Monday, July 27, 2020

Adventures in Opting Out by Cait Flanders

Adventures in Opting Out by Cait Flanders 
Publisher: Little, Brown Spark
Publication Date [expected]: September 15th, 2020
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Publisher's description:

Opt out of expectations and live a more intentional life with this refreshing guide from the national bestselling author of The Year of Less.

We all follow our own path in life. At least, that's what we're told. In reality, many of us either do what is expected of us, or follow the invisible but well-worn paths that lead to what is culturally acceptable. For some, those paths are fine -- even great. But they leave some of us feeling disconnected from ourselves and what we really want to do. When that discomfort finally outweighs the fear of trying something new, we're ready to opt out.

After going through this process many times, Cait Flanders found there is an incredible parallel between taking a different path in life and the psychological work it takes to summit a mountain -- especially when you decide to go solo. In Adventures in Opting Out, she offers a trail map to help you with both. As you'll see, reaching the first viewpoint can be easy -- and it offers a glimpse of what you're walking toward. Climbing to the summit for the full view is worth it. But in the space between those two peaks you will enter a world completely unknown to you, and that is the most difficult part of the path to navigate.

With Flanders's guidance and advice, drawn from her own journey and stories of others, you'll have all the encouragement and insight you'll need to take the path less traveled and create the life you want. Just step up to the trailhead and expect it to be an adventure.

My review

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

I read Cait Flanders's first book, The Year of Less, three times... well, read it twice and listened to it once. It certainly is the book that planted the seed of minimalism into my brain. I'm FAR from a minimalist in my home yet... I have YEARS of stuff to get rid of first - not only my own stuff but multiple family members' stuff that got foisted upon me from their estates. I come from a long line of packrats and magpies. After having been nearly 100% responsible for cleaning out TWO giant houses filled with "things" now, I am NOT going to do that to my children... or continue to do it to myself! I think this book is an excellent followup to the intentional living mindset Ms Flanders laid out so well in her first book. I also think this book stands alone.

I will say it took me a bit to get into the groove of her hiking analogy she uses throughout the book. I will likely reread this book as well and, I'm sure, get even more out of it the second time through. The thing that really sticks out to me though is how much I want to gift this book to all the young people I know! I followed the path my family taught me was safe for too long and came to my life's passion much later than I would have liked. I love that she paints a realistic, though also optimistic, picture of "opting out"... taking YOUR own path even if no one has taken it before. Ms Flander's life and my own can't be much more different and yet I still get so much out of her words for myself. I especially think some of the vibrant young adults I know would get even more from this book... and hopefully (if they actually read it), it will spark a fire in them to find or continue on a path that is right for them and not just the one everyone else tells them to follow.