Welcome to the newest stage in the evolution of my daily blog: Fika Friday.
Fika (Fee-ka) is a Swedish word describing a mid-morning or mid-afternoon break in the day. Similar to the British tradition of tea or the German Kaffee und Kuchen, fika includes (usually) coffee and a sweet or savoury morsel of something. As often happens, when we dig down underneath the straight translation of a word, we find a cultural richness not immediately evidenced by the language.
At this deeper level, fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude. Fika is an important part of Swedish culture. One cannot fika (yep, it’s a verb and a noun) alone – that would just be a coffee break. Fika is communal.
A website called Swedish Food says about fika that:
“Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for fika every day.
“Fika is a ritual. Even the mighty Volvo plant stops for fika. All Swedes consider it important to make time to stop and socialise: to take a pause. It refreshes the brain and strengthens relationships. And it makes good business sense: firms have better teams and are more productive where fika is institutionalised.
“Exactly what you eat during fika is not really important. The food is incidental to the companionship, the socialising and catching up with friends and colleagues. But whatever food you choose for fika it should be fresh and well presented. Ideally it should be homemade. Many team leaders in Sweden consider it important to regularly bake something at home to take into work for fika.
Often fika is enjoyed by candlelight, even if it is in an office or the corner of a factory. It’s all about slowing down and finding time for friends and colleagues, whilst you sip a drink and enjoy something small to eat.”
So, why Fika Friday?
As I take the next step in building my mailing list, I wanted to create a once-a-week option for new people who are willing to hear from me, but are less hard core than all of you currently reading this, and who would prefer not hearing from me every day. (New subscribers will have a choice between the daily blog and Fridays only.) I wanted to create something that wouldn’t just be more of what I do every day, but in a longer format. Something that would hopefully add the kind of value I aim to provide every day and that would still be “on brand” and “on message.”
I picked Friday. I was looking for a catchy name for it (not yet knowing what “it” would be) and Jen (my wife and the person whom I call my “consultant of everything”) suggested Fika Friday. She’s the creative one and really smart – that’s why she gets to be the consultant of everything.
So, I had a day of the week and a catchy, alliterative title that pays homage to my Scandinavian heritage. The rest of it just kind of flowed from there. Fika is about being together and socializing. Which means it’s about … stories! (See where this is going?)
The weekly Friday post will be a longer piece that will include: 1) a (short) story (from someone else), an (even shorter) reflection from me, and a question or two for your contemplation.
Make yourself some really good coffee (like they drink in Europe) or tea, and perhaps find something sweet and delicious. Even better – do it with someone else. Enjoy the story. Let the reflection prime the pump, and give some thought to the question(s). Make it a meaningful time fika-ing together. Candles optional.
One other thing: when I started the blog, I intentionally did not turn on the comments option on the website. Since the Fika Friday format (fffuuuuun!) is all about conversation, I’m going to open the comments. If you want, you can visit the blog and leave a comment (constructive of course) and perhaps others will join the conversation. It could be fun! And if it isn’t, well, there’s always the delete button.
Of course, this is my idea for a Friday-only piece of writing before I’ve actually started it. It sounds like a good idea to me right now; that may change as I get into it. What I will promise you is this: whatever happens with the Friday post, my intention will always be the same as it has been from day one:
Keep showing up. Every day. Try to offer something meaningful, valuable and beautiful. (Don’t worry about the flops – there’s always tomorrow.) Share ideas that I think matter. Build a body of work. Earn your trust. Not to be popular (although that would be nice – not gonna lie.) But because this is how growth happens – how change happens.
One drop, one step, at a time.
This blog is not for everyone. The posts are too short for Google’s SEO algorithms to pick up. It’s highly unlikely anyone will stumble on it by accident. I make it for you, and for people like you.
Thanks for the company. And pass the kanelbullar
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