I like to refer to October 1 through January 1 as the "Holiday Corridor." My house is decorated for Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, with no breaks in between. It's a solid three months of excitement -- scary movie marathons, baking, Christmas parties galore.
Lately I have been thinking about that, and about the Danish concept of "hygge" that has been floating around the Internet these days. Hygge means, roughly, "coziness," but also ... a state of mind of coziness? Danes, you crazy. (I get to say that because I'm Danish descent.) (No, I know that's not really how it works.)
I'm a firm believer that people should buy themselves grocery store flowers on the regular, because a vase of flowers in your home can really lift your mood. And that's part of what everyone is getting at, as we all run around and try to hyggify our homes. Fireplaces! Cuddly pets! Gratuitous scarves! Scented candles as far as the eye can see!
You take the idea of the grocery store flowers and amplify it = cozy/lovely/snuggly to the max.
I may have mentioned before that January through March is my busiest season at work. Some years it is not too bad at all, some years it borders on unmanageable.
But this year, I am making a conscious decision to sort of hyggify my busy season--create a "Coziness Corridor," if you will. After all, October-November-December are extremely busy months too, and yet I always find time for friends and football and all the other goodness of fall.
Why not January-February-March?
So here are my goals for Cozy Corridor:
On the shallow side of things:
1. New manicure every three weeks. I think you type happier with cute fingertips.
2. Mid-March: buy a new dress for spring, put it away until the snow melts.
For my health:
1. Continue to hit the gym at least twice a week.
2. Go skiing every other week.
3. Limit soda consumption to no more than one a day.
4. Pack lunches to work.
5. Go rock climbing once a month.
For my brain:
1. Read one book a week
2. Write 1,000 new words a week.
(Confession time: I love my new work-in-progress, but it does not love me. I've been stalled out at about 35,000 words for over two months, and instead of moving forward I keep redrafting what I've got. It's not exactly wasted time, but it isn't forward momentum. So I'm adding this relatively modest goal so I can make some forward progress and maintain my creative outlet. Gentleman Caller has put an alert on his calendar so he can remember to ask me how that's going every Saturday at 4:00 pm.)
1. Clean for one hour every Saturday.
2. Buy new flowers every other week.
3. Cook an interesting dinner and bake a fun dessert every Sunday night.
1. Date night every Friday night.
2. Really awesome Valentines Plan! (TBD)
I am generally prone to wanting to zone out after a busy day of work--just mentally pass out in front of my TV. And while I don't think there's anything wrong with that now and then, I don't want to only do that for the next three months.
So check back in on Sunday, I'll report on the book, the new words, and the lemon tart baking.