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. 

 

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                           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.

 

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                                     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.  😊

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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.

 

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                            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.

What do you do when you love Mussels as much as I do?

 

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You visit Havelock, New Zealand, the Green-lipped Mussel capital of the world. Definitely one of our favourite days exploring NZ!

This area is in the spectacular Marlborough Sounds region on the South Island of NZ.

 

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We left early on the Pelorus Mail Boat out of the town of Havelock.   This boat delivers mail, supplies and people to remote coastal areas.  There are no roads, ferries or cruise ships.

Living out west on Vancouver Island, we have had the opportunity to spend the day on mail boats.  It is a nice way to let someone else do the navigating and spend a relaxing day enjoying the scenery.  We were looking forward to a break from driving the challenging NZ roads.

 

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It was a gorgeous day, some areas calm, some windy with stunning scenery in every direction.

 

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The captain and guide were very kind, fun and knowledgeable about the history and wildlife in this area. 

The Green-lipped Mussels are endemic to NZ.  The name comes from the distinct emerald green colour of the shell.  They are sometimes called Green Shelled Mussels or NZ Mussels.  They may have anti-inflammatory health benefits for some people. (weblink)

We saw many mussel farms in the inlets of Marlborough Sounds.  Up until now, I have enjoyed eating mussels, although, I had no idea how mussels grow in the coastal waters.

 

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Spat (juvenile mussels) are collected, where they wash up attached to clumps of seaweed.   Spat arrive at a mussel farm and are transferred to ropes in seawater until about 6 months of age.  They are removed and then reseeded onto long stretches of rope, and grown for another 9 to 12 months.  They are then harvested. 

Most aspects of farmed and wild mussels are identical. The mussel farms are located in the same areas where wild mussels thrive.  Mussels require sheltered areas. There are over 600 mussel farms in NZ and they cover thousands of hectares of marine space. (weblink) (link)

We saw some boats go by carrying huge white bags.  Each of these bags contain over a ton of mussels.  These boats were obviously very low in the water.

 

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We stopped at a remote lodge for lunch.  Of course, we ordered the mussels. 

I bit down on a mussel to the sound of a crunch.  Was it a piece of shell or my tooth?  Hiding underneath the mussel was a pea-sized crab.  More on this later in a future story.

 

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We stopped for a hike on a secluded beach.  The only access to this area is by boat or helicopter.

 

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We came across colonies of beautiful, big seabirds called Gannets.

 

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We were introduced to a huge insect endemic to New Zealand called a Giant Weta.  It is described as a relatively harmless insect.  Only a few of them bite.  I didn’t know which side of the fence this Weta belonged, the biting or the nonbiting side.  And using the term “relatively harmless” does not make me feel better. 

 

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A highlight towards the end of the day was to have a large school of Bottlenose dolphins swim around us.  Even, Trish, the guide became very emotional. Although she travels these inlets every day,  she had never seen this many dolphins stay as long to play. 

 

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We have been surrounded by breathtaking scenery and incredible natural beauty in NZ.  Every day has been an adventure.  We have learned about the history of the Islands.  We have been fortunate to witness the diverse marine life and wildlife native to this country.

Exploring the Marlborough Sounds region on the Pelorus mail boat was definitely a highlight for us. It was one of our best days in New Zealand!

 

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And what will I continue to order for my favourite meal?  Mussels, of course!

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

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Tattoos are popular.

I have nothing against them.

Just not for me.  Not right now. 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Artwork was added. 

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

40th Anniversary……You know he’s a keeper when……

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Month 1

I call him at work to tell him I “think” the tv is on fire……..he runs the 4 minute mile and he is home before I can even hang up the phone…………He totally cares………about me?………or the tv?………likely both

Month 2

        Things in common………some totally opposite………..

        Toilet seat down…………most of the time………………..

        Family values, kindness, respect, thoughtful, fun……

Month 20

Me in pj’s the past 24 hours……..the darn flu………..he gets down on one knee to propose……..excited to share the ring he has designed for me………I think I said “yes”………too delirious from the flu to remember………

Month 30

We make it official and get married.

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40 Years Later

It’s how he still looks at me with love and kindness when I enter the room

It’s how he accepts my flaws and loves me anyways 

It’s how he makes me laugh

It’s how he gently holds and plays with the grandchildren 

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It’s how he drops everything to be present and help when his family needs him, always making loved ones a priority 

        Things in common………some totally opposite………..

        Toilet seat down…………most of the time………………..

        Family values, kindness, respect, thoughtful, fun……

He is still the same man I married……….. except that we have grown 40 years older together.

We are a team.  We have learned when to step in or step back.  We support each other. 

Many pivotal events have occurred over the last 40 years.  And yet, it’s the numerous little things that create the moments in our day, and ultimately create our life.

I am very aware of the passing of time and the fragility of life.  Our days ahead will be less than the days we have left behind.  The gift of time is very precious.

I am grateful for the 40 years we have had together.  I will cherish the moments we have ahead of us.

Yes……. he is a keeper!

(Happy 40th Anniversary Sweetheart…….my Partner, my Friend…….I love you with all of my heart)

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.