Despite the fact that I sometimes really despise the construct of time, it exists. Well, more correctly, humans make it exist. Consider that time allows us to map out what an average person spends his/her life doing. For some reason, this feels creepy to me. Anyhow, some Babylonian decided that there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 of those in an hour and so on. And the general population tends to go along with this frustrating scheme. I say frustrating because it makes us run faster, try to pack more into the same amount of time and, well, in my opinion miss life. And even if you expel yourself from modern life and throw your watch and clocks away, the DMV will still only operate in certain hours and your student loans will still be due every month.

On an even more earthly level, this beautiful planet keeps spinning around the sun and only offers so many hours of daylight. This day and night phenomenon is not determined by humans and is not a humanly changeable scenario (as far as I know). So like it or not, there are physically only so many hours in a day. The length of your to-do list will not magically suspend the sun to give you more precious time.

Prioritize. This is what each of us does with the many items we want to do and in our finite amount of time. Extreme multitasking may get more done but its likely that quality will suffer (the multitasker’s mind may also suffer). So if you can’t do it all, you must pick. It sucks, I know. I wanted to be a super cross country equestrian, jump skilled horses over huge obstacles and develop the exact precision of the best dressage riders. I wanted to be a successful business woman. I thought I could change the future for generations of children by giving my life in the service of teaching. I wanted to be a free spirit, never marry or have children and travel the world exploring its nooks and crannies. And I could have any one of these – I just can’t have them all.

I chose a different path (at least in this chapter). I’ve decided to homestead. I am putting my energy into gardening, sustainable living, and developing permaculture skills. I am putting my energy into understanding energy – how it effects your spirit, how someone’s negativity effects you, how your own energy is raised up or brought down by things around you and in life. I am putting energy into holistic existence.

Each of us only has so many waking hours, so many neural firings a day. I’m not saying you can’t be an awesome soccer mom, a loving wife and a full time ______(insert 9-5 career) and get up in the morning to exercise, make lunches, and remember to send birthday cards to all your nieces and nephews and so on. I’m just saying if you have the option to center your energy on one (or few) main goal(s), do it. The outcome might be more satisfying and you might maintain some sanity. Penelope Trunk says something like you can be career centered or kid centered. I think she’s saying that juggling giant goals like being a parent and growing a successful career or business might lead to failures (even if just little mini failures).

And your center can totally change many times during your life.

What’s interesting about how you center your life is how it affects the other parts of your life. For example, when you become more focused on yourself or your health your friendships may fall to the back burner. When you are career centered, your family may take second place. I guess you have to be aware of why you’re centering your life on what you are and ask yourself if it feels right. Should the back burnered items be back burnered? Answer those questions by your standards and no one else’s because each person centers his/her life differently. No one can answer such massive, personal questions with more authenticity and authority than you.

No where is the centering of one’s life more apparent than in a relationship. Each person in a relationship must hold it in some similar priority level. Each must contribute similar amounts of energy and time. Obviously each will have his/her own independent goals and focuses but if one is entirely relationship centered and the other entirely career or self centered, I predict resentment and bumpy roads.

Comically, my recipe for discovering how your life is centered is to use time, the very construct which enslaves us all! Estimate or track how much time you spend doing, planning for, day dreaming about, talking about, paying for focuses in your life. What are your main goals? How is your life centered? If you track your time and see that you spend equal parts on being a husband, father, employee, friend maybe that’s just fine but if you feel something is lacking, maybe you need to back burner some items. Find a center, a focus. Allow yourself not to do it all, be all the things you ever once thought you should be.

You are your own judge. Be gentle and yet honest with yourself. To compare yourself to others in your endeavor to find and fulfill your center is to rob yourself of freedom and authenticity. And in the chaos of modern life with all its clock chasing activities never forget to know your center. If you knew your center 6 months ago but haven’t looked at it since, it’s time. The only thing guaranteed to never change is the occurrence of change and neglecting a morphing center is criminal! In the development of a self loving soul you must always seek for and honor your center.

Crissey Hewitt