Time with my family

Wed, 3 Apr 2024

Now in my mid-forties, I increasingly appreciate time spent with my spouse, children, siblings, and parents. Nothing nourishes and uplifts me more, comforts me more in uncertainty, or provides me with more clarity and energy to focus on projects in life and work than spending time with my family. It is a great privilege and a blessing that these relationships are positive.

Dedicated self-reflection led me to prioritize family time, and systems are now in place to preserve the likelihood of my spending time in this way.

Eileen and I meet daily to plan our days and support one another. In focused moments, I listen to each of my daughters talk about what they’re doing or excited about, and sometimes I take them on “truck dates” where we go somewhere nearby with a snack and talk for a little while.

I chat with each of my parents at regular times each week. I tried this with my brothers, but our combined schedules make it too unpredictable. Instead, we message occasionally and annually we hang out for a weekend, doing the stuff we used to do as kids.

It’s hard to capture how special these times are to me, and how deeply satisfying it is to have invested my life in these ways. I have tried, in Oliver Burkeman’s words, to treat each experience “with the reverence we’d show if it were the final instance of it” … and to also recognize that it is “incomprehensibly miraculous to have been granted any time at all”. Quotes from Four Thousand Weeks.