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Thinking More About Family

by Tom Johnson on Jul 25, 2011 •
categories: family

When I think about my past, the only thing that matters -- or at least so it seems -- is family. Looking at old pictures of the kids, how they have changed. How Shannon and I have changed too. It puts life in perspective. I need to prioritize my life so that, going forward, I do things that have the most value. It almost sounds cliche to write it, but when I think of the past, all that seems to matter is family, family, family. Everything else is secondary.

Lately I've gotten into a habit of watching tv at night, when I'm too tired to do anything else. The problem is that I end up staying up much later than I normally would. The next day, I'm sluggishly tired.

I asked Avery for advice. She recommended that I read a book I like at night instead of watching tv. The way Avery reads is really amazing -- she has a voracious appetite for books. I decided to try out her advice the other night. Instead of watching a stupid espionage movie, I started reading some stories in Dispensation, a book Shannon gave to me for Christmas. I read a story by Brian Evanston, and then one by Brady Udall. I didn't finish Udall's "Buckeye the Elder" that night, but I kept thinking about it at church the next day. As soon as I came home I finished it. It works.

I like asking Avery for advice. The kid has some genuine insight into things. It's quite amazing, actually. I really like my children. They have a kind of wisdom that cuts through the unnecessary complications that I have come to see life with. I like confiding with Avery about the issues I face, and then asking for her thoughts.

Life is too short to spend it watching tv. I think I will try an experiment. We will go on three fun adventures a week. If the kids don't want to go, we just change the adventure until everyone does want to go. Also, I will stop watching tv. Baby steps. I know there is so much more, but just giving my time seems to be the most important element.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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