A book that invites you to pay attention to who you are and what your family needs and then make some choices.
What is Intentional Living?
Intentional living is any lifestyle based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs.
Do I consider myself one of those types of people? The irony is that I don’t because I haven’t really made a lot of “intentional” decisions.
I recently read Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World By Tsh Oxenreider (founder of the TheArtofSimple.net).
Life is chaotic. But you can choose to live it differently.
It doesn’t always feel like it, but we do have the freedom to live life differently than what’s “normal.”
The popular blogger—founder of the nationally recognized Simple Mom family of online resources—tells the story of her family’s ongoing quest to live more simply, fully, and intentionally.
Part memoir, part travelogue, part practical guide, Notes from a Blue Bike takes you from a hillside in Bosnia to a Turkish high-rise to a congested Austin suburb to a small town in Oregon. It chronicles toddler spats, schooling dilemmas, and dinnertime drama as well as entrepreneurial adventures and family excursions via plane, train, automobile, and blue cruiser bike.
Entertaining, thoughtful, and compelling—but never shrill or dogmatic—Notes from a Blue Bike invites you to pay attention to who you are and what your family needs and then make some choices.
How I Became an Intentional Living Convert
When you think about the word “moments,” is your first reaction: “I don’t have time,” “I’m busy,” or “that’s not what my plan was?” Tsh urges you to “live fully, right where you are.”
Here are my thoughts about the parts of the book that spoke to me the most.
In the chapter entitled Boundary Stones and Stolen Hours, I learned that “my ability to do something and my available time to achieve it don’t oblige me to say yes.” How freeing and empowering.
Tsh’s cues for a needed break – “Writing becomes a taskmaster, my inbox brims to overflowing, the laundry pile looks similar, and my kids have bad attitudes.”
“I steal away the hours no one wants from me anyway.” (Examples: waking up before others in the family do, during school time, during play dates away from the house.)
Part V – Travel
Although we are not a traveling family, I’ve gained some great techniques that are applicable in my everyday life. I was definitely challenged to slow down. While reading, I asked myself, “why do my kids’ never ending questions feel like an intrusion instead of a cure to their curiosity?”
Tsh advises that “a wise parent fares better with a simple bit of planning.” I totally agree. She also shares some excellent tips on traveling long distances with kids.
Part VI – Entertainment
Something I’ve felt I needed to do for some time is to practice cutting back on TV. Tsh argues that doing something special – less often, in a special way – makes it more special.
Like Tsh, I wonder if boredom is completely gone in our age? So, I challenged myself to appreciate and enjoy of a good example of boredom – opening my windows on a sunny day, staring off into space, and listening to birds chirp.
Tsh gives very wise mothering advice in that the best form of multi-tasking involves extraordinary conversations while completing mundane tasks, like folding a clean pile of laundry. Love it!
Part VII – Revival
In the final part of the book, Tsh introduces what she calls a “simple, rather obvious concept – finding partial solutions when things aren’t exactly how you want them.” This is valuable when making decisions surrounding childcare, extracurricular activities, and making mommy friends. This brings me to the essential task of self-care – “putting your personal needs before your family’s.” She closes with the reminder that “you don’t need their approval in order to live consistently with your values.”
Have you made any steps towards living intentionally, lately?
Disclosure: 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.