Finding Cozy

Tuesday, 10 days before the link is due //

Upon writing this, Ant and I took a walk today in 60-something-degree weather. We wore t-shirts (and not even a light jacket!) and opened our windows before we left. We watered our past Christmas trees—Bruce (doing okay) and Bart (if he doesn’t make it this spring, we may have to call it)—and then we headed to the park to take a walk.

Upon returning home from our walk, the windows remained open and I walked around the house barefoot for the rest of the afternoon.

When I first read through this month’s inspiration for the theme, I had images of Ant and I playing in the snow (during our Bermuda Triangle week*), the Christmas light glow, and wearing slippers and favorite pajama pants.

Other images that come to mind:

Sitting near the heater in said slippers and favorite sweatpants, with a blanket for extra coziness, and a book. Possibly movie nights. (Though, it depends on the movie. Marvel movies aren’t cozy.) I’ve been lighting candles more often just for fun, so candlelight has now made the list of cozy things, and . . . is the warmer weather and the lessened chill in the air is the reason I’ve stopped lighting them? Firelight, if you have a wood stove or fireplace, seems to be the embodiment of cozy.

Before Christmas, when we had my sister and her family over to watch Klaus, Ant put on a YouTube fireplace and turned on Christmas music. That definitely felt cozy.

Definitely having a mug of hot cocoa or coffee nearby adds to the ambiance, especially if I’m already dressed in my favorite pajama pants, sitting by the heater, reading a book.

Cozy Monday during my office’s Spirit Week last November and movie nights by the fire.

I’ve also come to relate the glow of the salt rock lamps as cozy and the lamplight from the lamp that sits on my desk.

As I write this, we’ve closed the windows and I’ve put my socks back on. I’m at the dining room table and am soaking up the last of the light from the day. (I’m so thankful the light is still around at 5:36pm.) I do have a light blanket over my lap and I’m wearing a light cardigan that I bought at Goodwill a couple weeks back. But I don’t feel cozy, maybe just comfortable.

Am I overthinking this?

The cats certainly have cozy figured out.

I wonder why I associate “cozy” with Christmas lights and firelight and snow, hot coffee, and pie and ice cream?

I wonder why stepping into the swatch of sunshine and feeling immediate warmth doesn’t translate to cozy for me?

Why is wearing my favorite hoodie or sweatshirt cozy to me, but not my favorite jeans and flip flops?

A home is cozy when you have your loved ones inside with you, gathered around a movie, the football game, or learning a new board game. Or, like lately, gathered around the heater on a Saturday morning (pictured below sitting around a heater nicknamed The Sun).

Coffee shops and diners can be considered cozy. Though, I do think there’s a fine line between cozy and crowded in a restaurant space.

Maybe this fake spring we’re having in the foothills has subconsciously moved me into the mindset of Spring—growth and flowers and sunshine—whereas cozy brings images of winter and warmth. I can’t seem to write about one idea while living in the opposite of it. The contrast of these are very clear in my head.

Tuesday, three days until the link is due //

Last Wednesday, I attended a fiction webinar. I was at my writing desk and the lamp was on. I was wearing my favorite crew neck. Both of our desks are in the furthest corner from our font window and heater, so I had my favorite crocheted blanket on my lap to fight the Hobbit Hole’s natural chill. Alphonse crouched on the corner of the desk for about 15.8 seconds and Ant was able to take a picture of that.

As I sit here, trying to decide my thoughts on cozy, I think back to that moment.

That felt cozy. I look cozy in the picture.

As I’m tapping out these words at our local coffee shop (The Local Cafe), reading through my first draft and wondering how to wrangle my thoughts, I’m sitting in front of the window here and the sunlight is streaming across the keyboard and it’s delightfully warm. I brought a jacket because of the wind outside, but it is a bright and sun-filled day in the little town of Meadow Vista. It feels like Spring.

On Saturday, one of the rare ones where we find ourselves home with little to-do’s, I ran out to the local market for milk and mailed two things to make sure they made it out on time. Ant was just waking up as I arrived home. Coming home from the store with only milk (on a Saturday morning where I haven’t had breakfast yet, this is a win) I had decided to make waffles.

And so, we pulled out the waffle maker and mix and enjoyed a Belgian waffles each while watching cartoons. (Dug Days, the Dug-inspired animation short series from Up is adorable).

That same afternoon, Ant and I started our Up puzzle. I lit a candle and music played in the background as we dug out the edge pieces and began to construct the frame. Time passed and Ant napped, but I went back through the box to find any edge pieces we inevitably missed. The curtains opened, sitting in the dining room chair next to our big window. I was content.

They say hindsight’s 20-20, so did I find cozy this weekend and just not notice it until now?

Wednesday, two days before the link is due //

I looked up the definition of “cozy” on Merriam-Webster’s website.

This is who I am, you guys.

It has so far confirmed everything I’ve written, and also told me that “comfortable” is a synonym. *facepalm* I literally use it as a different word in this piece.

The sunshine has stayed in NorCal this week, but bringing with it wind and a chill factor that only seems to come with the wind.

I’ve not walked anywhere barefoot this week or gone anywhere without a sweatshirt. A blanket and slippers are a must still.

And while my lamp is lit—desk lamp and both salt rocks—the yellow curtains are pulled open and the afternoon light is streaming in through the window across the dining room table, my stack of daily books, and the puzzle. I have my favorite crocheted blanket across my lap and my first cup of coffee of the day right next to my laptop.

There has been less reading outside this week—so far just once as opposed to the two or three times last week. I have paid more attention to our plant babies, planting the strawberries from Gramps, watering the Christmas trees and Ed’s Black Hills flowers more consistently. I finally planted the seed heart that our vet clinic sent to us back in January. The sun today has felt like a warm hug, definitely welcoming as it soaks into me, as I watered plants and checked the strawberries’ sunlight.

And maybe that’s what cozy is—a bunch of little moments that happen in our homes, around our dining room tables, in snowy weather or in the bright sunshine.

What does cozy mean to you? Where you have you found it lately?

This month, my writing group and I explored theme of cozy. Check out Illuminate here. And read more thoughts on cozy from my fellow Illuminate member here:

The Obsession With Comfort by Adeola Sheehy

*Bermuda Triangle week defined as the last week of the year, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I can’t take credit for it. The delightful human that can is Abi Ayres, follow her on Instagram here 🙂

Writing Notes:

2/8/22 // 5:26pm-5:43pm. dining room table, no lights on, soaked up the last of the evening sunlight. Ant’s watching Fairy Tail in the background. Word count: 552.

2/15/22 // 2:30pm-2:45pm. Word total now: 773. Added some thoughts and cleaned up some misspellings.

2/16/22 // 2:20pm-3:04pm. writing desk, “Write” playlist on Spotify. Word total now: 1245.

2/18/22 // =9:15am-12:08pm. submitted link, read through it more and added some more. made a list of pictures, had Ant help pick out cat photos, and added aaallll the photos. social media break in here to post in writer gram stories. Some more editing, etc. I need to work in breaks when I spend almost three hours on a blog post. Going to eat now 🙂 Word Count Now: 1,411.

2/20/22 // 6pm-6:36pm. Added the other link. Reread and some light rewording of things. Writing desk, Hobbit Hole noises (felt quiet and peaceful). Also set-up my IG post caption in notes so I can copy and past tomorrow morning #winning. TOTAL words: 1502.

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