a formal club or meeting, but an informal, drop in or drop out set up. It’s just bubbling at the periphery of my mind.
I don’t know. I’ll keep thinking. I know I’m on a good path. I need to share the study when it’s finished, it is a place that makes me smile with pleasure when I look at it. I have had a pause, and the pause has been good.
The header today is a photo by Gerhard Kupfer on Unsplash. I chose it because the colours really appealed to me. I love that red flash moment of sunset across the sea, but very rarely get to see it. Sunsets and seascapes are Wales to me, and Wales is (or should be) my spiritual home, even though I’m 50% Irish and only 12.5% Welsh. I’m a West Coast girl. I love to face out across the ocean, and dream of what may be. Possibly not America, but more in the lines of Lord of the Rings and the Undying Lands. I already know that when my funeral happens, this music will be what sees me off at the end. I dare you not to cry.
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. Every book I review has been bought and read by me, unless stated otherwise.
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. It always feels good if you get a book back in return for some money. 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.
How to Hygge Your Summer: Hygge isn’t just about candles, throws and fireside cuppas (if indeed it is ever actually about them) and this book gives you ideas for creating hygge ready spaces and paces of life throughout the summer.
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.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it or save it so others can enjoy reading and thinking about hygge as well.
7 thoughts on “Press Pause.”
I love the idea of vision boarding and forest walking yes! Thank you, you’re always calming to read. About social media, I agree. Have you ever tried using a social media management tool like hootsuite or sprout? I’ve never used but I hear good things. You basically create all of your social media posts in one place in advance and then they are released whenever you say. So you don’t have to be on social media daily but can still get your posts out there. Anyway, thought I’d share. Can’t wait to see that study! 🤩
I’ve used Hootsuite for the Solicitor’s office, but I’m such an in the moment, last minute social poster that planning ahead would seem too organised for me…. And thank you for the compliment about being calming. I’ve grown to be calming, and it’s so much easier than living on my nerves used to be.
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Yes I’m the same way about being in the moment, so I don’t use it either ha! Yes, please keep weaving your calming magic, I’m sure I’m not the only one reaping the benefits of your calming vibes 🌸🌱🐚🍂Have a nice day!
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I am so glad to hear this, looks like you are keeping well! Thanks for sharing!
Feel free to read some of my blogs 🙂
Thank you for the compliment! I’ve bookmarked your blog to read later.
I love your blog. I can totally relate to your post: we all need a Pause sometimes. And I too have appreciated the slower lifestyle the Pandemic provided (not that I’m celebrating the pandemic, of course. Just the lifestyle it surprised us with.) During this time I left my job and started my own blog, http://www.maryspoetryroom.com so I too am embracing the blogging life. Thank you, for the good work you do. I’ll be back often!
I think the pandemic was a bit of a shock, but I think for many people it was the only way they would let themselves slow down. I hope in our rush to return to normal, we let ourselves acclimatize and decide what to keep/what to jettison.
I’ve bookmarked your blog to read later. (Geraniums are my favourite flower, so I enjoyed that post)
And thank you for the compliments on the blog.