For the Love of Time: I’ll Have the Best Day, Please

Jo Durocher • Oct 2022 • 3 min read


A few weeks ago, something happened that led me to plan my days in a new way. On my own for the weekend, I had arranged to meet a longtime friend for lunch and a short hike. Because we live about two hours away from each other, we had planned on meeting about halfway. On the phone the evening before, choosing our gathering point, I realized I would have a longer drive to our destination than I originally thought: going there and back, I would end up with nearly three hours of driving. That stressed me out.

In the back of my mind were voices reminding me of everything I have on my plate these days: business owner work that’s been spilling into Saturdays lately, laundry piling up due to said taken Saturdays, flower beds to cut back, meals to plan, groceries to buy… all the while prioritizing my family, including my cheerful canary and beloved pup.

While I wanted to have the best day with my friend and didn’t back out of our lunch-and-hike commitment, I did mention my uneasiness and tried suggesting different meeting points in hopes of decreasing my travel time by 15 to 30 minutes: to no avail. There was no hike exactly halfway between us, so I resolved to make the longer drive. However, by the time I woke up the next morning, a text had come in to cancel our outing. Clearly, I had conveyed this was a trivial trip. I felt bad.

Sitting with the conversation from the night before, I realized the silliness of my words, focused on lost minutes of ToDos instead of meaningful ones spent with a dear friend. Not only did I not honor our longtime relationship but, by voicing my concerns, I diminished its importance. Thus my friend’s importance.

Onward to a great day

It was still early: we could still go. Yet with my calls going to voicemail and texts left unanswered, it seemed there wasn’t much I could do but to be sad until I heard back. I felt helpless, dependent on an outcome out of my control. Could we talk about this? With years of friendship and frankness under our belts, surely we could fix this. Without communication, though, there was nothing.

Then I thought… no. This friendship means too much to jeopardize.

I glanced at the kitchen clock, turned to my four-legged bestie and said, “Wanna go for a ride?”

Her tail wagged: every day was the best day.

I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I wasn’t going to leave this without a try. A quick bite and pooch walk later, Lexy and I were off to my friend’s house two hours away.

“You’re on your way here?” I heard on the phone when I finally got a call back.

“Yes, if that’s OK with you,” I said.

It was. And we had the best day, with lunch and a stroll, laughs and conversation, pause and endearment. Without any plan or timeline. We just spent time together, the three of us.

Upward to a great plan

I ended up driving over an hour more than I would have driven with the original plan for that day. Behind the wheel, I had plenty of time to think.

Like about time management and how there’s no such thing. Time goes by and we can’t be in charge of it.

What we can manage is our priorities: how and where to fit them in the time we have.

How do we manage these priorities? By getting clear about our values.

In the car, I realized I had momentarily succumbed to a list of ToDos that, yes, needed to get done, but I also had lost track of a very important one to me: connect with loved ones near and far. Which, while also a ToDo, isn’t something to get done. It just needs its own space to breathe, evolve, be. Like it did with my friend.

Pondering all this while driving, I also realized that a question I’ll often ask myself in the morning as I plan the day is, what do I have to do today? With a question like that, I’m bound to end up maximizing ToDos.

Instead, maybe I can frame my days around a different question: perhaps like, how will I make the most of today? Or, how will I make today magical?

I’ve been entitling my task list Today’s Magic these past weeks and it’s brought a very different perspective and motivation.

Thank you for this day

This is still a work in progress as I want to find the right question, one that’ll both address my responsibilities and keep my values top of mind: family, friends, passions, purpose. This, to me, brings a meaningful life. A life which, as years go by, I seem to have less and less figured out. And the more I learn, the less I feel the need to try.

Thank you for the best day. And every day.

Your Average Jo