Why the Swedish Word Lagom Has Become a Life Mantra for Me

By Amrita Mendonza, 34, Mumbai

My mother passed on her ambition to me. I was born and brought up in Mumbai. After completing my graduation from St Xavier’s college, I did a diploma in fashion marketing. And then for eight years, I worked at the same celebrity management company.

I prioritized work over all personal needs and even family commitments. It was a crazy job, with late nights and lots of socializing, but I loved it.

Eventually the love ran out. I quit my job and travelled around the world for nine months – that was the best time of my life. I slept, cooked, watched movies. I taught art to children in my Powai neighbourhood. Then, refreshed from my break, I started my own consultancy.

As a single woman, there is immense pressure from society to be married and have babies, but I don’t want to end up with a bad relationship under duress. I don’t want to party every night in search of ‘Mr Right’, or bend over backwards to mend a broken relationship.

On the contrary, I make healthier choices when I am by myself.

Somewhere down the line, I came across the Swedish word lagom. It means balance, moderation, ‘just the right amount’.

It’s become such an important word for me – balance between work and holiday, between companionship and singlehood, between loving others and loving myself. I am still seeking many things but at least I’ve found my direction.

First published in the April 2018 issue of eShe magazine