This is a guest post by Sandra Cunha. In this post, you’re going to discover a new concept in living minimalist life that might be just about right for you. Like Sandra says, “It is living a beautiful life with nothing more…and nothing less.”
Lagom Is The New Less Is More.
It’s funny how a word can resonate with you so deeply on the spot and yet drifts off into the recesses of your mind, only to be resurrected when the time is right.
I first encountered this word while reading the book Less Is More: Embracing Simplicity For A Healthy Planet, A Caring Economy And Lasting Happiness by Cecile Andrews and Wanda Urbanska. It was mentioned briefly in a profile of a man trying to live a more meaningful life. The man profiled went to visit his soon to be Swedish wife and discovered that she only owned two towels. When he asked her about it, she said two towels were her lagom.
Since she only needed two towels, she only had two towels . . . but they were really good ones. Why should she have more?
It’s difficult to argue with that kind of logic. If only more of North American society held the same belief.
There are only a finite number of things we can use at any one moment, in any one day, in any one lifetime. But still our desire is to acquire and hoard for potential eventualities that never turn into realities.
So what exactly is lagom?
Well, it doesn’t actually have an English equivalent (which could explain a lot) and it’s hard to translate directly. But it basically means: just the right amount.
Lagom can be applied to the food on your plate, the things that you own or the temperature outside. In the childhood story of Goldilocks And The Three Bears, it’s always the third choice.
Lagom doesn’t mean just enough or sufficient. It’s more than that. It’s hard to explain and yet you know it when you’ve found it.
If extreme minimalism and hoarding were on a scale, lagom would balance it out.
While lagom is different for everyone, it can be applied by all of us. Just as individuals are unique, so is their lagom. No competition required.
So having learned of this magical word, am I living lagom?
Well, I’m trying. In many ways, I’ve drifted a little too far to the minimalism side of the scale and I’m now working my way back up to a more balanced life.
I’ve decluttered, organized, digitized and shred my stuff. But I’ve also realized that it’s important to hold onto some things that contain special meaning to me.
Mostly, I’m trying to make conscious decisions about what I bring into my life and how I spend my very precious and limited time here on Earth. I also want to be kinder to that Earth and the people in it.
So while minimalism isn’t for everyone, finding our lagom sounds just about right.
But please don’t ask me how to pronounce it. I’ll leave that one to the Swedes out there.
Have you found lagom? How would YOU define it?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Sandra is the writer of livinglagom.com, a blog that covers all things minimalism, lagom and some bonus material too. This year, she is challenging herself to live well on a budget of $20,000.
For more simple living tips follow me on Twitter @MidSimplicity
Photo Credit: by Kullez