happy

Have you heard about….??

Do you ever discover something ( like a song, series, food recipe, piece of clothing, any kind of skill ) that everyone was fully aware of since the beginning of our time on Earth?

Yeah, me too.

Nevertheless, you keep proudly talking about it, share thoughts publicly and basically acting like you single – handedly discovered a new planet in our solar system.

Yup.

Love it.

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Just kidding with  Despacito actually, I was seriously obsessed with it for a couple of months during its ‘prime time fame’, learned it by heart, but now my ears are bleeding just like everyone else’s. My Spanish has improved by 0,005 %, though!

New Year’s Resolutions For Dummies

Stop smoking. Less coffee, more water. Doing some exercise from time to time would be good. No sugar. Yes fibers. Be positive. Have a career. Make an impression.

Sounds a bit like the beginning of Trainspotting where, for a moment, we rebelliously agree with ‘don’t choose your parents’ life‘ rant but continue to do the opposite. New Year’s resolutions have proven to have 99 % chance of failure because of unrealistic expectations we impose to ourselves, especially at this continuously hungover part of the year when our minds and bodies are even weaker than usual.

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New Year, new me (image: Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting)

It’s just too much pressure and besides, who says those good, healthy choices are actually good for everyone in equal measure and should be treated as a higher value? How about stop focusing on generally proclaimed virtues and vices we’ve been hearing  through fairy tales since early age in which the world is presented as a canvas that has been divided in the middle with a firm, visible line? There’s blackness and evil with all of its mean, fucked up creatures on the left versus light, happiness, unicorns and princesses on the right. Fortunately, life is not that simple and boring, there’s a mixture of both sides in all of us so trying to get things perfect is useless and brings us nothing but a great deal of anxiety and long-lasting discomfort.

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There are lines that respective members of society shouldn’t cross, but they are not so firm and difficult to manage, they can easily be pushed, walked on, even coloured in order to pretend they’re not there. And also, the least but the most important – it’s not all about us, our moral codes and chosen lifestyles that are publicly revealed only to make others jealous, learning to step out of my head for a while to admire the world as a whole, complete place instead of dwelling on the same thoughts throughout the day is the only real goal for this and every other year.

The rest is much more simple, so I started to make a list (which is still in progress and will continue to be for the rest of 2017) of proposals I’m putting down ‘on paper’ in no particular order for my forgetful, confused future self:

  • Learn new recipes because you’re getting boring with the ones you have mastered by now, don’t play safe. Risk a little, ruin some food ingredients, that’s what cooking is all about! Totally.
  • Try writing in the morning and not late at night because your brain doesn’t work so good at the time as you like to think
  • Is it time maybe to start learning another language? No pressure, this is just a hint of a suggestion, just let that sink in first. Once again, no pressure.
  • Finish the books you are reading, what is the point in starting to read three books at once and then stopping in the middle of it although you liked them all? Seriously?
  • Get some brighter nail polish colours, there’s a whole bunch of crazy palettes to try to have fun with and you stick to black/red. I won’t say anything about the clothes this time.
  • Postponing it won’t make it go away. Or would it?
  • Live accordingly to this Polish saying: Not my circus, not my monkeys.
  • Play more with your dog.
  • Compliment people. That doesn’t include lying to them, just be kind.
  • Build a tolerance towards those who have completely different opinion (ideology, religion, opinions), just maaaybe you might even learn something from them. – Ok, like what? Just try.
  • Practice storytelling and character development
  • Think in advance – do the hard work of putting the new music on your phone sometimes, you don’t want to get stuck with the same three albums on repeat for the whole year while wanting to kill yourself. It’s hard, but someone has to do it.
  • Stop saying: Nope, I’ll rather fucking kill myself and then doing the thing anyway.
  • Watch Shawshank Redemption, why do you keep avoiding it?
  • Don’t judge people for posting annoying NY resolutions
  • Don’t get angry at people for being angry on themselves
  • Avoid Instagram stories
  • Stop saying things like: Oh, yeah I really want to hang out with you, see you some day next week. Maybe, if I don’t get terminally ill or my fourth grandma doesn’t die by then, see ya !
  • I would like to write down something like: less internet, no phone in bed but let’s not get too crazy just yet.

I don’t call them New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer the term “Casual promises to myself that I’m under no legal obligation to fulfill.”

Black humour, cold weather and warm, happy feelings

After a colossal fuck up of a week and much more pleasant first part of the weekend, I can only super intelligently conclude – life moves on. It really does. Even if it’s moving in a slightly awkward, gloomy way. The love of cinematography and simple design aesthetic of clothes, interior and life in general started bringing Scandinavia to my focus 4 or 5 ago. More precisely, the mentioned cinematographic aspect placed Denmark in the spotlight of my interests. I have this love – hate relationship with the most internationally acclaimed Danish director, controversial (by American standards at least) Lars von Trier because let’s say I like half of his (newer) work and the rest not so much due to unknown reasons, I’ve never felt the need to explore them by now.  I just want to add that the ‘touchy’ subjects or gruesome, overly sexualized scenes are not part of the problem, on the contrary, I am used to and usually drawn to that kind of ‘vivid’ expression.

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Anyways, thanks to von Trier I’ve discovered the Dogme movement and director Thomas Vinterberg whos style blew me away after watching the movie The Celebration.   The days of following Dogme rules are now behind him, but I continue to appreciate every new film he creates. Ugh, this was not supposed to turn into a movie post, but I have to add some other directors like Nicolas Winding Refn, Anders Thomas Jensen and Susanne Bier. Many different styles (for example Winding Refn and Bier are almost incomparable to me; aggression vs, pure emotion), but they all have something in common – the dark, ironic, raw, sometimes humorous approach to the story. The dark part can easily be described as ‘too dark’ for those who like to cherish society’s taboos or are simply used to a different sense of humour/storytelling.

All  those elements they generally have in common can be perscriped to Danish mentality and social structure; this can’t be applied to the whole nation of course, it’s more of a generalized stereotype of traits such as: self criticizm, tolerance, equality, being prone to modest, but quality lifestyle, etc.  And of course, the all round acceptance of alcohol consumption from the teenage years – maybe that’s why the Danes keep regaining ‘the happiest people in the world’ title.

The motivation to write all of this on a cold but feel – good cosy Saturday afternoon is one word  that is getting more and more popular on social media – hygge (pronounced hoo-ga or something like that – Danish language is weird).

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The thing about languages is that each one of them has some words that can’t be translated in English for example, but they can be closely described in a way, but without capturing the full meaning known to the native ‘inventors’ of the word. To put it as simply as possible – hygge is a trademark that represents Danish approach to life, it basically means ‘creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people‘.

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It can be translated as ‘cosyness’ or ‘togetherness’, but the simple translation doesn’t do it justice.  Having a tasty cup of coffee/tea with your friends is hygge. Reading an awesome book curled up on a sofa with a blanket is hygge. Having a walk in the park while holding hands is hygge. Inviting a couple of friends home for a simple dinner and talk is hygge.

You get the picture, and if you haven’t by now – google it, the photos are amazing. Also, I have to share another quote/description of hygge that I found and find the most attractive, just reading it makes me calm down:

A complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things.

The christmassy time of the year we’re in now is when hygge is most appreciated due to cold weather, especially in Denmark and the rest of the Scandinavia. It’ s a way of saying ‘Yes it’s really dark and cold, but hey, we can be happy and have fun nevertheless!’

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I appreciate the little things more than anything, I’ve always had, even though I didn’t know that whole set of feelings and simple pleasures has its own name. The best part of it all is, you can create hygge with no problems starting from your home – find some candles, use different lightning or even light bulbs, get a warm blanket, maybe a new fluffy rug… or take a bubble bath! You can experience hygge alone or by inviting your favourite people over, the only important thing is to feel comfortable and relaxed. That’s about it, can you feel it already ?

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