One of my favorite non-fiction writers, Tsh Oxenreider, released a new book today: Notes From A Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World. A few weeks ago I received an advance copy to review, and the book was a fascinating read. (I responded by sharing my path to an intentional life here.) Here are ten points I gleaned from Tsh in her latest book:
- I've got to try Tex Mex food. Originally I'm a Southern California girl, so I've had some delicious Mexican food, but Tsh makes me crave a trip to Austin.
- I need to get a world map for our dining room wall. We have travel photos, postcards, and a globe prominently featured in our home, but nothing can replace a world map in an often-used room.
- Traveling with children need not be feared. It doesn't even have to be intimidating. Plan ahead and parent as needed, but don't let the unexpected parts of travel hold your family back. Memories of shared family travel are worth making.
- There's a time and place when TV can be enjoyed--just be more purposeful about these times. I appreciate Tsh's story of swings in her family's TV use because we can all relate to the way in which media can subtly encroach on our time and relationships.
- Regularly "spacing out" has creative advantages. It's becoming so easy to let media fill all the little moments of our day. Setting limits on our attention allows ideas to flourish.
- My husband and I need to book a return trip to our honeymoon location (even if this trip is several years away). Revisiting can help us remember who we were and what we hoped for while we enjoy the present and script new dreams.
- Partial solutions are far better than fatalism. Like Tsh, I'm a perfectionist whose been through emotionally rough times, and I know how easy it is to view most options as dead ends. But even partial solutions give us power to change situations and offer more hope than our minds often want to admit.
- A quick monthly budget review brings mental peace. Coasting along (or heading for a financial fallout) is not half as rewarding as knowing that you're making tangible progress towards your financial goals.
- "Fair trade" might be a better label to shop for than organic. Quality food grown sustainably is worth paying for, but we Americans also need to enlarge our understanding of how our purchases impact others (and their land) worldwide.
- One family's choices to slow down can be the beginning of cultural change. Tsh recently wrote, "If the words in Blue Bike . . . help a few people slow down in a culture that's compulsively going 100 mph? And then another? And another? Well, the culture may very well change. How cool would that be? Amazing." If her vision resonates with you, share it--read her book and pass it on, share this post, and read about others who share her vision on the Blue Bike Blog Tour here.
What are you learning lately about living well?