Culture

The lost year of Kummerspeck

At the end of last year, I decided to select a word for the new year (meaning this year). That word for the year is “joy”. I wanted to be purposeful in seeking joy and being joyous. Sometimes we get too bogged down in drama and inertia. An odd emotion pendulum.

In talking about this year of joy, I was asked what was the word for last year. This was the first year I picked a word to direct my state of being for a year. Thus, I didn’t have a word for last year. I was going to say that my word for last year was “pain” for that was the first word to come to mind. However, in describing the year in retrospect, a more appropriate word would be kummerspeck.

Kummerspeck is a German word. And, there are some great German words thst we do not have at all in English that, at times, capture so much and perfectly, a state of being. For instance, I love the word schadenfreude. Who doesn’t? Kummerspeck is the name for excess fat gained by emotional eating – specifically, the excessive eating people do in times of stress or sorrow. Some translations put the phrase as “bacon grief”. And, that is the word for last year. And, that is why this year my word is joy.

Thankfully, I lost the weight I gained. However, that gain from grief was unhealthy and just a bad way to have lived. It was a lost year, of sorts. But joy is to make this year count even more. A pendulum. A swing. A shifting of life lens. It is amazing how one word can capture so much.

5 replies »

  1. I recently tried “speck” for the first time. It is a fatty, cured meat and it is wonderful…very much like prosciutto. Leave it to the Germans to smash the words “sorrow” and “bacon” together! Nice post!

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