Hygge House Updates

Hygge House Updates

The past few years I’ve struggled with writing. Between being busy, burned out or (recently) immobile, I just haven’t found the mojo to write.

Because I don’t blog for a living, I don’t force myself to write against a calendar so it can become easy to get out of the habit of writing. There’s no agenda or sponsors to please so I’m not forcing things out. I generally write when I feel I’ve got something to say. And over the past couple of years, between being busy, burned out or (recently) immobile, I’ve just lost my voice. Hence the often long silences.

I believe deeply in the Henry David Thoreau quote:

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

That if I’m not living in the simply, well, hygge way, that I can’t come to this space and write about it. It wouldn’t be authentic and that’s the whole point of this site – and hygge.

The past 7 weeks I’ve spent mainly at home, mainly in bed due to a really severe ankle/foot injury in which I tore every ligament in my lower leg down and fractured 2 bones. Recovery has been brutal both physcially and mentally. It’s forced me to be alone for long periods of time with nothing more to do than think of things like my life, my health, my path.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I had even a weeks worth of rest in the past 5 years.

I struggled a lot with being down at first and then, slowly, I started to see myself again. The act of making tea became a big deal again because it signified I could make it down the steps and be in the kitchen. I was grateful to make it to another room. Baths become a ritual again because I couldn’t stand in the shower and had the time to laze about. I bought a bench for the garden because I couldn’t just stand outside and needed a place to sit. I was being forced to sit a lot and just observe. I tell you, this injury was somehow a gift.

The downtime also had me thinking a lot about hygge and why I started this blog back in 2004. Back then I was actually a total rebel against my Danish heritage. Until then I had embraced my father’s French background as my own and anything Danish? Hygge? No way.

But I started the blog as a way to slow down and recognise the small moments and to connect back to being Danish. And after being back in Denmark in February, I feel like I’ve somehow come full circle to remembering why I began this in the first place.

Hygge is such a trend in a way that I just have a hard time dealing with. I’ve seen article lists of ‘hygge foods’ or ‘hygge things to buy’. The word is being used to market a lifestyle or expensive goods. It’s being used as a way for people to monetize crap. Instagram accounts with the name ‘hygge’ have appeared by the hundreds and they all seem to tag me asking for some kind of recognition. I’ve had 22 book offers and countless media requests. People think I’m crazy to turn it all down, to not monetize, but that’s not what hygge is.

Hygge is connecting. It’s living. It’s being present. I feel like I’m back to feeling this and more importantly, being it. And so, I’m ready to write again.

One of the first things I want to do is make it easier to connect since at it’s heart that’s why hygge is – connecting people or a feeling. So I’ve officially set up an email sign up form so you can get posts emailed directly to you plus the odd little note that I might also send.

If you subscribed using Bloglovin’, you should still be able to receive posts there. But I’d recommend subscribing below to make sure you get everything via email. Don’t worry – your information isn’t sold and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

And just one last thing: if you’ve followed me for awhile, sent an email, left a comment on Instagram or helped answer a question I’ve asked on Twitter, thank you. I really believe in community + connection, I think I just lost my way a little in it the past year. So thanks for your support and patience. I’m hoping it is worth it 🙂

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  1. April 10, 2017 / 3:31 AM

    While you have the time while you heal could you write about the place where your Mom grew up. It looked interesting when you traveled there recently. 💗 ~ Ellen

    • alex at hygge houseNo Gravatar
      April 10, 2017 / 11:24 AM

      It’s on my list 🙂

  2. Leigh DameronNo Gravatar
    April 10, 2017 / 7:25 AM

    It is always a wonderful day when I see you’ve posted and read your thoughtful and always authentic words. It was through you that I first heard of the word Hygge and because of your ability to translate it through your life that I fell in love with the lifestyle (perhaps nine years ago!). Wishing you recovery, warm days in your garden bench and all the best. I’ll continue to be following along.

    • alex at hygge houseNo Gravatar
      April 10, 2017 / 11:25 AM

      Thank you, Leigh!

    • April 10, 2017 / 4:12 PM

      Don’t you find a funny sense of ‘ownership’ around the word hygge, Leigh? I read Hygge House back in the early days too, and had never heard the word before Alex introduced us to it. It’s been such a consistent and beautiful thread through my life since then. I feel like we’re the lucky ones – the ones who got to follow such a lovely concept early on.

  3. Sharon FischerNo Gravatar
    April 10, 2017 / 1:20 PM

    Glad to see your words and the Thoreau quote. Having read your blog and other writings for many years now I have also noticed the co-option of the word to sell products with some dismay (sighs and sips some tea 😉 ). While I wouldn’t wish it upon you or anyone, since it did happen, I am glad you are able to see and receive the”gift” portion of your injury and hope you will get to move forward without pain and with a renewed sense of self.

    On a other note it is unclear to me whether I successfully subscribed to your email notes.

  4. April 10, 2017 / 3:44 PM

    I really really wish your wrote the book. I rather learn from you than the folks trying to sell me random products.

    I have followed your blog for 8 years. My now husband, then boyfriend introduced me to you and said ‘she reminds me of you. Think you will like it’. He is right. I can always go back and revisit the posts for inspiration. I don’t mind that you are not a regular blogger at all. Slow blogging is very underrated. You got to read and re-read a few words to really understand the essence of it.

    I wish you a healthy recovery and sunny days ahead. Will look forward to your future posts.

    P.s: Wish I could have met you when you lived in SF. If you ever visit, please let us know.

  5. April 10, 2017 / 4:08 PM

    This makes me so very happy to read. I found you in the early 2000s and fully embraced the word hygge because of you. I had never heard it anywhere else. And I’ve wondered what you thought about all of the hype around it lately. Thank you so much for introducing me to such a beautiful concept, and I look forward to your thoughts on how hygge fits into our world today.

    Welcome back; we have missed your calm, beautiful voice.

  6. April 13, 2017 / 6:47 PM

    I can completely understand losing your voice. Life gets busy and overwhelming and it’s hard to find time to step back and appreciate the things you used to. Sorry to hear about your injury, but it sounds like the recovery time has been beneficial despite the pain. <3 I always love finding posts from you on my feed.

  7. April 14, 2017 / 7:18 AM

    funny, I started blogging a while back and can relate to that feeling of the “watering down” of an original message with such simple intentions. A similar whisking away has happened with the whole “farmhouse” and “country” house thing for me. I have to remind myself that in the BIG picture is is all good and that maybe..it means it is time to change my voice…the gift is in the WAY you communicate…YOU own YOU and that cannot be franchised …all you have to do…is just keep being YOU.

    • alex at hygge houseNo Gravatar
      April 15, 2017 / 7:26 PM

      This is such good advice + a reminder. thank you for sharing (and I love your blog!).

  8. April 16, 2017 / 11:42 AM

    Really hoping you’re feeling better soon!! In times where you’re forced to sit still and reflect, it’s amazing the thoughts that pop into your mind…it really puts things into perspective, huh?

    Take your time…be well 🙂 And keep up the awesome work on the blog! (I’ve only recently discovered the term hygge, so it’s definitely making its rounds! I’ve been researching it and other blogs ever since).


    • alex at hygge houseNo Gravatar
      April 18, 2017 / 11:56 AM

      Thanks, Lor! 🙂

  9. April 20, 2017 / 2:46 PM

    So happy that you are back, Alex. Hope you recover soon! Spring is here, and the days will be warm and splendid again… 🙂

    You are the one who introduced me to Hygge. I have scant patience for the trendsetters who are constantly trying to sell us the latest COOL thing, including their version of Hygge.

  10. April 23, 2017 / 7:46 AM

    Beautiful words, thank you for sharing ❤️

  11. ElizabethNo Gravatar
    April 29, 2017 / 1:11 AM

    This post made my day. I’ve been following your writing for a decade. Many of your posts have meant a great deal to me through the ups and downs of the past few years.
    I hope you find much to write about in the months ahead as your perspective is always interesting.

    I’m sitting watching Marie Antoinette and it sparked me to re-read you blog post I remembered from all those years ago…..💜

  12. May 17, 2017 / 2:20 PM

    Wow. That Thoreau quote really hit home. I am so happy you posted this. And I am excited to see what you write next.

  13. June 5, 2017 / 7:49 PM

    I’ve had a hygge book on hold at the library for awhile and look forward to reading more about it. Lately I’ve embraced being an introvert in that I am passionate about enjoying my quiet time. I’m interested to learn if hygge is more of an introvert thing or if extroverts can just as easily embrace hygge. And regarding your post, I have more blogs than I know of, and I too can be MIA for months or years at a time. My involvement online is usually a mirror of how hectic my life is. I’m happy when I’m adding to my blogs though. Blogging is like expressing the joy of hygge.

  14. SherNo Gravatar
    August 26, 2020 / 9:25 AM

    It’s refreshing to come to a blog that’s not inundated with ads, especially pop-ups. There’s nothing less hygge than trying to read around those. So, thank you!

    • alex at hygge houseNo Gravatar
      August 27, 2020 / 3:39 PM

      Thank you – I’m glad it’s appreciated. 🙂

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