Do you ever feel like...

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Do you ever feel like...

Postby Yuki-Anne » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:30 am

...we were meant for more than entertainment? Like, I know it's kind of a weird question to ask on an anime site. But do you ever feel like watching movies and tv or playing video games is a waste of our God-given time, and that maybe we ought to be doing more with our short lives?
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby ClosetOtaku » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:28 am

Good heavens, you've hit a nerve...

Yes. Frequently. To the point where I find myself almost paralyzed -- unable to enjoy a recreation I should enjoy while worrying that there must be "something better to do".

And, often, there is "something better" to be done. But I'm not sure what it is, and my efforts to redeem my time devolve into making endless to-do lists and reorganizing filing systems.

You are right. We were not created to be entertained. Others who specialize in what makes humans "focus" attention have refined their art to the point where we not only want to, but we expect to be, entertained. Never in the history of mankind have there been so many distractions so available to so many.

I find myself envious of one of my friends. He lives in California and is unemployed. But he grew up near New York City, in the Rockaways, and when Hurricane Sandy wiped out those communities, he relocated almost overnight. First, he helped with pumping sludge out of neighborhood basements. He organized a small Internet community for relief efforts. He put together a campaign seeking local and Federal funds for recovery. He established a protest march to bring media attention to their plight. And, just this week, he went to Washington, had lunch with Senators, and was in the House gallery when it passed the Hurricane Sandy relief act. He's not a mover or shaker, or even modestly wealthy. He's just an unemployed person who saw people in need and acted on it. And out of the accumulation of small actions he brought about substantial change for a community he didn't even live in.

And I sat here and, because I couldn't muster the courage to play a long board game or watch some anime, I reorganized my filing system for the umpteenth time. (To be honest, it probably needed it, but...)

May God grant us opportunities to serve, the ability to find them, and the perseverance to stick with them. And to be thankful and at peace when we do have moments of entertainment.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby SierraLea » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:40 am

Oh, Big Time.
But what else am I supposed to do? Play with my little sisters who annoy the heck out of me? Try and find a job when I've already been turned down numerous times? Reread my homework? If my mom wanted me off of screens, she should have given me better things to do.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Hiryu » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:49 am

Yea, it's called a Job. :)

We shouldn't ever take our life for granted. For us Christians, there is a supreme purpose in telling others about Jesus.

Socializing is an important part of our lives as we bond with other people.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Sheenar » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:57 pm

I feel this way a lot. Especially on days when I am essentially homebound. I miss volunteering like I used to. And, for me, so much of the time, watching DVDs or playing computer games is a way to drown out anxiety, worry, etc. and distract my mind from thinking about things.
That's one of the reasons I went back to school. It is an online program, but will give me something productive to do instead of watch DVDs.
I mean, I do volunteer some --but I always feel like I should be doing more.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Makachop^^128 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:12 pm

I always feel this way....I find that were I live there aren't many opportunitys to do much...so I get bored, and watch anime or do other such things and then get depressed because I feel like I need more purpose in life haha its kinda a cycle.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Atria35 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:41 pm

SierraLea wrote:Oh, Big Time.
But what else am I supposed to do? Play with my little sisters who annoy the heck out of me? Try and find a job when I've already been turned down numerous times? Reread my homework? If my mom wanted me off of screens, she should have given me better things to do.

You aren't five. As someone who's old enough to be taking college classes, your parent is NOT responsible for entertaining or keeping you busy. You are responsible for that. And since you're taking college classes, you're also intelligent enough to figure out ways to get out and do more.

Since you have some sort of internet connection, you can look for volunteer opportunities in
-soup kitchens
-homeless shelters
-pet shelters
-political campaigns
-Elder care places/nursing homes
-hospitals
wherever you are at. OR if there are places to do these things but no community groups that do them, you can start one.

For instance, in a small town my friend lived in, she started a Knit For Peace group since there wasn't much else there in her community (there's a website to go along with this, just Google it). She started passing out flyers at houses and at some of the streetcorners, advertised it in the local shops, and got a space in the library or at community member's houses for it.

I think that the idea that other people should get you doing things is one of the results of the idea that you should be entertained, and one that you need to stamp out before it becomes a thought process that takes over. Few things in life are given to you on a platter, and if you go on expecting it to, then you're not going to get a whole lot out of life.
Last edited by Atria35 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby mechana2015 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:24 pm

I do my best to not feel like this at all. I've seen where this thought process leads and it tends towards people becoming Jesus-juking funectomies any time a conversation turns to anything unrelated to church or religion, draining the joy and potential from a conversation remarkably quickly. I see entertainment as a barrier crossing conversation topic, one which allows me to have common ground with people who aren't in my professional field or who don't share the same worldview as me, and be able to have fruitful conversations that allow me to get to know them better without having to attend a lecture on their profession just so I can understand their jargon, or have them lay out their beliefs right off the bat.

I think some of this stems from the overuse of the term 'escapism' and the implication that all entertainment is used to escape from something, usually life issues or responsibilities, and can't be used to edify, educate, or allow a person to approach a new aspect of life or challenge a thought process through a piece of media, or to give them common ground with another person. It also implies that having media experiences in common with others is innately valueless, which is, as evidenced by the community on CAA and many other entertainment focused communities, clearly not true.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Xeno » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:33 pm

"Meant for more." No, and it should be fairly obvious why I feel that way. Does that mean I think people should just sit around and not be involved with things and people on any level? Not at all. I'm a strong advocate of people doing things in their communities or for other faceless groups of people when/if they can. I don't think people have to make a job out of it, it should be something you enjoy. No sense in hating something just because its the right or nice thing to do.

As far as entertainment goes...it's entertainment and there is nothing wrong with being entertained. These are jobs these people have. Actors, actresses, producers, directors, screenwriters, set designers and builders, lighting effects people, camera operators, food catering services, sound effects people, and tons of other people. It's pretty dumb to get mad because you like something they've put a lot of work into. And keep that in mind, the shows on TV, the ones you like and the ones you hate, are all made by people trying to make a living, don't get upset at them because of their choice of career.


Atria also has a great post. Once you hit legal age limits, stop expecting your parents to run your life for you and start doing it yourself.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Otaku Jordan » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:47 pm

Where I've come to on this issue is that entertainment is fine in moderation, but that it should be inspirational to me to be more Christ-like or be good for my mind. Life isn't long enough for wasted time.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Okami » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:21 pm

Yuki-Anne wrote:...we were meant for more than entertainment? Like, I know it's kind of a weird question to ask on an anime site. But do you ever feel like watching movies and tv or playing video games is a waste of our God-given time, and that maybe we ought to be doing more with our short lives?


I'll be pursuing an answer for this as I progress in this semester. Between three of my classes - Social Psychology, Dynamics of Interpersonal Communication, and Theological Themes in Contemporary Literature and Cinema, I have a feeling it will be a topic of discussion. As it stands right now, I do believe we are so much more than just vegging in front of electronics for entertainment and social media, yet that is a huge part of the world we live in.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Vilo159 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:56 pm

All the time. Its something I constantly struggle with. Right now I have homework I could catch up on, scouting to do, church duties I could be working on, practicing saxophone more, helping with chores, practicing more saxophone, practicing french horn, reading a book for english, reading the next book on my unending list of books to read, college stuff to be working on, and so on. Not to forget all the service-y things I should be doing. And yet I'm sitting in front of a computer. I always struggle with putting a bit of priority on entertainment because I always feel like I'm entitled to a certain amount of free time every day, although I know that's not the case.

I like what Mech said about entertainment not being devoid of value. Unfortunately, the truth for me is that there are simply other things of higher value that I should be doing. Entertainment has its time, but that time is a long way off for me, and I end up bring it up closer again.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby blkmage » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:54 pm

This is a terrible mindset to be in. Of course there's something "better" we could be putting our time towards. The problem is that there's always something. Like, it literally never ends. I spend half an hour watching anime. I guess I could be using that time to cook instead of go out to eat. But I guess I could be spending that time praying instead of cooking. Or I could spend that time doing grant applications. But maybe I should be going through this reading. But I guess I could be spending that time cranking out another chapter of my thesis. Or I could be volunteering with the soup kitchen. But I guess I really should be marking. Or maybe I should be working with the local riding association. But I guess I should be spending time reading the Bible. Or maybe I should be helping out at church? But maybe I should be doing that overseas instead.

It's a very easy way to ruin your life.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Vilo159 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:06 pm

Edit: Nevermind.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby uc pseudonym » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:36 pm

This is an ongoing thought process for me. The world has basically infinite need, so I could spend every cent and second I have working for other people and barely make a dent in the world's suffering. I can talk about socializing or care for self all I want, but it doesn't let me forget the fact that thousands of people starve to death every day. I don't spend very much on entertainment, but it does feel like a lot when I remember that more than 50% of the world lives on less than $2 per day.

There's a place for moderation, and for reassuring people who torment themselves over this, but I always find myself wanting to express the opposite side. All too often these things feel like excuses for people who do absolutely nothing with their lives. Maybe staff a homeless shelter one night or donate a dollar to charity - don't kid yourself, you're not helping anyone, you're buying peace of mind. Thinking about how you spend your time is making you feel unhappy? I'm so sad for you.

I say this as much to myself as anyone, because there's a lot in my life to criticize by these standards. I'm just not sure the answer is to reassure ourselves that it's okay and we don't have to change.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Vega » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:17 pm

The way I look at it is like this. Yes, our lives are really short. So we should take what our talent or passion and do it. Even if that is entertainment. I say go ahead with what makes you happy as long as its not hurting anyone else. Who are we to say that someones "wasting their lives" away when hes just doing what he enjoys. Now im not agreeing with lifestyles such as drug addiction but I say to hell with all that societal productivity stuff. If a guy gets fulfillment bfrom watching the Real World Brooklyn all day, I say go for it
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby mechana2015 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:59 pm

uc pseudonym wrote:There's a place for moderation, and for reassuring people who torment themselves over this, but I always find myself wanting to express the opposite side. All too often these things feel like excuses for people who do absolutely nothing with their lives. Maybe staff a homeless shelter one night or donate a dollar to charity - don't kid yourself, you're not helping anyone, you're buying peace of mind. Thinking about how you spend your time is making you feel unhappy? I'm so sad for you.

I say this as much to myself as anyone, because there's a lot in my life to criticize by these standards. I'm just not sure the answer is to reassure ourselves that it's okay and we don't have to change.


I'm not saying there isn't a a need to balance, but my experience has been that these people who 'torment themselves' over this tend to resort to tormenting others over it when the topic turns to any sort of entertainment.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Sammy Boy » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:03 am

Yes and no.

When I spend two hours or more playing games, I feel it's time wasted and then look for something "constructive" to do. But at times I feel so drained (from work, housework, etc.) that I just need some time "off".

However, I often find that I am more content trying to make or "create" something. Consumption does not fulfill me in the way being creative does. Thus I get massive amounts of joy from learning to draw these days.

I have not been playing games or reading novels for over a month...

But I do often think about back to the days when I could enjoy those very simple cartoons where good always triumphed over evil, and that it was very cool to be good.... :)
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Crossfire » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:10 am

I don't necessarily think that I'm "wasting my life", but whenever I'm watching anime or something related to Japan my heart aches. I miss that place so much, and I want to see my brothers in Christ again. I can't presently, because the government of Japan requires a college/university degree to claim a work visa. I can't go to a school because of the situation I'm in at home, so im left feeling a sense of hopelessness, wishing that I could do something to help further my cause.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby uc pseudonym » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:12 am

mechana2015 wrote:I'm not saying there isn't a a need to balance, but my experience has been that these people who 'torment themselves' over this tend to resort to tormenting others over it when the topic turns to any sort of entertainment.

I should clarify that I wasn't meaning to single anyone out. I used some of the phrasing in this thread because I'd just read it, but I didn't intend to reply directly to those people.

Having said that, we may disagree about the approach to this balance. I know the kind of person you mentioned, but in my opinion the greater concern is that our society creates an environment where it's never time to talk about anything serious. That is, I see relatively few people tormenting others and many people giving the impression that God doesn't care about our lifestyles. Therefore my policy is to err on this side of the spectrum when the subject is raised.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Yamamaya » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:01 am

blkmage wrote:This is a terrible mindset to be in. Of course there's something "better" we could be putting our time towards. The problem is that there's always something. Like, it literally never ends. I spend half an hour watching anime. I guess I could be using that time to cook instead of go out to eat. But I guess I could be spending that time praying instead of cooking. Or I could spend that time doing grant applications. But maybe I should be going through this reading. But I guess I could be spending that time cranking out another chapter of my thesis. Or I could be volunteering with the soup kitchen. But I guess I really should be marking. Or maybe I should be working with the local riding association. But I guess I should be spending time reading the Bible. Or maybe I should be helping out at church? But maybe I should be doing that overseas instead.

It's a very easy way to ruin your life.


Blkmage speaks the truth. There is no fulfillment in this mindset, because no matter what you do, you will always feel like you could be doing something better. When do we decide that we are doing good in our lives? There's no way of knowing, and whenever your mind or your actions wander away from good things, for even a moment, we feel guilty again. And those that do feel that they have done enough can sometimes develop a very self righteous attitude towards everyone else, whether they intend to or not.

I believe the good things we do should be driven out of appreciation for what we have and what we have been given. For this, sometimes sacrifice is necessary and we should be willing to make that sacrifice.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby goldenspines » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:01 am

A legitimate argument could be made against anything we do in life and dismiss it as "not as important as other things". Perhaps the exceptions are only in eating, drinking, and breathing.

To the particular topic of entertainment, it depends what your motivation is and what you consider a waste of your time. While we can separate what activities are beneficial to us and which are not, it's not really up to us on how others spend their time. Either way, whatever actions you choose will affect you. If you decide to stay at home all day online or watching anime/TV shows/movies instead of going out to get a job, you won't make money and thus you probably won't be able to eat (eat very well, at least. You might get food stamps or something, though) or even do other activities like go out and go places that charge money.

What it may come down to is a optimistic view of life versus a pessimistic one (simplified, of course). Are we meant for more (I'm reminded of that Switchfoot song "Meant to Live" for some reason)? Maybe. I think everyone at least once dreams about becoming rich and/or famous for something. Is it possible? Maybe. But having the hope there is what keeps the motivation in us. While I'm quite sure many people would be perfectly content watching anime/etc. for the rest of their lives, the world is a place filled with a vast number of things to try. You won't get to all of them in your lifetime, obviously, but it still may be worthwhile and a lot less boring of a life if you try some of them out.
But I'll admit it's really hard to get/keep that motivation and much easier to just not try to go further in life (maybe it's because I'm a pessimist?). At the end of our lives, I think we'll all have regrets about stuff we did or didn't do. But we're only human, after all.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Yuki-Anne » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:33 pm

Yamamaya wrote:
blkmage wrote:This is a terrible mindset to be in. Of course there's something "better" we could be putting our time towards. The problem is that there's always something. Like, it literally never ends. I spend half an hour watching anime. I guess I could be using that time to cook instead of go out to eat. But I guess I could be spending that time praying instead of cooking. Or I could spend that time doing grant applications. But maybe I should be going through this reading. But I guess I could be spending that time cranking out another chapter of my thesis. Or I could be volunteering with the soup kitchen. But I guess I really should be marking. Or maybe I should be working with the local riding association. But I guess I should be spending time reading the Bible. Or maybe I should be helping out at church? But maybe I should be doing that overseas instead.

It's a very easy way to ruin your life.


Blkmage speaks the truth. There is no fulfillment in this mindset, because no matter what you do, you will always feel like you could be doing something better. When do we decide that we are doing good in our lives? There's no way of knowing, and whenever your mind or your actions wander away from good things, for even a moment, we feel guilty again. And those that do feel that they have done enough can sometimes develop a very self righteous attitude towards everyone else, whether they intend to or not.


I'm going to say not necessarily, because (at least in my experience) the guilt usually evaporates when I do something I consider to be genuinely productive instead of watch movies or cruise the internets all day.

And it's not even a case of "I'm so lazy I can't even do my job," it's just I have a lot of free time and I usually spend it all watching stuff or interneting or the like. And then I end up wondering what I could be doing that would be even slightly more productive. Even if it's just reading a book instead.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Davidizer13 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:33 pm

I've been wrestling with this for the last couple days. Most days when I get home from work, I get right on the computer and Internet away until bedtime. I know I should be doing more outside my own place, volunteering or something but it's hard to in a small town where everything closes at 5 - the only opportunities I've got that I can see are the volunteer first responders, but honestlyI don't think I have the stomach for that. Right now the best I can do is give money to people who'll use it better than I can, but I still feel like I should be donating time too...

But on the other hand, I've got this ideological damper on how much time I waste online or whatever - I take Saturdays off from the computer and TV, and try to focus on God or read a book or anything besides what I do every other day. A lot of my weekends I'm back home, with church and whatnot to fill my days, this was no problem, but being on my own is a different story altogether. Still, it's forcing me to do something constructive, even if for only part of the week.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Sammy Boy » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:46 pm

blkmage wrote:This is a terrible mindset to be in. Of course there's something "better" we could be putting our time towards. The problem is that there's always something. Like, it literally never ends. I spend half an hour watching anime. I guess I could be using that time to cook instead of go out to eat. But I guess I could be spending that time praying instead of cooking. Or I could spend that time doing grant applications. But maybe I should be going through this reading. But I guess I could be spending that time cranking out another chapter of my thesis. Or I could be volunteering with the soup kitchen. But I guess I really should be marking. Or maybe I should be working with the local riding association. But I guess I should be spending time reading the Bible. Or maybe I should be helping out at church? But maybe I should be doing that overseas instead.

It's a very easy way to ruin your life.


I think if we second guess ourselves it's definitely going to make us feel bad no matter what we do. But I think there is a genuine distinction between feeling we were "meant for more" and feeling guilty whenever we consume entertainment of any sort.

I believe the key is to find a balance (which may be different for everyone). For myself, I definitely do need entertainment of some sort, just that I've had "too much" in the past. These days my entertainment resolves around trying to catch up on sleep, because that makes me feel good. :)
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Sheenar » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:32 pm

Yuki-Anne wrote:I'm going to say not necessarily, because (at least in my experience) the guilt usually evaporates when I do something I consider to be genuinely productive instead of watch movies or cruise the internets all day.

And it's not even a case of "I'm so lazy I can't even do my job," it's just I have a lot of free time and I usually spend it all watching stuff or interneting or the like. And then I end up wondering what I could be doing that would be even slightly more productive. Even if it's just reading a book instead.


This is the way it is for me as well. If I spend all day Internet surfing, I tend to feel guilty and like I have accomplished nothing. But if instead I do something productive like read a book, do chores, organize things, or work on a puzzle/schoolwork, I do not have that guilty feeling.

I feel that the key is finding balance. Entertainment is okay, but not if it consumes the majority of your time and energy.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby blkmage » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:45 pm

But why do you feel like you need to fool yourself into being productive, though, especially when you really aren't? Like, how is reading a book any more productive than, say, watching a film?

Maybe it's just me, but I have a much higher threshold for things that I consider to be worthwhile. Like, cooking is fun and I love cooking and cooking is good for me, but I can't consider it productive or important. Reading books is fun and great, but I can't consider it productive either.

Like, these things are great, but this is why I said what I said before. I don't consider these things "productive" or "important". But they're good and entertaining and I don't think you need to or should trick yourself into thinking you're accomplishing things when you do them.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby Nate » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:14 pm

It depends on what book you're reading I think. I wouldn't call reading Lord of the Rings productive, but it could be productive to read The Wealth of Nations or something.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby shooraijin » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:49 pm

The world has basically infinite need, so I could spend every cent and second I have working for other people and barely make a dent in the world's suffering.


I'd burn out in about 20 seconds.
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Re: Do you ever feel like...

Postby TheMewster » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:26 am

Vilo159 wrote:All the time. Its something I constantly struggle with. Right now I have homework I could catch up on, scouting to do, church duties I could be working on, practicing saxophone more, helping with chores, practicing more saxophone, practicing french horn, reading a book for english, reading the next book on my unending list of books to read, college stuff to be working on, and so on. Not to forget all the service-y things I should be doing. And yet I'm sitting in front of a computer. I always struggle with putting a bit of priority on entertainment because I always feel like I'm entitled to a certain amount of free time every day, although I know that's not the case.


This is me right there. I need to study for my environmental laws quiz on Wednesday (when school gets back in) AND woking on virtual school work AND repairing my science fair board AND reading my Bible more but look what I'm doing. Then again, I'm usually hardly on CAA, I'm usually playing the Sims 3.
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