Monday, February 1, 2021
Hello Monday and Hello February! I am linking up today with Tanya, Heather, and others here!
Bye, January! Wow – that was fast and slow at the same time, just like 2020, really. This weekend I was in the moment and took hardly any photos. The highlights were Jack coming home Friday night and getting Five Guys take out, Mason coming home Saturday, watching Gilmore Girls, and just spending some down time with all of us in the house. I am having some really good conversations with them and I am seeing so much growth.
When we got our big snow of the year (so far) on Wednesday, it struck me as really sad because it was the first time to not get to enjoy it with my boys. As a teacher, I loved being on the same schedule with them and snow was always so exciting. I would go in and announce delays or snow days to them in the mornings and it was so fun! I still enjoyed it with Tom and Ernie that evening, but you know what I mean!
As you can tell, I am still in a period of empty nester adjustment and I will take any bit of weekend time. I think it is helping them this winter to come home more than last semester, too. I am not putting any pressure on them to do so; they can come as little or as much as they want. I have heard different advice on letting college kids come home or not and I am going with my mom instinct here and what feels right; we are in a pandemic and things are hard. They are always welcome. They are both diligent mask-wearers and their college has a weekly update with testing continuing this semester. They come home to spend time with each other, too, which is hard to do during the week with their busy schedules.
I do like parts of winter, but it just seems harder than the other three seasons, you know? In the last couple of years, I have learned about hygge and it really resonated with me. Last year, through my Swedish friend, I learned about fika. And, this weekend I learned about friluftsliv. Don’t worry too much about pronouncing them; simply live them!
Here is a glossary below and my thoughts:
hygge – a quality of coziness and comfort that engenders a feeling of contentment (Denmark)
I know I’m not the only one who latched onto this. We are all about the cozy pants, sweatshirts, fuzzy blankets, fires and candles. If nothing else, we have learned that our homes are our refuge. No one will ever think their home is perfect, but after almost a year spent mostly at home, we have probably never felt so appreciative. Ok, 2020 – lesson learned!
Some of this comes naturally with age. I think as I have aged I have felt more confident to know what I need and to say what I need to feel content. I no longer feel the need to buy something because everyone else is buying it. If a fabric is scratchy, I’m out. I know myself better and that in and of itself is a feeling of hygge, maybe. Also, I don’t think we are all the same. If you like something, get it. If you don’t like something, don’t get it.
fika – making time for friends and colleagues that involves a cup of coffee, tea, and maybe a treat (Sweden)
I love this. In the American school system there is little time for socializing with colleagues. Even our meetings with our co-teachers are micromanaged and dictated, and usually involve some sort of tedious paperwork to prove that we produced something. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit more time to organically hear about what someone else is doing in the classroom and of our own accord, learn from them and collaborate? Teachers’ lounges got a bad rap for being a den of negativity but I think back to my first school where I learned a lot in the lounge and had time to go there! Ha! And, at my current school, teachers used to go there to eat lunch but now it is really empty. Anyone want to analyze what has happened in education in the last 10 years through the lens of the teachers’ lounge. Hmmmmm.
And, I would say I am pretty good about this with friends in my after work hours. Having someone over for just a coffee or a drink is a very low level entertaining goal. Pre-2020 I felt like people were too busy and stressed to do much socializing at home. The pandemic really made simple entertaining possible. Heck, sometimes we would even tell someone to bring their own chair. It doesn’t get easier than that. Even an hour with a friend over a drink fills me up. I am trying to do this once a week. Tomorrow I am excited to go to a friend’s house for a drink and a fire.
friluftsliv – free air life (Norway)
I love this and this is the hardest thing about being a teacher under normal circumstances. I enter the building at 7:00 a.m. and leave between 3:00 and 4:00 without even a scrap of outdoor time most days. I am lucky to have windows which I keep open as much as I can. Hands down, the best thing about teaching from home has been my outdoor time. I have had my coffee on the patio, my lunch on the patio, taken walks at lunch, my afternoon snack on the patio, my evening cocktail on the patio, and it has really filled my soul. I started filling my bird feeders and watching nature more. I found out there is a rooster in my neighborhood – not good!
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel on a day you get fresh air? I think it’s super important to get it in the winter, too, but it is definitely more of a challenge.
I feel like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway might know a thing or two about cold weather!
Another thing I think helps me in the winter are hot drinks. Of course I have my morning coffee, but in the afternoon it is nice to have a warm beverage, too.
Irish Coffee: (also perfect with St. Patrick’s Day coming up!)
1 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream or another brand (this Trader Joe’s is good!)
Mix with a cup of regular or decaf coffee
Add whipped cream if you want to be fancy!
One half to one packet of hot chocolate mix. Did you know they have dark chocolate? OMG!
Put the mix in the bottom of coffee cup, brew as normal, stir, and add a marshmallow or whipped cream if desired. You can also add some milk or creamer.
Bourbon hot chocolate:
Start with one half shot glass of bourbon and mix with the packet of hot chocolate in the bottom of the mug. (One full shot is really strong; ask me how I know.) Then, fill mug to top with hot water.
I find that keeping some whip cream at home makes it feel kind of special. I really don’t miss my coffee shop coffees when I have this on hand.
I always have big and small marshmallows on hand, too.
How was your weekend? It sounds like lots of you got more snow!
Any thoughts on hygge, fika, or friluftsliv? Any thought on hot drinks?