The concept of hygge reminded me of a conversation I had with some French friends of mine.
A married couple, they had found us through AirBnB, and ended up staying with us for about a week and a half. We had such a great time with them.
Almost every night for a solid week, we ate together, took turns cooking for each other, and shared many laughs and stories. At one point, the subject of American eating habits was brought up.
“I don’t understand the American way of doing meals,” said Evelyn, the wife. “In France, we spend at least 2-3 hours at dinner every single night. We have friends over a lot, we usually drink some wine, we talk and laugh, and most importantly we’re never in a rush to finish.”
She went on to contrast that with what she’d observed in America.
“Here, everyone is always in a hurry. They eat fast food or make things in the microwave. Most people don’t even know how to really cook. Even at restaurants, they bring you your bill as soon as you’ve finished eating – it’s like they’re trying to rush you out!”
She has a point.
Of course not everyone has these same tendencies. I think, however, that far more people do this than would readily admit. “Work-life balance,” “doing it all,” and “keeping all the balls in the air” are important to many people. It’s hard to admit you may have dropped one of the most important balls.
But most things worth doing don’t come easily. Having a hard time facing the truth is much better than refusing to face it at all.
We have a short time on this earth. A single, precious life that we can choose to make the most of…or not. A life in which we get to decide if we’re going to spend chasing money and accolades or cultivating deep and meaningful relationships. You can change your mind at any time while you’re still alive; but at the end of your life, you don’t get a do-over. This is it.
Are you spending your life on the right things?