The Secret to Danish Happiness? I want that Pyt button!

When a word continues to appear on my radar, I need to pay attention.

I first heard about Pyt last year.  The Danish Library Association chose Pyt as the nation’s favourite word.  I was immediately intrigued. The Danes are known as the happiest people on Earth.  I want to know their secret.

This is the same culture that coined a favourite word, hygge, a few years ago.  I easily adopted hygge as a way to relax and destress. Reading, cocooning, snuggling, a feeling of contentment.  A favourite way to spend my time. 

 

P1000676

                           Long Beach, Vancouver Island

 

Now the word Pyt has surfaced.  I have read a variety of translations describing the meaning of this word, how to pronounce it and when to use it.   I understand how a cultural word may not be easily translated into the English language. I speak German, and we have words that do not directly translate into an English word.

 Pyt (‘pid’) is used for minor frustrations and annoyances.   Pyt is used to express ‘don’t worry’, ‘accept it’, ‘move on.’   weblink  link

When I read further about Pyt, I found out that the Danes had even created a button with Pyt on it.  When you press this button you will hear the Pyt word. A reminder to pause, gain perspective and let it go.

 

p070w55f-1

                                     photo credit:  Karen Rossinger

I could see how a physical symbol would help the expression Pyt seep into a culture’s language and values.   I had a Happy Face button.  The Happy Face emoji is still a part of popular communication.  😊

fullsizeoutput_7404

The underlying message that continues to surface for me is “acceptance.”  This concept is emphasized in one of my favourite books, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.  In 2017 my one word intention was “acceptance.” 

I still need to be reminded to accept the things I cannot change.

I am usually a glass-half-full kind of person. Yet, we all have stresses in our life, even the Danes. Many of us use strategies to gain perspective, like walking in nature, meditation and creative outlets.  The Danes also use words to help prompt a more peaceful, happy life.

 

fullsizeoutput_740c

                            Long Beach, Vancouver Island

 

We can learn from other cultures.  We can share secrets.  We, too, can be the happiest people on Earth.

 

postscript:  amazon sells Pyt decals and wall stickers.  I may have to create my own Pyt button, even if it is in my mind.

How much do you rely on Wifi, the Internet, Google?

 

Version 2

 

No wifi again.  This time for 5 days. 

The past few weeks in New Zealand have been filled with amazing adventures, exploring and long road trips.

 It was now getting to the end of our trip.  We arrived at Cook’s Lookout Motel, Paihia, an area called the Bay of Islands, the very north part of the North Island.

 

Version 2

Version 2

 

The information about this motel had indicated access to wifi.  I had planned a couple of days of catching up.  Messenger and FaceTime with the family.  Surfing the internet.  I wanted to read the blogs I follow.  I was planning to research some information to add to my stories. 

The owner of the motel had a complicated story about major wifi glitches in this area the past few weeks.  No wifi for guests right now.

It was slightly disappointing.   Although, not unexpected.

Over the last two months in New Zealand we often have had minimal or no access to wifi.  Sometimes, we were allowed only 100mb of use. 

 

I really didn’t know how much I rely on the internet until it was no longer available:

  • Researching my husband’s spider bite:  symptoms;  should he see a doctor?
  • The weather forecast each day
  • Sending birthday wishes to friends and family
  • Is the Giant Weta harmful?
  • Names of bird species we encounter
  • Booking excursions
  • Opening times of attractions
  • Prices
  • Restaurant open/close times
  • Restaurant menus
  • Checking emails
  • Confirming our flights
  • World news
  • Who won best actor category at the Oscars?
  • What would you add to the list?

 

Version 2Giant Weta – “New Zealand’s most recognizable creepy-crawlies”   weblink 

 

Version 2Kea – species of large parrot found in the forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand  weblink

 

What did I do without wifi for 5 days?

  • I finished reading books I had started at the beginning of this trip.
  • I went swimming.
  • I did more tramping (New Zealand’s word for hiking).
  • I wrote stories.
  • I took photos.
  • I watched the sunrise and sunset.
  • I sat outside, breathing in the fresh sea air, truly enjoying the scenery.

 

 

Version 290 mile beach – North Island, New Zealand

Version 290 Mile Beach – North Island, New Zealand

 

Do I miss not having wifi?

We have gone camping in areas on the west coast of BC and in the Yukon where we were truly unplugged.  I plan for it, and I actually look forward to the respite from the online world.

 

Version 3Long Beach – Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada

 

My stress level and angst significantly decline when I am oblivious to the daily news, fake and otherwise.

Wifi affects almost every part of our lives now.  It is how we communicate, surf for information and often do our shopping and our banking.  Our entire vacation was researched, planned and booked using the internet.

 

Version 2

 

I did not miss access to wifi while we were on the Bay of Islands.

We were there for only five days.

The first thing I did when I arrived home?

I plugged in my computer. 

 

Postscript:  I wrote this story about one week ago while we were still in New Zealand.  We experienced a wonderful, life-changing adventure.  Everywhere we went we met kind, thoughtful New Zealanders.  I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Christ Church this week.  My heart goes out to the victims, the victim’s families and all of New Zealand. Unfortunately, this is not fake news.

 

Contemplating a Tattoo in New Zealand

fullsizeoutput_6db0

 

Tattoos are popular.

I have nothing against them.

Just not for me.  Not right now. 

 

fullsizeoutput_6d96

 

We were watching the surf on the Coromandel Peninsula, on the North Island of New Zealand.  The first thing that came to mind was my daughter’s tattoo.  It’s funny how an image can evoke a memory.

The waves on this beach reminded me of the tattoo of a heartbeat.

 

fullsizeoutput_6da6

 

Having raised teenage daughters, the concept of tattoos was brought up at a young age.  I didn’t bring up the topic.  They did.

The buzzword phrases were:  pick my battles and allow them to make their own decisions.

I chose my words carefully.

My advice was “think about it for one year before you do anything.  This is a permanent decision.”

Their first tattoos were initials of each other’s name.

 

fullsizeoutput_6e8b

 

Artwork was added. 

 

fullsizeoutput_6e78

 

About ten years later, my daughter was excited to show me her new tattoo.  This tattoo was the image of the actual heartbeat of her little girl. This tattoo meant a lot to her.  It was symbolic of the precious gift of her child.

 

My daughter now has two heartbeat tattoos.

 

 

 

 

The first thing I saw on that beach in New Zealand was an image of a heartbeat. The waves had created distinct peaks on the shoreline.  Possibly the ocean’s heartbeat.

 

fullsizeoutput_6d9d

 

For me, it brought up the memory of my daughter’s tattoos.  Symbolic of the priceless heartbeats of life.

 

fullsizeoutput_6d9c

 

I may get a charm, or a pendant as a special, meaningful keepsake.

I don’t think I will get a tattoo.

Not right now. 

I may change my mind.

 

Sliding Doors – Do you ever wonder how your life would be different now if you had taken the Other Door?

fullsizeoutput_5178

I think many of us have reflected on the “sliding door” moments in our life, the what ifs?….. what might have been?……  how would my life be different now?  I know I have.

 It may be a split decision to take a different route home or leave 10 minutes later from work, avoiding an accident.

It may be where we decide to live, our career choice, who we choose to marry.  One decision can change the course of our life forever.

I am also very aware of the butterfly effect, the ripple effect, caused by that one decision……..the family I now have and the friends I have made along the way.

P1020863

A pivotal “sliding door” moment for me was when I met a very friendly girl in a cafeteria at school.  We had 2 weeks left until the end of the Spring semester and we were discussing our Summer plans. 

She was heading back to her hometown, Whitehorse and I was going to Yellowknife to work for the Summer.   She told me about the beautiful Yukon Territory and the jobs that were available there.  I reviewed the student job search bulletin board and 2 weeks later I was on an airplane heading to Whitehorse instead of Yellowknife.

My Summer job actually turned into 4 years of living in the beautiful Yukon.  This is where I met my husband ……and the rest is history.

fullsizeoutput_25e

Was I destined to meet my husband, possibly at a different time and place, or through different circumstances?

We found out that our paths may have crossed in a prior year.  My family and I used to camp at a lake in the Interior of BC when I was a young girl.  At that time, my husband lived on this lake immediately across from our campground.

I have heard many stories like this. One couple I know spent the first few days of their lives in the same hospital nursery.  They were actually born on the same day.  They met years later and married.  Other friends found out they had attended the same basketball game years before they actually met.  A random event?……. fate?…….. serendipity?

fullsizeoutput_519b

There is also evidence of Parallel universes in modern science.  Something about electrons spinning in different directions at the same time…..quantum physics.  The theory is that there is a parallel you inhabiting a world that is no less real than ours, yet can accommodate different outcomes. Is there a copy of me existing right now in an alternate reality, a separate parallel universe?  This concept is far too in depth and complicated for my brain……..although intriguing.

P1110878

I do not know whether our lives unfold by chance or whether we are on a preordained path.  Do we have certain people in our lives for a reason? Are there lessons we are required to learn on this route?

I have reflected on the “sliding door” moments in my life, especially the summer I moved to the Yukon.  I will never know how my life would have turned out differently, if I had taken that airplane to Yellowknife instead of Whitehorse.

fullsizeoutput_5176

My gut on this one?  I am grateful I went through that one door over 40 years ago,  leading me to this rewarding life.

I cannot imagine my life without my husband, my daughters, my family, my friends.  I was destined to be right here, right now.

fullsizeoutput_5188

fullsizeoutput_52c

fullsizeoutput_478b

I have been going about it all wrong…….and I want to make it right

fullsizeoutput_5148

I was listening to a very interesting, informative interview on the topic of Wellness.  It may have been how the information was presented or possibly when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  It was an aha moment for me.  I became aware that I needed to rethink how I approach self care.  I have been going about it all wrong.

I often focus on what I need to remove from my life.  I try to eliminate unhealthy food, toxic environments and clickbait news and entertainment sites.

I learned there is a better approach to self care…………the concept of “adding in”. 

When I add in motivating and empowering media sites, plenty of nourishing food, and soul enhancing, good people in my life, I do not leave any room for the unhealthy, negative sources. I would rather live life from a place of abundance versus elimination and deprivation.

I may not have been going about it entirely wrong, although I am willing to learn new ways to make it right.  The bottom line:  adding in the Good doesn’t leave any room for the Bad.  A simplistic phrase for an in-depth topic, although, it works for me.  I like and need reminders.

fullsizeoutput_5117

I make and review my lists first thing in the morning.  The top part of my page always contains a thought, a conscious awareness on “how” I want to live my day.  

Lately, my headings have contained the words “Soul food….Good food…..Brain food”.  This is a reminder of how I want to nourish myself, what I would like to add into my day and ultimately bring into my life. 

7 Books that changed my life

I would love to hear which books are on your list

fullsizeoutput_506a

Heidi” Johanna Spyri:   lost count as to how many times I read this book as a child and the lessons I carried with me throughout my life – when you think life is not going as hoped and planned- it’s because something better is in store for you

The 4 Agreements” Don Miguel Ruiz:  read countless times, taped the main concepts inside work cupboards and day planners, given as gifts…….yet, I still need to reread and remind myself…… especially when interacting with people in all parts of my life

Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert:  the concept of creativity…..everyone is creative……..art, music, carpentry, designing cakes, writing……it has all been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you

Tiny Beautiful Things  Cheryl Strayed:  I enjoy her writing in general, although, it was actually one sentence in one of the chapters that changed how I think about writing…….’what is your story…….and more importantly, what are you REALLY trying to say’

Seat of the Soul” Gary Zukav:  huge impact in my life (almost 30 years ago) ……..when you are going in the right direction, following the ‘Mother Ship’,  life will fall into place……not a constant struggle……..helped me pay attention, change direction, make choices……yet, let life unfold 

The Power of Now” Eckhart Tolle:  an Awareness of your thoughts being separate from actually You – tough to wrap my mind around this one – although worth trying to grasp….. staying in the present moment

I’ve been thinking” Maria Shriver:  my most recent book – many gems in this one – I appreciate her honest, succinct, relatable words:  life is yours to create….and to re-create, listening to your gut, stop worrying about what others think…..it’s a huge waste of your time,  learn how to turn off the critical voice in your head

Many more books on my list that have made me think differently, changed me and enriched my life. 

I would love to hear which books made an impact on your life……any gems?  Thank you for sharing.

We are in this life together.  Thank you for stopping by.

I wish I could go back in time and thank that stranger

img_2003-e1539174311455.jpg

They just seemed to appear.  I did not know their names.  It was a gentle touch or a kind word.  It may have been only a small gesture to them although it made a big impact in my day and in my life.

The tow truck driver who came to the rescue when my car broke down on a busy highway, smoke coming out of the hood of my car.  I had two very young girls with me, one who made sure her precious “Mr. Bear” was tossed out of the car first, saved from certain peril.  While transporting the three of us and our vehicle to the garage, this kind man first stopped to buy the girls treats, snacks and drinks.  He turned a stressful day into a fun adventure, especially for these two little girls.

The lady sitting next to us at the Michael Jackson 3D show.  Many hours of  nonstop amusement park rides resulted in our 7 year old having an upset stomach.  To our little girl’s embarrassment, she became ill on the lady sitting beside us.  This very kind lady discretely joined us in the bathroom to tidy herself and help us.  She was thoughtful and concerned.  She helped turn an awkward, embarrassing moment into something minor and now it is a funny story we continue to share.  

The lady that seemed to appear out of nowhere when I had a meltdown in the school washroom and I could not stop crying.  It was the first trimester of an intensive school year. I was overwhelmed with the demands of school work, homework, lack of sleep and raising a young family. No words were exchanged. She stopped and gave me a big hug. I will never forget that hug and how it made me feel.  I could now pick myself up and go on with my day, my morale bolstered by that spontaneous act of love from someone I had never met before and whose name I will never  know.

 Many strangers have made a difference in my life.  Their acts of kindness have strengthened and renewed my spirit, oftentimes when I needed it the most. 

Since I cannot go back in time, I can thank them by remembering, sharing and paying it forward.  Hopefully, I will make the difference in someone’s day and ultimately in their life. 

 fullsizeoutput_5085