As a twenty-something working in retail, I sometimes feel guilty that I can't spend the kind of long and drawn out quality time with my family and friends. Everyone wants to be able to fit everything into their schedules: have a stellar career, see the people they love, have a social life, etc. However,it's impossible for me to do a multitude of things and do them well. This is obviously no way to live long-term, and no matter how busy I am I know it's crucial to spend quality time with the people I care about. Whether it’s hanging with family, friends, colleagues, or old friends you don’t get to see often, it’s important to make sure the time you get to spend with them is as meaningful as possible. I've come up with simple and easy ways to make sure that the time you spend with loved ones feels fulfilling. Everyone has their own way of turning off and tuning out the stressors of daily life, and these are the ones that I feel would work best.
Plan ahead. Unfortunately, the very unsexy part of a busy working professional, was understanding just how far in advance you need to plan things with certain people. Yes I have friends that live close by who I can drop in on or text the day of, but sometimes scheduling a day needs to be mapped out weeks in advance. While we all live about ~40 minutes away from one another, coordinating schedules and freeing up a weekend where we can all get together sometimes feels like mission control. But when you plan ahead you ensure that everyone will be on the same page. It’s really helpful to have something specific planned for when you get together with friends you haven’t seen in a while. When I would first plan meet-ups with my group of friends from high school, we would all massively group chat “let’s do something Saturday the X.” The date would soon roll around and pass by because something came up on someone’s calendar, and we would have to reschedule. I’ve found that it’s easier to plan time seeing loved ones when there is a specific activity involved. Asking to meet up on Saturday night for dinner and a movie feels like more of a concrete activity that can’t be forgotten (or replaced by something else) as easily as the vague memory that you should have “kept that night open” can.
Give technology a pause. I am always near a phone or a very short distance away from a computer, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve become increasingly more anxious when my phone isn’t around. This is objectively terrible because I hate the idea that some has that kind of pull over me, but it’s a balance I’m still trying to work out. However, I do know that when it comes to getting real, meaningful, and focused quality time with loved ones, the phone needs to go. While it might just be a few minutes checking email, or scrolling Instagram while someone looks at a menu, it’s distracting. When I’m out spending time with my family I try to leave my phone in my pocket, so I’m not tempted to take it out or look down. This allows me to truly focus on the conversation, the nuances of body language, etc. It’s hard to stay in the moment when I can see my phone flashing out of the corner or my eye, or a new “like” pops up on my home screen. I’ve found that it’s for me to temporarily unplug from technology when I need to unwind and relax.
It might seem strange, but I’ve learned that what you do and an actual meet up can be just as important as the time spent hanging out itself. For example, when you have something planned with someone for say, a Friday night, start reaching out a few days before to let the person know how much I’m looking forward to seeing them, how excited you are to catch up, try the new restaurant, etc. Then afterwards, always text something to let them know how much you appreciate them making time to get together, or how much you enjoyed what you talked about, etc. It ends the time you’ve spent with someone on a positive note that lets them know you don’t take them for granted — that you truly appreciate them and are willing to send a small gesture their way to prove it.
Above are a few points on how to maximize your time with loved ones, but the most important tool to make sure I remember is this timepiece by Medium Watches. When I discovered this Calgary-based brand through a press release, I was instantly hooked. Honestly a minimalist's dream watch, and I love the difference in sizes between the women's (The Debut - 36mm) and men's (The Intro - 40mm) collections.
I was on a phase during the early winter when I was gravitating towards burgundy tones. Without a doubt, the Debut in Gold/Red Wine caught my eye. An easy piece to wear from day to night and compliments every look. The best part is I finally found a watch that fits my wrist perfectly! As for the gents, the Intro in White/Grey is exactly what the description on the website says, "Clean. Thin. Modern." It's an accessory for all occasions.
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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Photography by: Tai Moir