Crazy busy weekend, eh? Not for me personally: I spent the weekend either hunched over coughing and sneezing or asleep on my bed which (currently) lies in the middle of the living room. We’re having the ensuite bathroom re-tiled, a job which takes far longer than I ever realised possible and takes a lot of slicing and cutting. The plumber is very nice, but even the cleanest, tidiest plumber makes a fine dust that settles over everything in the room. Moving the mattress down to the living room and camping out for the week seemed like a perfect idea. Still is, just made more complicated by the fact that first my daughter and then I fell ill with temperatures, chills and a hacking cough.
I’m feeling almost human again today, although not quite 100%. I’d be happy, if it weren’t for current events. Even I, the most ardent newshound, have found myself turning off the radio and turning the TV over to a brighter, better show. I’ll be back, but sometimes the only way to handle a disappointing situation in the wider world is to walk away and take a break. I can’t cope with the disappointment of the situation of women anywhere in the world at the moment. Two steps forward, half a mile back. Give me a break, let me have my cup of tea, gird my loins and start again.
And for the moment I am concentrating on the small things in life. Back to the little details and searching for stability in them.
You know I keep a gratitude list in my planner? Some days it’s empty, others I could fill with so many blessings I could fill a book. It’s a good thing to have: it forces me to reframe things and to seek out the positive, even on the darkest day. With the world as it is, it strikes me that a month of small things might be a good idea again. I ran one in 2018, A September of Small Things on Instagram and Facebook, but this time I’m putting my list down on the blog: just a few lines or a quote or a picture every day. Sometimes I need the challenge of daily blogging or writing to make sure I look at life carefully. I’ll share the posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but generally the idea will be to have a record somewhere permanent of the small things that give me pleasure.
Small pleasures are everywhere when we look for them: in the natural world, at work, just waiting on our desk at work. They can be a line in a book that catches us and takes us to another place, or a song that grounds us right where we are.
They can be one-offs, a phone call from an old friend we lost touch with, or regular events like the cup of tea we sip every morning. They can be free sensations like the rain tapdancing against the windowsill or cost us a little time, like an embroidery kit finished at last. They can cost us a small amount, like our favourite coffee in a coffee shop, or be something saved up for, like a long-admired book or a new scarf. They all involve our senses, and all we need is to take notice.
There are 30 days in September. By the end, I should have recorded 30 different things to look back on in years to come and feel again the happiness I feel now. I still have my Autumnal De-stressors list from 2020, copied carefully out into my latest planner, and it will be interesting to see how many of them will make it to this year’s list.
I hope you’ll join me, recording your own small pleasures on social and then hashtagging it #septembersmallthings #smallthings or #simplepleasures.
Today’s header is a photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash. Apart from the fact that it, obviously, is about September, I chose it because I liked the sheer achievability of it as a concept: brush lettering is very big at the moment, and online tutorials mean anyone can use it, while the simplicity of the colours flaring out from the centre appeal to me. They are such autumnal colours, aren’t they? But only the bright ones. I quite fancy having a go at replicating the picture and putting it up on my mantelpiece when I change the display… 1st September, and it probably counts as one of my simple things for September as well…
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:
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. August is like a pause before real life begins again in September, so it’s a second chance to set up rituals and rhythms that boost happiness and work for you.
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.
On the principle that it’s never too early to start thinking ahead, really, and that Christmas is always on us before we know, how about Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas? Christmas is about the small things in life, much as hygge is, and establishing what you want from Christmas and then being able to say no to the excess is important. The book has hints and tips that hopefully will help you enjoy what is, too often, a frantic season.
And on the basis that we may well find ourselves in Lockdowns or unable to enjoy an absolutely normal Christmas under Covid regulations if numbers spike, why not read and plan alternatives? Celebrating a Contagious Christmas was written in response to the pandemic last year, and will need updating soon, but it is about celebrating whatever the situation, and does have good advice on stocking up an emergency cupboard, celebrating when travelling to relatives is impossible and putting the heart of Christmas back into the heart of the celebrations.
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.
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