Tips and stories about how to live a more intentional life in Notes From a Blue Bike
Subtitled 'The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World', this book can be transformative if you're at a receptive point in your life. Filled with so many insights as well as practical tips, I had page stickers poking out everywhere!
Notes From a Blue Bike, Tsh Oxenreider
Published 2014, 272 pages
" This dare to live your dreams instead of living your default. This dare to do more than make a living - a dare to make a life. This dare to intentionally live the life you were intended to live."
This is the kind of book that you need to read at the right time of your life. In order for her inspirational and motivational suggestions to resonate, you have to be in the right frame of mind to listen - and to act. You have to desire change.
Tsh lays out her life from pre-marriage and living overseas on a pittance of income, through marriage and the birth of three children. How do you manage to run your own business from home, raise three very young children and live with intention? Notes From a Blue Bike has lots of practical ideas.
"To realize that the real hidden cost of everything you buy—is how much life it cost you to get it."
The great thing about this book is that it offers some real suggestions and solutions but never in a preachy or dictatorial way. She just shares how her family lives, and lives well, but not perfectly. They remind themselves of their goals constantly and are always striving to improve, to live more intentionally.
First Steps to Living Intentionally
The first step is to define what "intention" means to you (the reader). She defines it for her family and then lays out how they went about achieving it. She covers everything from education to 'slow' eating (as opposed to fast food meals) to travel and work (whether from home or not) to budgeting.
"So much can be said for providing a home full of books, art supplies, open-ended toys, and freedom to wander outdoors. Being stingy with screen time and generous with our attention to a child’s natural interests can translate the message to him or her that learning matters better than any standardized test."
When she wrote this book her children were very young, so much of the discussions are focused on raising a family and how to make those hard choices work with children - education, TV, electronic devices, etc. My children are grown, so much of that philosophy didn't apply to me anymore. However, I still found gems of inspiration that can help my husband and I begin to make some gentle changes to "live the life we intend".
"There’s something magical about doing nothing, and we don’t do it often enough. Time—just to space out, to veer off the beaten track just because, or to catch a marvelous sunset from the backyard—is the key ingredient in our most favorite memories. It’s also the key to slowing down enough to savor each of those moments."
photo by Terrie Purkey, bikes in Amsterdam