Manuel Rieß (anglicised as Riess) started a new blog.
What's so great about that you might think. Well, it wasn't just that he started one but what he started it with.
The blog is called Think Lagom and his first proper post explains the meaning. It starts:
"Ever since I learned the Swedish language for my time at a university in this beautiful country, there was one word that especially spoke to me. It probably is the word that describes the Swedish culture the best. It’s not just a word… it’s a way of life, a way of thinking."
I immediately made a mental link to the Danish word hygge which has become a real fashion piece lately. It means:
"a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being."
It's one of those words, like lagom, that has no direct translation - more a feeling than a word - and so becomes whatever you want it to.
Unfortunately, in the case of hygge, it has become a marketing ploy, a commodity, a way to rebrand normal stuff and justify a big, new price tag.
Don't get me wrong, I think we should all try to relax and bring that element of coziness to our lives, to disconnect from the online world and reconnect with what and who really matters offline. I just resent the way it has been done and that we should need a marketing trend to remind us to do so.
When I read that opening paragraph I thought "here we go again" but I carried on reading and was glad I did.
Lagom means "just the right amount". As Manuel says:
"Not too much, not too little. Not too loud, not to quiet. Not too hot, not too cold. It’s a word of reasoning. It speaks to my nature."
He goes on:
"... everything is overhyped, everything is the best, the most amazing thing ever; or the worst, the crappiest, the most unnecessary and stupid thing of all times. Everything is extreme. Everything else is boring."
He's right, and he thinks it means we should really think about what matters to us as only we can judge what is just the right amount.
And it's in that mindset that he starts the blog:
"It surely will not be the greatest blog ever. Heck, barely anyone will probably notice it. Maybe it will see a couple of posts each week, maybe it will see a post every other month."
But, so what? That's perfect.
A blog is a very personal undertaking, a digital manifestation of an individual. Or at least it should be. Forget trying to be popular, forget apologies and explanations, forget schedules. Just post. What is needed, when it's needed; not too much or too little. Just the right amount.
I thought that was a fantastic sentiment with which to start a blog and made me wish that I put that much consideration into mine.
Sadly, a search seems to indicate that lagom is to be the next big thing in lifestyle marketing, at risk of taking over from hygge and becoming exactly what it is not.
I hope that doesn't happen but, even if it does, I hope Manuel can stick to his principles as lagom is the best way I can imagine to approach blogging.