Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider greatly resonated with me in many ways, particularly in philosophy of life, and how that has played out in similar family situations. Like the Oxenreider family, we love slow food with a willingness to do it 80/20, we have three kids (but with one on the way!), we have an insatiable appetite for travel, and we are passionate about teaching our children to be globally informed. Our kids also all have updated passports…just in case. And the similarities continue; I mean, I’ve even nursed an infant strapped in a carseat, too!
While going through the book, I mentioned to my husband Daniel that it was really good and he should read it. “Oh? What’s it about?” he replied. That was a question somewhat difficult to answer, as the book is sort of a collective of thoughts, or well, notes from a blue bike. But a look at the table of contents may help break down the categories a little: food, work, education, travel, and entertainment are a few of the categories Tsh breaks the book into. If you’re familiar with Tsh’s previous works (Organized Simplicity, One Bite at a Time, and her network of The Art of Simple community blogs), you’ll simply see her philosophy of living applied and flowing through each of these sometimes seemingly unrelated categories.
In summation, this book is an encouragement to slow down and live life with intention. Oxenreider shows that even in changing circumstances, chaotic environments, and unknown futures, life can be lived this way. (That’s good, because that’s a good description of our lives in recent years, too!) The audience is definitely a middle class, semi-intellectual one (though quite the broad range), but for that audience, this is a great reminder of the need for slowness, decisiveness, and intentionality.