Vintage. Retro. What’s old is new again. These seem to have been the buzz words for the last while. To begin with, I thought you might be interested in the difference between vintage, retro and even antique.
Antique refers to any work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, clothing that is 100 years old or older. This definition somehow excludes cars. Vintage refers to things at least 20 years old. It is usually associated with clothing. Although some prefer the 50 year mark. Items from the 80’s are considered to be new vintage. Retro is anything that is out of style with the current time period.
I queried several people to see what from back in the day they would like to have new again. Family dinners and person to person communication topped everyone’s wish list. There is a practice that actually includes both of those. It is part of the Danish culture which contributes towards their being one of the happiest countries. Perhaps you have heard of Hygge (pronounced hooga).
Hygge is essentially drama-free togetherness time. It is cozying around, but more than that, it is being aware that that cozy time is sacred—and treating it as such. Because Danes see hygge as such a fundamental aspect of good living, they all work together to make it happen. Hygge is “we time,” not “me time”
Try to imagine going to a drama-free family gathering. There are no divisive discussions about politics, family issues, or Aunt Jenny’s dysfunctional kids. No snide comments, complaining, or heavy negativity. Everyone helps out, so that not one person gets stuck doing all the work. No one brags, attacks anyone, or competes with another. It is a light-hearted, balanced interaction that is focused on enjoying the moment, the food, and the company.
Remember it is time limited. Making hygge can be challenging for a non-Dane. No one taking center stage, no one bragging or complaining, no one being too negative and everyone trying to be present without arguing? This is hard to do for a lot of families! But the payoff is enormous. It feels incredible to share these drama-free moments with those you care about. If you realize that it is only for a dinner or a lunch or a limited period of time, it makes it much easier to really try and enjoy that moment.
Your problems will be waiting for you outside hygge’s door when you leave. But for a little while they can wait outside for the sake of the something bigger. (by Jessica Alexander in a Greater Good Science Center article)
Personally, I would like to add a game of Pick Up Sticks to Hygge time. Just saying.
Comments are welcomed.
Loosey* was a pig of inimitable charm. She was purposefulness, perserverance and pluck pigified. Her residence was a pen that was actually built for two, which turned out to be fortuitous. She lived high off the hog dining out on garden leftovers, (sans zucchini) which was washed down with fresh milk (the source of which I will not speak). During the winter, hay was piled in her pen to keep her warm. She would totally burrow under the hay. When we’d pass by her pen, all that could be seen was a huge mound of hay rhythmically moving up and down eliciting grunting sounds. Loosey eventually tipped the scales at about 350 pounds. She pretty much had her way. It shows a serious lack of good judgment to contradict anything weighing in at 350 pounds.
In the warmer weather the back door behind her pen was opened so Loosey could go out. There was an enclosed area in which she could roam. She didn’t do much roaming unless she got loose. Loosey did get loose! Believe me, there is nothing quite like trying to capture a pig on the lam. The first thing that happens when a pig gets loose is that its IQ goes up 150 points. Loosey exhibited great cunning and guile. She teased and taunted as she ran helter skelter all over the land. While Loosey was on a flight of fancy, she’d look around to see if anyone was after her. She stood still until someone got close enough for the grab. At the moment of contact she would bolt, leaving the person to fall flat on his face. Of course, trying to catch a pig in this manner is foolish, since a pig has nothing one can grab onto. It always came down to a couple of men with ropes trying to lasso this porcine runaway. The great disadvantage was that the men were on foot and not on horseback, like in the rodeo. Loosey was extremely quick and slick with her moves. These hapless humans had to find a way to out-smart this pig with a genius IQ. They decided their only hope was an ambush. They positioned themselves on either side of a path Loosey was taking. As she passed them, they simultaneously lassoed her and led her back to her pen. Once back in her pen,if you looked closely, you could detect a sly little smirk on her face. Loosey obviously found the escape ritual extremely entertaining; thus, making sure it became a regular event. Which it did.
*Due to the pig’s escapability, my 10 yr old granddaughter thought Lucy should be spelled Loosey.
Before proceeding with my mini rant, I want to acknowledge the importance of today which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
I don’t know about you, but for me January is the longest, dreariest month of the year. It’s a real nothing month – nothing but cold, nothing but snow, nothing like getting up in the morning while it’s still dark. I could go on, but you get the picture. The best part of January is the day the calendar shows 31 and the month is done.
Some of you might lump February in with January as another dismal month. It can be, but from my perspective February is not so bleak. After all it is the shortest month and Valentine’s Day can be a lot of fun even if you are flying solo. However, that’s for another blog.
Rather than continuing to rag on January, I decided to hunt for the good. I searched note worthy days in the month. So let’s enjoy some of the lighter side of January:
Jan. 3 – Fruitcake Toss Day
Jan. 4 – National Spaghetti Day
Jan. 8 – Bubble Bath Day
Jan. 10 – National Take The Stairs Day
Jan. 10 – Peculiar People Day
Jan. 15 – National Hat Day
Jan. 16 – National Nothing Day
Jan. 18 – Winnie the Pooh Day (A.A. Milne’s birthday)
Jan. 20 – Penguin Awareness Day
Jan. 21 – National Hugging Day
Jan. 21 – Squirrel Appreciation Day
Jan. 23 – National Pie Day
Jan. 24 – Compliment Day (This should be every day)
Jan. 27 – Chocolate Cake Day
Jan. 28 – National Kazoo Day
Jan. 29 – Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
Comments are welcomed.
Warning: Cheesey smoke idioms may follow. And that’s no smoke!
This smoke-filled event occurred several years ago when I was teaching and my daughter was going through university. We shared a great apartment in an optimum location. I was a block and a half from my work place, walking distance to shopping and services as well as a close proximity to our many friends. We were in a two apartment house. The family living upstairs were very good neighbors. Sounding ideal, right? Even in ideal situations, stuff happens. When the uber of ‘stuff happens’ happened, our relationship with the neighbors nearly went up in smoke.
One early Spring day. I was at work and my daughter had gone off to one of her classes. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on at school. A day like most days. Although we did have our share of the extraordinary. Working with special needs kids you learn to expect the unexpected. Something unexpected did occur, but not regarding the students. The office paged me to go to the phone. There was an urgent call from my daughter. “Holy smoke,” I thought, “ why would she call me at school?” My anxiety amped up as I imagined worst case scenarios.
J had gotten home early from university. When she walked inside she smelled smoke coming from the upstairs apartment. She went to check on the neighbors. No one was home. During our years on a farm we had 3 wood burning stoves. J said the smokey smell from upstairs was reminiscent of burning wood. She was uncertain about calling the fire department. Did I think Smokey the Bear would be a less intimidating option? Seriously? I told her to go ahead and phone the fire department. It was better to be safe than sorry. It turned out that she was both safe and sorry.
The fire department arrived. They needed to investigate to make sure there was no fire erupting anywhere. Since the neighbors were out, they had to break down their door. Of course, the neighbors returned home just as their main door was being axed. The smoke that was billowing through the air was coming out of the eyes, ears and noses of the fuming neighbors. Turns out the smokey aroma had come from special holiday incense they had burned. They were so angry they brought fire and brimstone down on my daughter. Meanwhile, the awesome firemen tried to reassure J and said phoning them was the right thing to do. The neighbors didn’t speak to us for several days.
There are 2 morals to this story:
One: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Two: Always read labels, especially the fine print. If buying incense, check to see if the label says, Enjoy the Nostalgic Aroma of an Old Fashioned Wood Stove, you may want to consider other options.
Comments are welcomed.
Full disclosure on this first day of the new year. I don’t do resolutions. Would rather do lunch. I acknowledge up front that I won’t follow through with them. Therefore, I’ve had to come up with a different way of stepping into a new year that would free me from the stress and guilt of not sticking with resolutions. Here’s how I look at it now.
It’s like opening a book with 365 blank pages. The title has been given to us and we are commissioned to write the story. We can’t predict what the chapters will reveal. Some chapters will relate our celebrations. Some chapters will relate our struggles and hardships. What matters most is how we approach and navigate through everything that comes our way. Our choices will determine how our stories evolve
The title of our book is “Opportunity.” Every day, every moment presents an opportunity. As noted above, we have a choice as to how we will use our days, our moments. How can we make the most of our opportunities? What choices will give us our best life? What reserves do we have, what support do we have to get through the tough times? How will we celebrate and savor the good?
The answers to these questions (and others) will write our book of 2018. My hope for all of us is to write a book worthy of the New York Times best seller list.
“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.” Ellen Goodman
Potential, opportunity, possibility are all there for us. Let’s run with them.
Comments are welcomed