Life is chaotic. But we can choose to live it differently.
Choosing to live a life that includes international travel, and even relocating to distant countries, brings more joy than trouble for Tsh Oxenreider and her family.
In Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, she shares strategies that helped her when she relocated for work, married, and started a family while living in Turkey. Later, moving back to the US and settling in Texas and then Oregon, the customs of other cultures nagged at her until she found ways to incorporate more sensible choices into their American life.
From rustic markets selling produce picked only hours before, to the slower ways of life, readers will identify with the plight of young parents who seek a life lived slowly, rich with meaning.
Oxenreider created an income stream through her blog, TheArtofSimple.net, and endorses a lifestyle rich with quality, relationships, and greater meaning, to achieve a better pace of life for her family, and appreciation for what they have, not what they desire. As she writes:
“I realized that unless our family made more intentional, proactive choices, instead of just wishing things weren’t so busy, we would be forever wanting a different life.”
Working in the online world, of course, has a downside for most of us. For Oxenreider’s family, running a successful blog as their primary income, the downside was that work is always a click away. As she says: “There is no ‘The End’ to the Internet. Never before in history have we been given the keys to be able to work and earn money doing what we love. And yet never before have we been so eagerly invited to work 24/7, without ever a chance to feel done. It’s hard to slow down when the race has no finish line.”
If you wonder where to find the time to run a business and maintain a growing family, the author explains how she finds time for writing books and blogs. “I steal away the hours nobody wants from me anyway. I make the most of my stage in life and my body’s natural rhythms, and I work as hard as I can, as fast as I can, when I’m not needed elsewhere.” Oxenreider makes this choice in order to be intentional with her time, getting more done in the available blocks of time, and enjoying the non-work hours as a reward.
The book’s appendix includes information on the savvy financial planning the Oxenreider family put into place, to get out of debt, live well, and continue to travel the world with their three children, living with intention.
If a simpler life with rich meaning appeals to you instead of working for more money to buy more manufactured goods, isolating family members amid gadgets and tech toys, consider the options presented in Notes from a Blue Bike.
“In the midst of all these messages vying for our attention, let the crux of this book sit in your belly and rumble true: we were made to live with intention. … Don’t waste your years punching time clocks, sacrificing your ideas and passions and relationships without purpose.”
If you’re ready to recalibrate your values, Notes from a Blue Bike may inspire you with small changes you can make today. Above all, it serves as a reminder that we do have choices. We have the freedom to change some of the things we do in our lives, to better align our values and passions.