Monday was Mr C’s 28th birthday. I mean, it’s nothing on the big 3.0. that I’m turning in June, but we had to let him have his day, didn’t we? 😉 I struggle with gifts for him these days, basically because I’m an epic gift giver and I’ve done so well year after year that now I’m out of ideas! I’ll show you how I managed to out-do myself once again with an engraved wooden watch gift in just a sec, but first I want to talk about something else.
I want to talk about the value of time.
Unplugging from the Matrix
No, I don’t mean the film. I’m talking about stepping away from the online world, specifically social media. When you blog or work online, it can become seriously difficult to extract yourself from that world. Everything you do is virtual, your phone is constantly beeping or vibrating to remind you that you’re missing out on everything the social world has to offer.
I’m no stranger to this. I find myself glued to my phone or PC well into the early hours most nights. I tell myself that I have to be there, it’s my job to be there. And for the most part, I suppose it is.
But switching off on Monday for some much needed family time (and cake) reminded me the value of stepping away sometimes.
And guess what? Nothing imploded.
The internet didn’t crash beyond repair, my site and business didn’t disappear, and no one even noticed I was gone (well, maybe a little).
What’s Your Why?
You might have heard me talk about finding your why before, and it’s just as relevant here. Yes, unplugging can be tough to do, especially if your work is online. Sure, some people might be expecting you to reply to their DM’s in an instant.
But the thing is, they’re expecting that because it’s what we’ve always done. We’re conditioned to believe that social interactions should be instant and available 24/7.
The reality is that if I called my friend, or the shop down the road that fixes computers, at 3am they probably wouldn’t answer. They’d get back to me at a sensible hour.
If you blog or work online as your job, I’m going to guess that your ‘why’ when you started out wasn’t;
“to sap all my time and energy so that I feel stressed and constantly plugged in.”
Here’s what I think; I think your why is probably similar to mine;
“to create a life whereby I can support my family while being truly present”
Am I right?
The value of time
Most of us are parents, so we can all appreciate the value of time. I don’t need to tell you that when you become a parent, time becomes one of the most precious commodities we have.
Whether it’s finding more time to be ourselves outside of mamahood, or cherishing the time we have with our families, time is important.
The gift of time is the single most important thing we can give to our kids. They don’t need fancy toys, the latest gadgets, or the most fashionable clothes. They don’t need (and probs won’t eat) gourmet food, and they don’t care about overflowing bank balances (yet).
What they do care about is our time.
Give the gift of time
On Monday, taking the whole day off and switching off (almost) entirely from the Matrix of my online business, I reminded myself of this.
We had a fabulous day together as a family. We checked out a local art exhibition, had a wander around town, ate cake for breakfast and had a birthday meal out.
We finished up the day with a quick kick about the local park, with Mr C sporting his very own wooden watch gift of time 😉
It was thinking about all this that gave me the idea for Mr C’s birthday present. He’s a bit of a watch fanatic, and I knew that a new one would be a great gift. But it wouldn’t be the first watch I’ve bought him, so I needed to make this one special.
I started thinking about engraved watches, and how a watch is the perfect symbol of time. Watches as gifts are timeless, and an engraved watch with the right message is a timeless piece.
I wanted to give him a gift to remind him how precious our time is, and how important we are as a family. I wanted to say;
“Even though I’m always glued to the PC, working until 3am, and plugged into the matrix more than I should be, I’m doing it for us. For time.”
I loved the idea of a wooden watch, too. Wood has this beautiful timeless feel to it that I just don’t think metal does. Wood ages gorgeously, and I love the idea that as it ages his watch will become more beautiful, peppered with the marks of its adventures, just like our family will.
Quality over Quantity
Just like the time we spend together, I wanted to make sure that Mr C’s gifts this year were quality items, rather than focussing on lots of parcels.
His watch from GiftsOnline4U totally hit the nail on the head in that respect. The engraving on the back is gorgeous and clear, and I really couldn’t have hoped for any better.
The vivid blue-green colour of the face is gorgeous. I’d half expected it to arrive and not be quite as vivid as the image on the website (as so often happens, annoyingly), but it really is beautiful. It’s perfect for Mr C’s bright and fun summer style, but keeps it classy with the wood.
I was so impressed at how well the watch was packaged when it arrived, lovingly wrapped in bubble wrap to keep it safe (and the kids occupied 😉 ) and it arrived so quickly after I ordered it that I almost missed it!
I’ll be honest, I don’t really have the kind of admiration over watches that Mr C does, so the absolute piece de resistance for me was finding a little bag of retro style sweets when I when I opened the parcel. Needless to say I kept those very well hidden from prying fingers!
Speaking of time…
As much of a fabulous gift giver as I am, I nearly always leave it to the scariest part of the last minute when I buying birthday gifts. I have a billion great ideas, but don’t actually get around to executing them until it’s almost too late. Ridiculous really, given that I’m at my PC for most of every day!
I’m ashamed to say, but not too proud to admit, this time was no exception. In fact, given that I wanted the watch engraved, I was almost certain it would never arrive on time.
Needless to say, I was both ecstatic and extremely surprised when it arrived just three days after I ordered it. Nope, that’s not a typo – three days! For a personalised engraved piece, I was really shocked at just how quick the delivery was. Once the shock dissipated, I was just left with the worry of where to hide it before the big day, which wasn’t something I’d anticipating being a problem.
If you’re finding yourself plugged in way more than you should be, stressed out with social media and general ‘online-ness’, may advice is to step away. Think about your why, what are you trying to create with your blog or business?
If the whole point is to create more special time with your family, then make sure you’re doing that.
Hustle when the time is right, grow your business. Just remember to switch off and unplug and enjoy what you’re creating.
And if you’re on the hunt for engraved gifts for men, that special timeless gift to remind someone how precious time really is, I highly recommend a beautiful, timeless watch like the one from GiftsOnline4U. Nothing says time better than time. And if wood isn’t your bag, then they do a whole range that are well worth checking out. You really are spoiled for choice.