We’re obsessed with time, and here’s why that’s a good thing
They say time and the tide wait for no man. I remember growing up near the beach and hearing that for the first time. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, being a young 5 year old. My grandfather wouldn’t explain it, he took joy knowing that he had me intrigued. If I was that interested in finding out what it meant I would just have to spend more time thinking about the phrase. I did spend a lot of time that summer thinking about what it could mean. Did it mean that the time was dependent on the tide? Did the tide drive the time? I had no idea but I did have a lot of time.
I became enthralled with time. I needed a great watch.
When I was 6 I asked for a watch for Christmas. My parents looked at me as if I had something wrong. I told them I wanted a watch and I was going to stick to it. Not an analogue one, a real one. An old fashioned looking one with two hands on the dial. They asked if I knew how to read the time that way – I didn’t, but it didn’t matter. I knew that I’d be able to learn eventually.
Everything had a time attached to it. The watch helped me sort everything out.
I quickly realized that grown ups organize their lives around what time of day it is. I noticed that my father would be in the shower at 0700 every morning. By 730 he’d be drinking the coffee on the deck and by 0800 he would be out the door. Of course, this wasn’t set in stone, but it was pretty accurate. There were some other interesting timings I noticed around my house. My mother preferred to get up around 730; and although she didn’t work she did have her own schedule to keep. Her soaps came on at 0900 and lasted until lunch, which was either at noon or 1300, depending on the day of the week. I suspect it had something to do with the soap opera schedule but I never got that far.
Fast forward to college.
I was trapped by time – just like everyone else. I depended on my watch now more than ever. There were some classes i only had a few minutes in between so I would really have to hustle across the campus. The best part was that everyone else was rushing around just like me. We all had places to go and things to do. We all thought what we were doing as individuals was more important than what anyone else was doing. We were wrong, of course, no one is more important than someone else – especially on a college campus. I had my watch though, the same one I had when I was six.
Photography changed everything.
I started photographing weddings when I was 25. It was during the summer of my second year at college. I needed to get some extra cash and I didn’t really like the traditional work like everyone else did. It made me cringe to think about working in a factory. I had been interested in photography from a young age, not as interested as I was in time, mind you, but interested none the less. With the breakthrough of digital cameras came a wave of wedding photography that swept across the nation. 30 years ago a wedding photographer was known by his skill. Clients would refer her or him because they were happy with his work. There was no internet or websites – you literally took someones word on it when they told you they were going to do a great job.
Success early on because of one thing
I always made sure I maintained communication with my clients throughout the entire booking process. In this day and age I feel there is no excuse not to be very fast when returning correspondence. People expect timely responses, especially if they are going to be paying you thousands of dollars to do work for them. Do you see how time demands attention if you want to be successful? I always respected time because I knew that it was limited. There is a finite amount of time we have on this planet, recognizing this made me understand why it was so important for me to maintain fast responses with my clients. They were on a timeline. Not only that, but after the wedding was completed they would be expecting their photos within the time-frame I had laid out for them. If I am tardy getting back to a simple email, can I be trusted to deliver the photos on time? The more you look into the more you understand why time is so important. It’s a resource and if you take that away from somebody it’s just like taking cash from their pocket.
What kind of gift should you get your groomsmen? Your best man?
I’ve talked about this subject several times on this blog. It’s a popular question that people who are getting married have. Wedding gifts are fickle – you don’t want to get something tacky, you don’t want to get something cliche, and you don’t want to get something that appears cheap. You really don’t want to get them something that looks like you put about zero thought into it. So what does that leave you with? One of the go to gifts I always recommend for groomsmen or a best man is a watch. Of course, watches come in all shapes and size and prices. They come in styles that are trendy but won’t last, they come in styles that are timeless. You can get the back engraved or you can leave it as is. First, you need to know what kind of man is your best man?
Know your best man – know what he wants
If you think you know what type of style your best man has then picking a watch as a gift for him should be a realtively easy task. If you don’t know what kind of style is there are a few things you can do:
- Enlist your future wife or her bridesmaids
- Does he have a significant other? Ask her!
- Do you ever see him wearing a watch? What kind is it? Is it flashy, classic?
Enlist your future wife or her bridesmaids
Why I like this option is because you don’t have to go outside of your inner circle. Also, if your best man is married and you ask his wife what kind of watch to get him… well, there is a chance she might tell him. How could she you ask? Well, if you are a future groom then you have a lot to learn about marriage. One of the first things you are going to learn is that there are no secrets in a marriage. My wife and I tell each other everything, all the time. If someone asked her what to get me as a gift I’m pretty sure she would tell me in confidence. Of course I would make sure I seemed surprised when I got the gift but let’s face it, I knew all along. So using your own future wife or her bridesmaids clearly has it’s advantages. You get the opinion of most likely some very fashionable women and you can buy a watch with the confidence that comes with that.
Asking his significant other
We just talked about the reasons why you wouldn’t want to ask your best mans significant other what type of watch to buy for him. Let’s talk about why you might want to ask her what type of watch to get for him. First off, they may not be married yet. This means you still have a chance that she won’t tell him the secret. This is good. Obviously, she is going to know what he will wear regularly and what he is going to wear only when he is around you. He would do this, of course, because he felt bad he didn’t like the watch you bought for him. So asking her does have some positives. This way, you also have someone else to blame if he doesn’t like it. “Your wife helped me pick it out!” is a good fall back if needed.
Just be observant.
This is the easiest one and what you are probably going to go with. You should have no problem discerning what type of watch your best man would like to wear just by paying attention to the watch or types of watches he wears on a daily basis. If he likes them with a huge dial get him one with a huge dial. If you see him wearing one that is more classic and elegant then look for one like that. The key is to make sure you are original with the watch you get him. Don’t get him one that is exactly like one he already has. Get him one that is kind of like a watch he already has. This way, you know he is going to appreciate the gift you got for him. To find the best men watch for wedding, I recommend you to take a look at a watch review website which has nice list of affordable watches.
Back to the time and the tide
Why I think a watch is such a timeless gift is pretty simple. Time is the thing that determines our lives. How we pay attention to it, how we use it. Some people live a happy life making sure they account for every second of their day. They feel like that couldn’t live without a strict schedule – and that’s fine for them. I gave up on following a clock so closely. I found it took over the moment, and the moment is what we are really after, not time.
A moment, if you please.
Moments are all around us. In fact, we only ever have the moment’ and nothing else. It’s what all the yogi’s are trying to acheive, that is, to really experience the moment. We all fall into a trap of thinking about the future as well as the past. During this thinking time we forget to enjoy what it is we are actually doing right now. What are you doing right now? Well, reading this blog post about what kind of watch to buy for your best man. That’s thoughtful. Now, when you finish this, what are you going to do? Are you caught up in thinking about what you are going to do at work tomorrow? Or how you are going to spend your weekend? This is not thinking in the moment. You should go purchase your best man that watch as a gift and then call him up to visit.
Spending moments together
I feel this is the most important thing we can do with our time. When we are socializing we are happy. Humans are social beings and we crave other peoples attention. It’s only natural that we would enjoy spending time together. Just last week I met with my best friend in the city I live (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and we had coffee and went for a walk along the waterfront. In this day and age of social networking we can get so caught up in not actually spending time with the people we truly care about. When I would go for walks along the beach with my grandfather I was really enjoying those moments. I didn’t know it, but I was living in the moment. I hope you can live in the moment as well. I also figured out what he meant when he said, “time and the tide wait for no man.” He knew life was full of moments and it’s up to each and everyone of us to make the most of them. No one is going to do it for you. You’ve got the time now, so get up and do it!