Tsh Oxenreider is the blogger and founder of Simple Mom (now known as the Art of Simple), and in her new book, Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, she tells the story of her family’s quest to live more simply, fully, and intentionally.
She writes about what it means to live simply in different cultures and contexts. Having lived in several countries, her family moves from Turkey to Austin, Texas to Bend, Oregon. She documents family life, so it includes a lot of information for parents. Her book is broken down in many sections: Awakening, Food, Work, Education, Travel, Entertainment, and Revival.
So what can I, as a single person without any children, learn from this book? I would recommend this book more quickly if you had a family and you were interested in someone’s perspective of how to live more intentionally and simply. But what about if you don’t have a family? Is it even worth reading if you’re single and spend a majority of mealtimes trying to half or third a recipe so you don’t have leftovers for weeks?
I would say yes.
No matter where we are in life, we can learn from what she has to say in this book. Part of me feels like the term “live intentionally” has been so overused. We can read it and miss its meaning. To really take living intentionally seriously, we need to have a plan. We cannot just say it because it’s catchy, but we have to live it. Tsh writes: “It’s all well and good to want to live more intentionally, but nothing will happen unless there’s a plan” (p. 197). Planning requires creativity and saying no to certain things in order to say yes to other things (like traveling).
In the chapter titled “Take Care of Yourself,” she writes about the importance of self-care. Tsh is honest about her depression and therapy. She acknowledges self-care depends on who you are, so it will look different for all of us. We all need time to restore ourselves. This is why we should embrace Sabbath. This connects with the following chapter, which is about slowing down. We need to slow down in order to enjoy the everyday moments around us. These everyday moments can be incredibly life-giving if we allow them to be.
“Most of life’s decisions don’t come with black-and-white answers, and that’s a beautiful, marvelous thing. We’re each given freedom to choose our decisions, and that responsbility is the very definition of living with intention, after all: making daily choices so that your life lines up with your passions and values. It should all make sense in your head.
“Go forth, then, and do it with zealous delight. No matter where you live, the size of your family, or what’s truly most important to you, may you live intentionally in a way that makes sense in your head. And maybe our paths will cross one day.”
So, find a bike and let’s live intentionally. Since her book releases TODAY (February 4th), you can buy her book here. To read her blog, check it out here. For more information about the book, check out the book trailer here.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.