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Hygge: The Art of Collecting Moments

I have a confession to make: I am a collector of moments.  As a writer, I tend to be able to hold onto magical moments longer than your average person.  You can ask me what I was doing ten years ago, that time I had a special connection at the coffee shop, and I'll be able to tell you everything about it.

Not just the general memory itself, but all the details of it.  How the coffee shop smelled, what the connection felt like, what I was wearing, what he was wearing, the weather outside, and the chills up and down my arms.  I hold onto things so dearly because those magical moments in history are so far and few between.  So, I hold onto them for dear life!

Sometimes, more often than not, it's those in-between times that I hold onto, like the twilight of life.  For example, I could always sense and feel when I was about to move and something within me would make me hold onto that moment and grab it with both hands.

It's because I knew things were changing again and that this time in my life was about to pass.  I knew soon enough that I'd be in a new place in time and that I'd never be here again.  I could feel it in my bones.

In fact, this happens to me so much that I plan on sharing my moment collection with all of you, my dear readers and friends.  Just for fun!

So, you're probably wondering by now:  What does any of this have to do with hygge, the Danish concept of enjoying the little moments in life and a sense of bringing cozy to your life.  Let's talk about that, shall we?

Hygge: Enjoy the Little Moments

Hygge is the danish concept that translates to being cozy and enjoying the little things in life.  It's about going back to a simpler place in time, but in the present moment.  I like to call it cozy, warm nostalgia.

P.S.

Hygge is pronounced hoo-gah just so you know! :)

This Danish concept is all about warmth by a fire, the twinkling of fairy lights in the summer, the glow of a Christmas tree.  When I think of Hygge, I tend to think of fire, warmth, and cozy but it really can extend to all the seasons.

Let's talk about bringing some cozy to all the seasons.  There are probably things you look forward to every year as the leaves turn and the flowers bloom.  Some places are more seasonal than say where I live in Florida, but the concept is still the same.

(Spring)

In the spring, it begins to warm up a little and flowers begin to blossom and emerge everywhere.  There might be some April showers that make you want to dance in the rain, which is a very Hygge thing to do!

For me, I look forward to hiking in the springtime.  The weather is nice in Florida, slightly warm yet slightly cool.  Pretty much perfect.

Around March I go to the butterfly garden in Hammock Park in Dunedin, Florida.  It's by the cutest little wedding chapel you ever did see!

What's so great about this?  I get to watch poisonous Florida caterpillars turn into non-toxic, gentle butterflies!  I get to watch everything in nature come to life.  What could be cozier than that?

Spring Magic: I love Easter.  It might seem like such a child-like holiday, but I love everything about it.  Every year it makes me want to do better, be better, plant the seeds of tomorrow literally and figuratively.

I tend to do a lot of gardening with my youngest daughter around this time and there's something very special about bringing something to life.

In a sense, Hygge is not just about the seasonal changes.  It's about the holidays, birthdays, and events too.  We have four March birthdays in our family and one of them is mine.  We've got Easter, the spring equinox where it's the easiest time to see the fairies, and the luck of the Irish with Saint Patty's Day.  It's fun!

(Summer)

Summer is kinda quiet in Florida.  All the spring breakers and snowbirds are gone.  School is out for summer.  It's just peaceful and quiet, almost like a ghost town or a dystopian society.

The moments that I hold onto in the summer are definitely the little things!  I love going to see the manatees in Safety Harbor, Florida at the beginning of summer.  They are always there every year, like clockwork.  They truly are majestic!

I love walking in Safety Harbor in hopes of catching a glimpse of a firefly.  Even though we don't see them as much in Florida as say when I lived in Kansas as a teenager, they do exist.  So every year I make it a goal to see a firefly during firefly season!

The fireworks from the fourth of July are magical where I live.  I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village called Ozona, which you can read about here.  When we have fireworks, because we are located by the ocean, we can literally see it from all sides!

In the summer months, we have a tradition in my family.  We have a kiddie pool party (this year we did sprinklers) with grown-up drinks.  We blast some cool indie music and just relax and of course, take lots of pictures!

Summer Magic:  Going to the beach at sunset with other locals in the summer at low tide is downright magical.  You can read more about this moment in Indie Life.

These are some of my favorite Hygge moments for summer, what are yours?

(Fall)

Fall is my favorite season of all time!  I tend to hear this from a lot of people.  One of my symbols for knowing when I'm on track in life is the magical feeling of fall if that tells you anything!

For me, my favorite holiday has always been Halloween.  We even usually do a small Halloween party with the family every year.  I think it's because of where and how I grew up.

I grew up in the eighties and during that time, it was common to put your Halloween costume on and go trick or treating well into the darkness.  Back then, we even went in people's houses, sometimes with our parents present.  The streets would be filled with rousing kids, the smell of candy, and a slight cool breeze in the air.

That kind of stuff sticks with you.  When I describe it to my kids, they wish they could have that piece of my childhood.  Buy it up like real estate!  But, my memories aren't for sale.

With my girls, we always go to the pumpkin patch.  We started doing this with a good friend of mine a while back.  There's hay bales, scarecrows, and duh, of course, pumpkins.  Glorious pumpkins!

One of the most magical things I look forward to every year, thanks to Starbucks, is having my first pumpkin spiced latte.  I have a feeling a lot of people have the same sentiment.  It just feels like autumn in your mouth.

Dude, I also really love Thanksgiving!  It's my oldest daughter's favorite holiday.  We do a vegan Thanksgiving every year, just me and my youngest daughter Chloe.  I like the challenges it has brought me in trying out new recipes minus dairy and meat.

Fall Magic: Walking into the grocery store and smelling cinnamon brooms, seeing the fall decorations, and buying the seasonal candied apples that remind me so much of my childhood.  It's my one non-vegan/vegetarian treat every year.

(Winter)

Since I live in Florida, I can't speak for other places, but I imagine there's ice skating, the joy of the first snow, and other magical things.  Winter is my favorite time of year for this region.

Reason being: The weather in winter in Florida is about as perfect as you can get.  It's probably more like fall in other places.

My favorite winter memories are taking lots and lots of walks around my neighborhood and on the hiking trails in the perfect crisp, fall weather!  We also go on lots of drives to see the Christmas lights in various neighborhoods in the area, including the homes in our little town.

When we put up our white Christmas tree every year, I always bake sugar cookies, play Christmas music, and make vegan hot cocoa.  Then in December, we have the annual Christmas Golf Cart Parade.

We sit out in the front yard and watch the parade go by.  Golf carts are decorated to the hilt with Christmas lights, playing Christmas music, some of them blowing bubbles or throwing gifts.  It's so much fun!

Winter Magic: In the wintertime, one of the moments I collect is re-reading The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen and putting peppermint essential oil on like Josie does in the book.

Hygge: The Art of Collecting Moments

Hygge is really about the art of collecting moments.  The little things in life that make us human.  Humans tend to have celebrations, a collective of birthdays, wedding, tragedies, and events.

Maybe it's in the tragedies that we find our Hygge.  It becomes our life force, something to hold onto.  After all, as morbid as it may be, there's nothing that makes us feel more alive than death.

It reminds us of our mortality.  When we face that we don't have forever, at least not on this earth and in this body, it makes us want to collect those magical memories and little moments that make us who we are.

So, live life to the fullest!  Yolo, as people say.  Try to make the memories stretch, extend, and count.  Be a moment collector, my friend.  

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