no longer

27652828_1729351860467805_850027598_osomething has changed inside of me. Perhaps a switch has been flipped in my head, or maybe something broke and I just didn’t notice. I’m truly terrified of what I am. no longer the affable young man looking to leave a smile and be loved. nowadays I’m guarded at best and, more often, an absolute asshole at my worst. Prayer and sleep allude me as life continues on regardless. Leaving me unsure if it is my state of mind devolving or a progression towards something yet unseen. Without that knowledge there is little to do but to carry on with eyes wide open. Dare I show my hand? Would it even matter if I did?! It’s not just an unwillingness to be warm and feeling, there is a lack of emotion all together. No opinion based in the roots of pathos stirs in my soul. currently inclined to make all decisions out of an act of self-preservation and the logic of any given moment. The question presented, am I even human? Proof of that lays only in my past, yet here I stand, eyes fixed forward. Pursuing the horizon as quickly as I can and I am struck with epiphany. There are still dreams in my mind and in the little sleep I get. There’s really no better indicator of my humanity. That I have hopes and I have dreams, and I still long for the days to come…

–Joe

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Leisure

What is the cost of leisure? What is the value of our time? The decisions we make about our free time say more about us than our long-term commitments. This is because our leisure is entirely free will, it rarely has much outside force acting upon it. It seems logical that we could pin the surge of individualism in recent decades on the ever-growing amount of leisure time we enjoy. Officially we Americans have a 40 hour work week, but studies show that we average more like 38 hours per week. This gives us all increasingly more time to develop ourselves through leisure.

So what do we do with our 168 hours a week? In the past week, I personally have spent my time 33 hours at work; 12 hours in class; 9.5 hours commuting; 2.5 hours concerning daily hygiene; 3 hours in church; 50 hours asleep; 2 hours eating/preparing food; a half hour on the phone; and 4 hours studying outside of class. This leaves me with only 41.5 hours of leisure time. Less than two days of time for my free use. And what do I do with that time? Too much of it is spent on social media, much of it is spent reading and writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), precious little of it is spent with friends and family, I enjoy movies, and regularly go to a couple of meetings for extracurricular organizations.

Now, I’ve mentioned more than enough to completely fill a week’s worth of time. I have yet to even mention what I am passionate about. Among these activities: my work as a challenge course instructor, and my love for backpacking and the outdoors. So where I use my free time comes with significant opportunity cost. Sometimes I give up sleep to watch a movie, skip a meal to study for a test, go to the adoration chapel rather than class, occasionally I’ll even ask for a weekend off work to go camping. The point is that it’s all important (otherwise, why is it in my life?), and we’re defined by what we choose to do, not what we could do. So what does your leisure say about you?standstare