Reclaiming Cozy

Lately I have been thinking about the word cozy.  Why?  Because it envelopes most of my life.  I write cozy mysteries that are published by Cozy Cat Press, I am part of The Cozy Cat Chronicles, I love reading cozy mysteries, the majority of my author friends write cozy mysteries, my mystery series is called the Madeline’s Teahouse series because I love  teahouses which are the epitome of cozy, I have just discovered a wonderful new TV station called Cozi TV, one of my students describes me as cozy because I am “squishy”–much better than being called fat–and I love nothing more than a cozy dinner and a night of playing cards by a cozy fire — oh yeah, and S’mores, can’t forget the S’mores.

An online dictionary lists the following synonyms for cozy:  snug, comfy, homey and sheltered.  I think we need a lot more of “cozy” in the world around us.  As I watch the Cozi TV channel, I cannot help but see the innocence that many of the old–older than I want to admit– television shows had.  People wanted that innocence. Reality can be heart-wrenching.  Being sheltered, even semi-sheltered, for a few hours isn’t a bad thing. Today technology keeps us in touch with reality 24/7.  It might be too much of a good thing.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I am NOT anti-technology.  If it wasn’t for programs like Microsoft Word, I would never have become a writer.  Typewriters were not meant for those of us with clumsy fingers.   I make too many mistakes to be bothered with back spacing, typing over the error with a white sheet that blots out the mistake and then re-typing the word correctly.  I did tons of that in college and I have no wish to return to those days.  In addition, I am addicted to Candy Crush, computerized card games and audiobooks.   I do like my technology.  However, I am saddened to see some of the things that seem to have gone by the wayside.  .

I love to play games with my students.  Dominos, cards and dice are great for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; I teach logic using the game Clue and I make up stacks of cards to use while playing a board game.  Give a child a worksheet and he will whip through it just to get it done.  Play a game with a group of kids and the children are paying careful attention to each player’s answers and soaking up knowledge so they will be ready when it is their turn.   I have noticed that many of my students don’t know what dominos, cards and dice are.  They have to count the pips on the dice because seeing the configuration of each number isn’t common to them.  The same is true for dominos and cards.  Kids are so involved in video games that the art of playing games together is becoming lost.  My students run down the hall and knock others out-of-the-way to get to my class.  Yes, they get yelled at for running in the hall but they could care less.  They just want to “play” with Stanzy.

Conversation around the table is becoming lost as each person buries his head in his cell phone.  I remember the days when you loved to go out just to be away from the phone.  There is a lot to be said for deciding, even for a few hours, to be unavailable.

Cozy isn’t just a word, it is a lifestyle choice.  To me it means choosing to connect with others, play games with others, protect your own mind from the onslaught of gutter TV, and to take time to enjoy a moment of quiet in a hectic world.  It is becoming a lost art form.   I hope to help lead the charge to reclaim cozy.  You in?  Go to my author Facebook page (Leslie Matthews Stansfield) and share with me what cozy means to you. I believe the pen is mightier that the sword — or should that be mightier than the cell phone?

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