LAGOM: A Look at Swedish Lifestyle
On July 1, our editor-in-chief Lola A. Åkerström released the eBook version of the long awaited book, LAGOM: The Swedish Secret of Living Well published by Hachette UK/Headline Publishing. Hardcover edition will be available on August 10.
EXCERPT from LAGOM: The Swedish Secret of Living Well:
Like the awkward elephant in the room, I first noticed this unspoken ethos years ago while dining with violinists and bassists who perform in local orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic and Radio Symphony Orchestras, in Stockholm, Sweden. A typical week for them could involve playing at Nobel Prize ceremonies or a more private gig for the Swedish royal family.
But I was the odd one out. The outsider who’d been invited to this rather casual dinner where the unspoken dress code was well-worn blue jeans paired with loose-fitting tops for the ladies and more tailored, tighter cuts for the men. All feet clad in warm woollen socks.
There was a certain air enveloping our group that denoted moderation. The gratuitous peppering of self-achievements seemed non-existent within our conversation. No one willingly divulged personal information unless asked by another guest. The average number of languages fluently spoken within the group was three each yet this class of globetrotters who’d traversed the world multiple times quickly dismissed their skills because they weren’t native speakers. On several occasions, our banter dipped into long stretches of silence; one which seemed perfectly comfortable for them. The small apartment we inhabited oozed warmth and contentment.
That subconscious moment was when lagom as a quiet rule began to clearly emerge from the shadows for me as a new resident in Sweden. Still, I threw it all down to modesty and humility among fast friends who knew each other well and didn’t feel the need to brag or take up the entire conversation.
But that silent ethos raised its head once again in a completely different setting, and that was when I realized it was also a shape-shifting public code of conduct along the lines of ‘appropriate’….
About LAGOM: The Swedish Secret of Living Well
As the Swedish proverb goes, ‘Lagom är bäst’ (The right amount is best). Lagom sums up the Swedish psyche and is the reason why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world with a healthy work-life balance and high standards of living.
Lagom is a way of living that promotes harmony. It celebrates fairness, moderation and being satisfied with and taking proper care of what you’ve got, including your well-being, relationships, and possessions. It’s not about having too little or too much but about fully inviting contentment into our lives through making optimal decisions.
Who better than Lola A. Åkerström to be your lagom guide? Sweden-based Lola is an award-winning writer, photographer , and editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm and she offers us a unique vantage point when it comes to adopting elements of a lagom lifestyle.
Full of insights and beautiful photographs, taken by Lola herself, this authentic book will help you make small, simple changes to your every day life – whether that’s your diet, lifestyle, money, work or your home – so you can have a more balanced way of living filled with contentment.