Tim Allen On Family & Loss

One of the most famous TV dads in history, Tim Allen, covers the latest edition of AARP The Magazine. The Home Improvement star, 59, talks about life with daughters Katherine, 23, and Elizabeth, 3. He also touches on his sobriety and other personal struggles from which his accessible brand of comedy was born.

On his home life: “I used to live an isolated existence, even in relationships, but now my family knows me for who I really am. Mostly, that’s a good thing… Yesterday I was swimming with my 3 year-old, and I looked up and thought, ‘How wonderful this world is.’ We’re always searching for something, but it’s going to be all right. Stop fretting so much.”

On being present in your life: “I suggest it to everybody to engage as much as you can in life. Most human beings are disengaged all day, every day. You’re doing one thing but you’re thinking about your dry cleaning or ‘I’ve got this on Friday.’ It takes energy. God knows I’m not the Dalai Llama, but if you’re not careful and don’t find your center point, you end up sorta drifting through life sideways.”

On losing his father at age 11: “It changed everything forever. Part of me still doesn’t trust that things are going to work out all right. I knew my father was dead, but I was never satisfied with why he was dead. I wanted answers that minute from God. ‘Do you think this is funny? Do you think this is necessary?’ And I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with my creator ever since.”

On 14 years of sobriety: “Seeing the worst parts of my behavior helped me to understand the better parts. So while I’m still more anxious than I want to be most of the time, I’m far less anxious than I used to be. I was doing comedy clubs, concerts, movies and TV, and didn’t ever realize how fatigued I was or how much I was missing in my life.”

Tim is currently headlining a stand-up act at The Venetian in Las Vegas through the beginning of November.

For more from Tim, go to AARP

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