Back in November, I shared on my Instagram stories that a change was coming to my little business, and I’d be starting a new journey. I couldn’t say or share much at the time as I needed to plan everything and work things out (plus, Christmas got in the way). Well now I can share everything with you!
So it all started when Charlie, my youngest child, started year 1 in September 2020. A week or so later I was pulled to the side by his teacher. Initially I thought, ‘“oh no, what’s he done?”, but his teacher mentioned that Charlie kept saying that school was too loud, and his ears were hurting him. He also needed the bathroom a lot during the day and this worried me (as it’s a sign of diabetes in children). Anyway, his teacher kept an eye on things for me at school, and I would see how he got on at home.
Everything seemed to settle, and Charlie was fine at home, so in October my husband and I thought we would surprise the kids after a terrible year, and book a weekend staycation to Butlins. If you don’t know what Butlins is, it’s a kids entertainment holiday packed with fun things to do, aimed at kids. We thought they’d love it! Oh how wrong were we?
Charlie hated every second of it. It was so noisy and it was quite busy (social distancing was in place and we had to sanitise and wear masks constantly. It was perfectly safe). The arcades were very loud, every show that we saw had really loud music, the circus was super loud and scary (it was near Halloween) and then, to top it off, there was a fireworks display one evening. Charlie hated it and wanted to go back to our room constantly. We didn’t really understand why he disliked it until one night we went for a walk to the beach. It was empty, just us 4 and we were picking shells and having a nice walk. Charlie said to me that he didn’t like this holiday and wanted to go back to our ‘log cabin holiday’. SIDENOTE: We went to the Lake District to a beautiful lodge (log cabin as the kids called it) in March before we went into lockdown and it was such an amazing time. There was nothing there apart from a hot tub and forest walks, it was heaven to us.
Anyway, I asked him why he didn’t like this holiday and he said it was too loud. As we were walking back to our room, Charlie said “quick, get off the road, a car is coming”. My husband and I hadn’t heard a car coming but when we looked, in the distance, there was a car approaching. It was at this point that we thought that Charlie might have over sensitive hearing. Things that seemed to be a normal volume to us, were in fact really loud to Charlie and it was overwhelming for him. It would often end with him having a huge reaction or ‘meltdown’.
Everything seemed to make sense at this point for me as his mum, and a lot of things added up. Although we’d only just ‘discovered’ this for Charlie, I would say he’s been affected by it for a long time. Looking back over the years, it makes sense now why Charlie would choose to be outside on his own rather than in a house full of people (pre-COVID) or the fact he hated having the radio on in the car. It also turns out Charlie was going to the bathroom a lot at school because it was quiet in there for him, away from the loudness of the classroom.
Now that I knew about this, I really felt guilty that I’d not picked up on this before. I was determined to help Charlie and let him know that it was ok if things got too much for him. I vowed that I would always listen to him, and if he wanted to leave a birthday party because it was too noisy, then we would. For me, it had to start at home. We are usually a quiet family (to say there’s 4 of us and 2 dogs), but there were things that we could do to help him. I really wanted to create a calm, quiet and safe environment for Charlie (and the rest of us) to enjoy and relax in, because the world isn’t quiet and there would be times that things would get too much for him. Having a place to relax and feel calm in was so important. I googled ways to live a calmer/quieter life and the same principle kept popping up. It was the Hygge way of life. Knowing what the Hygge life was confirmed to me that this was perfect for us as a family.
So what is Hygge?
It’s a Danish phrase, pronounced Hue-gah, meaning:
“A moment of calm and contentment. Enjoying life’s simple pleasures with loved ones or alone. Free from stress or overwhelm, often enjoyed with good food, warm blankets and candlelight.”
This was exactly what I wanted to create for us at home. Although, I don’t live in Denmark so I can’t implement the concept exactly, but Yorkshire is pretty beautiful too, right? I needed to learn more about it and learn how to adapt it to fit us and our way of life. I researched and researched it, read books and scrolled google and Pinterest to learn how to create that ideal aesthetic. Then something clicked for me, I kind of had an epiphany that would change my outlook on my personal life, but also heavily influence my little business too. I decided to use my business to design new prints that would enable me to decorate our home in a calm and cosy way. So that’s what I did.
I took the last 4 months off from social media, delved into books and research and learned how to create this aesthetic. I have created hundreds of new print designs that will be coming to my website shortly. I have so many useful and fun blogs and newsletters planned (sign up here), and I’m thoroughly enjoying this new slow living journey. All of this has been driven by my need to help Charlie, and do what’s right for him, but it’s also become a hobby and a passion for me. I’m going to be documenting how we implement this new way of life over on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so please come and join me over there if you’d like to see what it’s all about, or just to see what we get up to. It might be the little piece of calm you need in your life too.