The author of Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, TSH Oxenreider, has the same goal I have, but I’m not sure the end result will look anything the same. Still I’m trying to glean the concepts from this book to apply to my own life.
She is trying to live an expat life at home; trying to live a slower life in the US; trying to capture whatever it is that makes us savor life while living abroad.
I’ve lived abroad twice and every time I return, I hope and plan to keep a European lifestyle and every time I return, I quickly get caught up in hurried American life. Sure, I’ll be slow for a few weeks or months, I’ll take tea breaks and lunch breaks and go for walks, but before I know it I’m 100% American again.
After I failed at this goal so many times, God sent me a husband who lives at that other speed to stand beside me and slow me down every step of the way. Except I still leave the house on my own and work at my own American pace five days a week.
I need to be intentional about being slow.
Although I think it is more than slow. I actually think maybe savoring is a better word. At any physical speed, it’s savoring life that is important.
Tsh, this author, starts her quest to have her Turkish style life in Oregon by making a list of the things she valued in Turkey. My list will be different. It’s still a work in progress. I’m asking myself, what things give me that feeling of savoring life, enjoying the moment, and slowing down. Without a doubt, one of those things is food.
Just the smell of the tomatoes cooking on the stove to make this delicious Iranian rice dish, sent my whole mind and emotions into a state of rest and savoring.
I’m still having a hard time laying my finger on the real difference between American life and other life, but I’m on a mission to find it. It’s very tangible. It’s just hard to describe.
And it’s not just the difference between real life and vacation. I LIVED there. I had bills, a job and a schedule.
But, I also took hourly tea or coffee breaks and studied while drinking tea being kept warm over an open flame.
I’m still figuring it out, but I’m enjoying reading this family’s journey.