We were chatting in the car when she said, “Your generation won’t wear watches.” My head bobbed up and down. Obviously. Why would I need a watch? My phone can do all of that.
Then...I got a watch.
It all started because of a memory. I’ll never forget the sound of my mom’s high heels clicking down the hallway. It was the epitome of adulthood and I couldn’t wait until it was my turn.
Of course, my own adulthood has turned out to be pretty different. Leggings and messy buns define my days more than a delicate necklace and a day timer. But I suspect the struggle of women is the same for all times. This immense struggle to manage not only our own time, but everyone else’s around us.
I’ll confess, I was failing at it.
I’d drop appointments, practices, meetings, and coffee dates into my phone with the touch of button. Then I would spend most of my time in a flurry trying to get us to all the places we needed to be and in between? I would be forever trying to find my phone so I could figure out what time it was. And, you know this struggle, I would mean to just glance at the time and then find myself still scrolling twenty minutes later.
It was frustrating and causing our days to be far more frantic than necessary.
Where was the adulthood I had longed for?
I was desperate for some semblance of order. I was losing time all day scrolling on my phone and I wanted to find time to be active and in charge of my own life. So I plugged my phone in on my bedroom nightstand and walked away.
That failed too, because that’s where the appointments where, the clock, and all the information we needed to get through our day.
So I bought a planner. A big paper one and I bled ink all over that thing. It turns out when you have to write it all down until your hand cramps and the page is filled, you find that you really can give a few extra things up. You find that your ink stained fingers tell you the truth when the alerts on your phone didn’t. When you have to make it fit on a page, you see what really fits and doesn’t fit in your.
The planner told us where we needed to be really. Not just in our day, but in our life.
The only piece still missing? A watch. Minimalist in every sense of the word. Not something to tell me how much more I could do, but to remind me how much I already have.
Particularly? A beautiful wooden watch with a champagne face. It’s classic, earthy, and it goes with absolutely everything. It delicately clacks when I shake my wrist and putting it on for the first time made me feel the most grown up I’ve ever managed to feel.
The planner may have told us where we needed to be, but that watch always reminds me to be all there.
Each tick of the second hand keeping perfect time to the rhythm of my real life. Minutes leave room for full deep breaths when you are looking into the face of a clock. The slow pace reminds me to look up and be present at whatever I’m doing. I don’t get lost mindlessly in someone else’s life, I find myself fully living in my own life.
There is something empowering about not having to scramble for a phone and something elegant about not always being distracted by notifications.
Maybe there is something even a little mysterious about a watch. My own kids grab my hand and pull it over to try and decipher the secret code that is Roman Numerals. They think it’s the most grown-up thing in the world. They long for the day it’s their turn.
Each night as I take it off I see the little engraving on the back. Present. And I think, “Yes.” I was present. This day was a gift. And all the time I found was a treasure.
A few tips for Maximizing your life:
Go Analog: The act of writing it down, watching it tick, or turning a page forces you to slow down and pay attention to what you are committing to. Possibly it’s less convenient, but they pay off of a life less crowded and more meaningful is totally worth it. I’d love to help you get started: JORD is giving away a unique wood watch to a reader. Sign up here.
Single Task: I know it’s tempting to try to make space by doing more things, everything about this idea seems counterintuitive. Still. It works. One thing at a time you start to feel less frantic, less rushed and far more willing to admit your actual capacity.
To Don’t List: It’s so easy to get sucked into every new and exciting thing that pops up. So make a list, not forever, just for this season, of what you won’t do. And while your at it, jot down why it’s not right for you right now, it’ll help keep you on track.
I’ve partnered with JORD watches to give one reader the gift of more time in your day. Click this link to go sign up to win a unique wood watch.
And I’d love for you to share with me in the comments, what would you engrave on the back of your watch?