I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Paris recently with Omega to meet the wonder that is Cindy Crawford and celebrate the ‘Her Time’ exhibition at the beautiful Hotel de Sully in Paris. We had dinner on a boat along the Seine, passing the ‘hideous’ glittering Eiffel tower and made time for cocktails in Le Meurice’s beautiful bar before heading out each evening… All in all, one of those ‘pinch me’ kind of work trips that feel far too special for a scruff like me.
The exhibition itself revolves around a curated selection of women’s watches throughout the ages, from 18th century pendant watches, to modern Omega icons. Now, don’t get wrong, I appreciate a beautiful watch as much as the next person, but I’m no connoisseur so I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Turns out I like a beautiful watch more than I thought…. Prior to partying in the rain with the Crawford clan, we met Cindy herself for a quick chit chat, from everything from watches to walking in the recent Versace show to how Kaia found her signature, standout walk that’s graced every major catwalk this season (hint, it’s all Kaia). Note to self, don’t wear baggy boy jeans and biker boots to meet a 5ft 10 supermodel… I looked like a chimney sweep; Cindy looked a million bucks. No surprise there then. One thing I really loved that we spoke about was her relationship with Omega… She’s been an ambassador of sorts with them for over 20 years (‘I’ve been married to Omega longer than my husband’ she quipped) and unlike so many brands and companies in recent history, Omega have allowed Cindy to grow with them. Rather than having another, younger model usurp her (I mean, why would you let’s be honest), they’ve supported each other for two decades which really made me admire and respect Omega as a brand even more too. While in Paris, Omega welcomed Crawford’s ridiculously good looking offspring into the Omega fold with Kaia and Presley Gerber announced as global ambassadors. The new wave of Omega wearers if you will, complete with some seriously enviable family portraits by Peter Lindberg to go with. Unlike so many other ‘ambassador’ roles, this clan makes so much sense given their mother’s loyalty to Omega and vice versa their entire lives.
However it was the name of the exhibition that got me thinking; Her time. Because how often do we really get ‘her time’? I feel like the pursuit of having it all still haunts us as women today (Baby Boom was released in 1987 and still feels relevant today) and when we’re not working (which for me, isn’t that often lately), or raising kids, or making time for family or boyfriends or husbands, we’re filling our diary with social stuff to keep up with friends, and when we’re not filling our time we’re cleaning the clothes and dishes and apartments that get dirty while doing all the other stuff. Essentially there are never enough hours in the day. Recently, my life feels like it’s been all work, no play for weeks if not months now. Leaking ceilings, builders in the flat, dozens of projects, four family birthdays, lots of work travel… so the rare moments I do get to myself are spent on the sofa, in front of a box set which is as close to meditation as I get right now. We hear a lot about self-care and the need for it but putting it into practise can be tough. I really believe in needing solo time and looking after yourself, especially as an introvert by nature, but in stressful times of year, even the best intentions can get swamped and forgotten. However, travelling a lot for work, often by myself, has opened one specific period of time I’ve come to saviour, and that’s solo hotel time. There’s something indulgent and personal about being alone in a hotel. Want to watch re-runs of Modern Family or Friends on repeat while you get ready or eat cold French Fries left over from room service? Go right ahead! There’s no housework to do, no cooking to be done, no room to tidy… I know I sound like a disgruntled teenager right now, but when you’re run ragged sometimes it’s about savouring the small moments in the free time we do get. I know it’s a luxury to have time alone in a hotel, but work trips are work trips and often there’s nowhere you’d rather be than your own bed or at the birthday party you’re missing. So while it’s luxurious and often part of an amazing experience, it’s still work and finding a few hours for myself in a hotel allows me to stay well, stay grounded and keep feeling like myself. This might all sound like nonsense if you’re an all-out extrovert or never had a bout of anxiety in your life, so apologies if you have no idea of what I’m banging on about.
But for me, it’s one of the few times I’ll actually have a bath or put a mask on or drink a diet coke in bed. It’s spoiling and even if you’re there for work, the hours in between can feel like a mini getaway if you let it… On this Omega trip, we were staying in Le Meurice, one of the most beautiful, spoiling hotels in Paris. A classic old world hotel with white table cloths, chandeliers and marble bathrooms making the ‘Her Time’ all the sweeter… But time for yourself doesn’t have to be so specific and so outwardly glamorous. At home, I often find a podcast in the back of an Uber or the top deck of the bus works wonders for my mood, or going for a walk through a park just because if you can find a spare hour even more so. Mindless online shopping late at night (not to be that horrible senseless consumer or anything!) or making a cup of tea in silence before having a shower in the morning; tiny moments we normally don’t think about but if you turn it into a mini ritual, sometimes these everyday things start to feel more precious and often, much-needed.
Where do you find time for just you? Even if it’s just a minute today?
Ph. by myself and Kelly Eastwood using the Olympus Mujju
Created in collaboration with Omega. Direction and ideas all my own.