Buds and I recently finished listening to “A Year Of Living Danishly” together. After many conversations and pondering, there were 9 insights Helen Russell shared in the book that seemed particularly true and useful for our life:

Top 9 tips:

  • Trust (more)
  • Get Hygge: The simple pleasures–light a candle, a cup of coffee, eat some pastries.
  • Use your body: Cycle, run, jump, dance.
  • Address the aesthetics: Make your environment as beautiful as you can.
  • Streamline your options: Too many choices can feel like a burden.
  • Value Family: Reach out and/or create your own family with friends
  • Equal respect for equal work: There’s no “women’s work” or “men’s work.” It’s just work.
  • Play: Create, bake, write, do and make things as often as possible.
  • Share: Life’s easier and more joyful.

There were many other insights in the book about what makes the Danes so happy. All the people she interviewed were asked to rate their happiness on a scale of 1-10, 10 being that you are as happy as you can imagine. They were all at least an 8. Universal healthcare, extended parental leave, fair wages; knowing that the person you are buying a coffee and danish from have enough to thrive in their life, too, that increases everyone’s happiness.

But these 9 were ones we could see that we are able to impact and incorporate into our own lives.

We’ve been organizing and sorting and getting rid of things. And we’ve embraced the idea of hygge. Delicious coffee has long been part of the routine, but soothing candles and a lit chalice are now part of the daily flow of life as well.

Having my lit chalice next to me while I work makes my space feel holy.

My mom sent us home with a vast assortment of candles on our last visit, and we enjoyed the various arrangements of those that Buds and Yessa created.

During Christmas, we added a few extra pieces.

As these new habits have taken root, I’ve been surprised by the relaxed joy they have brought with them.

Buds and I cleaned out the front coat closet and repaired the latch so the door would close without having a sweatshirt sleeve wedged in it. It’s been repaired over a week now, and I still get a feeling of delight each time that latch clicks closed.

The door had been broken for 6 years.

The repair took 15 minutes.

Our linen closet was in danger of dumping something on your head each time you opened it. Totally organized and clean; and now we actually know what sheets we own.

Our bathroom pantry is on the list for today. I’ve got it nearly emptied, everything sitting on the floor in our bedroom.

Items have to earn their way back into the closet. Once the task is complete, it will be a treat to open the doors every time, and we’ll no longer have to fear the towels dumping on Monkey’s head as she tries to jump to get them off the top shelf. They’ve been on the top shelf for years.

I’m off to light some candles and make my coffee.

I hope your day brings you quiet happiness, too.