Saying Happy Birthday to Kendra and Learning from Hoo-ga

by Matilda Butler on June 11, 2018

catnav-interviews-active-3Post #246 – Memoir Writing Tip – Matilda Butler

Kendra Bonnett Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday

Today is Kendra’s Birthday and I just couldn’t resist shouting a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY on our blog. You haven’t been hearing a lot from us recently, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten you and your memoir journey. And at the end of this post, I have a memoir writing tip to share with you.

Kendra is out mowing her lawn right now. And to those of you in rainy places (such as Oregon), start dreaming about those warm summer days that will arrive (later if not sooner). You can save your mowing until then. But most of the time, Kendra is busy at work. We’re spending a great deal of time moving our websites, updating their looks, and learning about all the new web technologies that we had been ignoring. Well, it had to happen one day and now you can understand why we aren’t blogging much. We don’t want to complicate our task any more than necessary. Hence a partial freeze on our writing.

Now to Our Present to You

I mentioned “learning from Hoo-ga” in the title of this blog. WHO or WHAT is Hoo-ga? Well, I was cheating. The word is Hygge and it is pronounced Hoo-ga. Hygge is the name of a new book with a full title of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking, CEO or thje Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen. As the author says in the introduction,

“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded by the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life–or just be comfortable in each other’s silent company–or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.”

Hygge is a great book to have around. You can pick it up and read as much or as little as you like. You can go back to a concept and read about it again, seeing even more connections to your own life. A good friend in California gave me the copy I have. I loaned it to one daughter-in-law and she returned it on Saturday saying, “This is an important book. I’ve ordered my own copy.” And next weekend, I’ll share it with another daughter-in-law. Spreading its ideas on happiness up and down Oregon.

And now, I want to share an idea from the book with you that you just might apply to your memoir writing.


Link purchases with good experiences. I had saved money for a new favorite chair but waited until I had published my first book to get it. That way, the chair reminds me of something that was an important accomplishment for me. We can apply the same thing to that special sweater or that pair of nice woolen socks. Save for them–but wait until you have that really hyggelig experience: you want to be reminded of it when you pull them on. p. 87


Think of something you want. It might be a “thing” or an “experience” or anything else. Save getting “the something” until you’ve met your goal. Meanwhile continue your writing. Set a specific goal. It doesn’t need to be the publication of your memoir. It might be completing a fully edited vignette. It might be sharing the lifestory as a gift to family and friends.

You set your own memoir goal…achieve the goal…and reward yourself with the treat you want. Then each time you use the treat or look at it or remember it (assuming the treat is an experience rather than a thing) you will look back and treasure the goal you achieved.

Back to Kendra

Kendra and DuckA number of years ago (Kendra probably wants me to say “a few years ago”), Kendra and I shared a grand trip to multiple places on the East Coast as part of her Fabulous, Final Fifty’s Birthday just as she was turning 60. In the photo taken on that trip, you’ll see her giving a duck a special hug and remembering a duck from her childhood.

I often look back on that time together and link it with our longstanding friendship and my admiration for her and my awe of her and all that she does.

Happy Birthday Kendra. Have a great year.

You can find your own link between things/experiences and your memoir writing.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kendra June 11, 2018 at

Thank you, Matilda. I’m enjoying my day. And I remember our wonderful romp through New York State and New England to celebrate the last of my fifties as though it was yesterday. What fun you, Bill and I had.

sara etgen-baker June 11, 2018 at

Happy birthday, Kendra! And thanks, Matilda, for the hygge tip. My husband consistently “treats” me to flowers whenever I’ve finished a memoir or a chapter. It’s his way of giving me a hygge! Although the flowers don’t last, the feeling of gratitude and love from my husband remains. I cherish that feeling.

Matilda Butler June 11, 2018 at

Hi Kendra:
Glad you are back in from mowing your lawn. As you say, it is your day and you get to celebrate it any way that you want! Such fun talking with you today.

Matilda Butler June 11, 2018 at

Thanks for your comment. I agree completely that your husband understands hygge (even if he didn’t know the word). That is super.

Kendra June 11, 2018 at

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Sara

Linda Hoye June 11, 2018 at

Happy Happy Birthday, Kendra. I hope you’re enjoying a spectacular day.

Brenda Clem Black June 12, 2018 at

Happy Birthday, Kendra. I hope it was a great one!
And many mooooorrrrrre!

Kendra June 13, 2018 at

Linda! Brenda! Thank you to you both. The weather has been wonderful, Linda. Today it actually hit 90 today…and it’s June in Maine. Thank you, Brenda, I very much want many more.

Nancy Julien Kopp June 16, 2018 at

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, Kendra. It’s your own special day so enjoy every minute.

Becky June 16, 2018 at

Happy Birthday, to you.
Happy Birthday, to you.
Happy Birthday, dear Kendra.
Happy Birthday, to you.

I am singing. Can you hear me? ????

Happy Wishes On Your Day????

Donna DeGuglielmo June 16, 2018 at

Happy Birthday Kendray and many more. You have many talents and they do not have an age. You are as young as you feel. I am saying that to myself also. hehe Ha but it is so good to be here with you always and many more times ahead!!! blessings Peace donna maria

Marjean Huber June 16, 2018 at

May your birthday be blessed. Happy Day.

Rosemary Calabretta June 16, 2018 at

Happy B-Day, Kendra! May you have many more romps through wonderful places!


Pamela Jane June 16, 2018 at

Dear Kendra,

Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful, joyous day! Love, Pamela

Micki Peluso June 16, 2018 at

Happy birthday, Kendra. It’s been a pleasure working with you and being published in your books. Enjoy your day.

Shulamit Geva June 17, 2018 at

Happy birthday, Kendra! (from the other side of the globe).
Thanks for the site and the information, the stories and the tips. In the turmoil period we live in, I find the time I ’spend with you’ compforting, encouraging. Thank you and Matilda for that.
Be well and enjoy your good years now (I am about your age, so I know what I am saying).
Happy birthday, again.

Irene Kessler June 17, 2018 at

Happy, Happy, Kendra, and ManY, ManY, ManY more to come.

Kendra June 17, 2018 at

Nancy, Becky, Donna, Marjean, Rosemary, Pamela, Micki…Thank you one and all for your birthday wishes. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

I had a nice (albeit quiet) birthday, and I can honestly say so far so good. I’m surviving this aging thing. No serious downsides…to date. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! Thanks again. Kendra

Phung Hollifield June 18, 2018 at

Hi Kendra.
Happy Belated Birthday! I am sorry that this Birthday wish to you is late because I was out of town lat week. Thank you for your help and everything you have done for us. Many thanks to Matilda also for giving us a chance to wish Kendra a Happy Birthday this year and many more…

Kendra June 19, 2018 at

Thank you, Phung. Belated birthday wishes just extends the celebration. So don’t apologize. It was a great birthday; I’m already looking forward to next year.

Kendra June 19, 2018 at

Hey Irene, thank you for birthday wishes. You too, Shulamit. I always used my birthday as my official start of summer. With the 90 degree weather we’ve been having in Maine (unusual for us in June) I’m sure summer is well under way.

Shahida Akhter June 22, 2018 at

Dear Kendra,

Happy belated Birthday!
Its my pleasure to wish you a happy, healthy and joyful life.


WendyGael Ogden June 22, 2018 at

Happy Belated Birthday, Kendra! I hope your special day was fabulous! And thank you for the Rosie’s Toesies socks you sent me for MY birthday last month!

Kendra June 29, 2018 at

Shahida and WendyGael, thank you for the birthday wishes. Glad you like the Rosie’s Toesies socks. I love mine too. Not only are they fun, but they’re soft and fit so nicely.

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