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 Valentines Mug shots from Max and Kate

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

Lately I’ve been wrestling with what I’ve decided is an addiction to noise. Our modern lives are filled with it: email, radio, television, internet, twitter, facebook, smart phones, tablets, LinkedIn, Pinterest (for the girls), etc. I started reading a book by Bryan Brooks called “Creating a Tech Sabbath Habit” and am hoping to make some changes in our family’s life.

It didn’t take me long to realize that everything Bryan was talking about was reflected in how I’ve been living. I wake up in the night and check my phone for new emails or texts, I look at twitter at red lights or in stand still traffic, I turn on the television as soon as I wake up just for background noise, I get caught up looking up things online and delaying more important tasks, I always listen to something in the car, etc. There is truely never a silent moment in my life right now. Compound that with the lack of sleep I’m getting right now and it’s a bad recipe. And yes, I see the irony in typing this on a computer.

Izzy, it really sank in last night when i went to pick you up from gymnastics. I’d driven home from work in complete silence instead of listening to anything – just to see if I could stand it. It was refreshing just to be quiet. I felt good about it when I got to the gym, but was saddened when I saw the other parents. I counted 5 laptops, 3 tablets, and too many smart phones to count all in use; adults starring at them as if hypnotized. Literally none of the other parents were watching their kids finish up gymnastics practice. I wondered to myself “what could be more important on facebook or twitter right now than watching your child?” Izzy, you glanced over at me frequently to see if I was watching you practice. I was proud that I was, in fact, watching rather than surfing for more garbage online or reading work emails after hours. I was sad the other parents missed those moments of eye contact with their kids. I think modern parents discount just how important simply watching and giving a thumbs up or mouthing a “wow!” can be to their kids.

Going forward I want to create a noise free day for our family. It’ll start with me first. No radio, tv, phone, social media, computer. I haven’t picked a day yet, but will soon. I think this is the Sabbath that Bryan Brooks was talking about in his book. We started limiting TV time this week, so that’s a first step for all of us.

Izzy, I’ve been telling you about the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I used to read as a kid. I’m going to find you one today!

I swam 1700 this morning at 5:15am. The pool was crowded for some reason. I didn’t feel great in the water the first half, but really found a good groove towards the end. I was getting stronger as the workout wore on. That’s a good sign.

I have an easy 4.5 mile run left for today. This weekend holds a 35 mile ride on Sat and a 9 mile run on Sun.

Je t’aime,

– Daddy

ps. Mommy sent me this quote and I think it’s applicable to this letter:

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.”
–John Lubbock


Swam 1700 as: 3 x 100 (s/p/k) / 850 straight at half iron pace / 50 kick / 5 x 100 pull

Run 4.5 miles at easy/moderate pace