The Four Stages of Life

Mark Manson wrote a piece on the four different stages of life.

Stage Three is the great consolidation of one’s life. Out go the
friends who are draining you and holding you back. Out go the
activities and hobbies that are a mindless waste of time. Out go the
old dreams that are clearly not coming true anytime soon.

Then you double down on what you’re best at and what is best to you. You double down on the most important relationships in your life. You double down on a single mission in life, whether that’s to work on the world’s energy crisis or to be a bitching digital artist or to become an expert in brains or have a bunch of snotty, drooling children. Whatever it is, Stage Three is when you get it done.

I’m still working hard to find out what I’m best at. I call it Stage 2.5.

★ Apple Watch: My Thoughts

I’ve had my Apple Watch for two weeks. There has been much written about this product and I certainly have read most of those articles while trying to decide if I wanted one for myself. My wife graciously bought me one for my birthday so the decision was made for me.

I got the 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Apple Watch Sport. It comes with the black sport band but I also purchased a white sport band. I think the gray aluminum contrasts nicely with the white band. I’ve worn watches on and off since I was a kid. My dad handed down my first watch, a Timex Ironman Triathlon with Indiglo. Most recently, I’ve worn a Kenneth Cole watch, and a couple of Nixon watches; The Banks and The Chronicle. Whether I realized it or not, I’ve always enjoyed wearing watches, as both an accessory and as a gadget with the Timex. When the Apple Watch was announced, I wasn’t completely sold on it. As I read the initial reviews and a few more in depth ones, I changed my mind.

From L to R: Kenneth Cole, The Banks, The Chronicle, Apple Watch
From L to R: Kenneth Cole, The Banks, The Chronicle, Apple Watch
The Banks. Wearing Space Black since 2006.
The Banks. Wearing Space Black since 2006.
The Chronicle
The Chronicle

I stopped wearing a watch around the time I got my iPhone. It was cool to have an iPhone in those early years and I didn’t mind taking it out to check the time. You don’t realize it but it is very inconvenient to have to reach into your pocket and take out your phone just to check the time. Often, my hands are full while out running errands and pulling out my phone to check the time is impossible. Looking at my wrist to check the time instead of reaching for my phone is MUCH easier when you’re out and about. The raise your wrist action to activate the screen has been accurate about 90% of the time. Annoying when it doesn’t turn on, but not a deal breaker. I also tend to activate it while driving when I make turns. Not a big issue, but I do notice it when it turns on.

Receiving notifications was another feature I knew I would appreciate. Here’s a real life scenario that happened this week. My family and I were out to lunch. I waited in line to order while my wife took my stepdaughter and our newborn son to find a place to sit. She told me what she wanted and left to find us a table. Right before I got to the cashier to order, I felt a noticeable tap on my wrist. My wife texted me their drink orders. We were in a loud food court and I definitely would not have heard my phone go off in my pocket. And if I did, I’d have to reach in and unlock it to read her text. With the watch, all I had to do was raise my wrist and the text was right there. No need to tap or hit any buttons.

Modular Face
Modular Face
X-Large Face
X-Large Face
Simple Face
Simple Face
Utility Face
Utility Face

I also wanted the Apple Watch because I think it’s a really nice looking watch. Even with the display off, the all black face looks understatedly attractive. I love that you can switch faces as you please and there is sure to be one that you like. I’ve been switching between the Modular face and the Simple face. The watch complications are also extremely useful. If checking my phone for the time was the number one reason I took it out, the number two reason was to check the weather. I can now do it from my wrist with a quick glance. This by itself has saved me so much time.

There are so many other features that I haven’t had a chance to play around with. The health and fitness aspect is one that Apple is marketing and one that I haven’t tested out extensively. Third party apps are currently limited but that will change once the next version of watchOS comes out in the fall. For now, I use Dark Sky, Swarm, Do Button and Clear the most. I like to use Swarm check into restaurants and other venues to keep a record of what I do everyday. I no longer have to reach for my phone; I can do it from my Watch without seeming rude. I can control the lights in my apartment with Do Button which is linked to my WeMo Switch. Using Clear on Apple Watch for crossing off items on my grocery list is SO much better than taking out my phone each time to cross off an item.

The watch has seamlessly fit into my life and even at this early point, it would be a pain if I left home without it. This is NOT an iPhone replacement; it is a cool watch that does cool things. If you set your expectations like so, you’ll like the Apple Watch.