How To Endure Life’s Boredom, Beatings, and Jaded Outlook

“I’m Bored!”

Those dreaded useless words I hear uttered frequently by everyone ranging from my 14 year old cousin to my pot-head friends of yesteryear to my lovely lass wife.  Yes, she doesn’t want to watch Netflix or some other movie for yet ANOTHER night, but finances are tight as I’m the only one working for the man right now.

We aren’t just bored.  We go to bed expecting tomorrow to be exhausing, unfuffiling, and frustrating knowing nothing worthwhile will be accomplished. Stuck in a trance-like state, we’re going through the motions, even when lazy and lounging around.  Yes, we are tired from caring for an infant, and my pregnant again wife is always exhausted, but still it’s not supposed to be like this.

What’s missing?

An endurance in the fulfillment and contentment in what we’ve accomplished as a family – in a short time.  Our phones and Netflix are just a distraction in our attempt to relax and ignore reality for the moment because it’s too painful.  Idle hands really are the devils workshop. Of course there is some context.

I’m an asshole to myself and in my leadership role.   Hunkering  down each night in the living room to watch da Netflix and waste time informing myself via the news, twitter, and the blogosphere isn’t because I desperately desire it, but rather because money is tight and our infant son needs to be in his crib.  It’s a convenient and even truthful excuse

Even with it being a valid excuse, I KNOW I need to get us off TV at night time and toward something productive so we aren’t “bored”.   Between getting fat and gaining 20 damn pounds over these two pregnancies and working a sedentary call center gig,  I’m the fattest I’ve ever been.   Exercise, I need you.

Excuses Please

Yes, I should be taking us on fun adventures with plenty of walking that you see in da movies, but can we really take a 9 month old infant out on a stroll at 10 PM in 20 degree weather regardless of how well bundled up he is?

Take into account the meth addicts that seem to be prowling the streets and parks and the possible excitement we might encounter goes against our parental instincts.  When you become parents, you have to be far more responsible then you actually may want to be in your struggle against .   The delayed maturity that men in particular deal with hits hard and fast – or at least it should when you become a father.

We remain hunkered inside our bunker, trying to get our minds off life watching movies, still bored, and my wife still stressed though her pregnancy.  (A recipe ripe for producing arguments between couples.)

Ideally, I’d love to go out, grab some food, feel cool, splurge the cash, and not worry about spending money for once.  Showing off our 9 month old son to everyone at that establishment makes us feel like we’ve done – or rather made someone worthy of plenty of gazing.

True story, as every time we take him out, women drool and gush over how cute he is.  Yes, he is very cute.

However, when we go out, is it a useful investment of our time? Who are we hanging out with?  Will sharing time with them build us up?

Going out makes us feel like we are taking a break from our mundane lives living in a place we shouldn’t even be.  It’s why us millennial blow so much damn money on food when we should be saving it for that house that won’t be coming from a job that won’t we be getting because of our useless degrees.   Forgetting about life for that moment really is key.

For my pregnant wife, it takes some of the stress off.   Otherwise, it’s back to our dinky apartment where I will get yelled at for something all stemming back from boredom.  First we loved this apartment, as it was a place of our own.

Now it just reminds us of bad decisions, filthy and thieving neighbors, and all the food places around us which we shouldn’t spend money because we need to be responsible for once and save some of it.

Are They Really Down On Their Luck?

Hell, at least when we do blow dat money, it’s not on meth like much of the surrounding “homeless” population seems to do. In fact, these “homeless” folks often walk a mile down the road to their truck, throw that cardboard sign “Homeless and Hungry” into the back and drive on off.

I’m sure their plight is as bad as they want us to believe, but you’d think they’d make it obvious by dressing worse instead of like they just went shopping at the mall.  Panhandling is the way of the future.

Just the other day I was approached by some guy who asked me if I had change for the bus.  Immediately I was annoyed, irritated, and actually tired.    Where I’m from in Illinois, people beg for “change for the bus” all the damn time only to spend it on booze, cigs, drugs, or other fleeting pleasures.

Frankly, it pisses me off because unless I personally know them or someone I respect vouches for them, I can assume they are trying to shake me down like I’m some kind of hipster white costal elite type who is plagued by guilt and a trust fund who needs his good deed for the day.

Telling this guy I knew what he was up to, he still held frame.  So I decided to give him a 1$.  He then went straight into Walgreens to buy his bus ticket I’m sure.  Add getting that buck out of me to his wall of accomplishments.  What a waste of time.

Currently where I live, there is a horrible meth problem – one of the worst in the nation – as well as “homeless” people everywhere.  Sorting through the actual victims vs the pretenders makes me a jaded man.  I promise I’m going somewhere with this post.

Looking In A Cracked Mirror

However, it’s made do some soul searching.  Me and my wife have gotten food from the local church pantry here.  Did someone else need it more? Yes we have 100$ left in our bank account, but we did do frivolous spending prior.

Taking her out multiple times for dinner, buying her a maternity coat for the winter that actually fits, and getting us numerous other things at Walmart that while we could utilize, we didn’t absolutely need has got me thinking.

If I’m honest, I need to wonder if we are abusing the local safety nets – even slightly.  Yes, it’s just me working and I can barely pay all the bills sometimes.  Hell, we were down to 2$ in our bank account for about three days to get us through to pay day.

On the other hand, baby food is expensive, as is formula, clothes, etc.  Wages aren’t great and the cost of living still isn’t low enough to really save any money on one income with one infant and another on the way.   Is this all included in the thought process when charitable places don’t have a problem giving us food, aid, and help?

I’ve seen people with a far worse plight then my own;  families literally on the street outside my apartment complex.    I have a smart phone, wifi at my apartment, and we only have to pay the electric bill when it comes to utilities.  Sometimes I’ll even have around 150$ something left over after bills to get us through to the next check.   Our two door car is in good shape, and while small, it get’s us where we need to go with no car payment. Yes, it could be much worse.

The admirable American dream is still currently out of reach for me.  My wife is planning on getting a nursing gig here and seeing if they will pay for part of med school, but nothing is assured.

Our families have been very helpful.  My parents have bought us diapers, formula, and even shipped some non perishables to our house.   Our relatives have all given us some money. My wife’s grandmother who loves us dearly has sent plenty of cash our way when times have been dire.

Essentially, we are blessed.   We just keep forgetting because there is plenty of time on our hands stuck inside our apartment to ponder on what hasn’t gone our way yet.

So shouldn’t I render the same to the discarded rubbish on the street nearby?  I want to, but I’m not entirely sure who really needs help and who is just pretending.  Then again, that thought goes through my head – are we pretenders as well?

We aren’t standing out with signs, but we have gotten help.  Did people think we were worse off then we were? Surely, I hope we have not misled anyone.

Crawling Toward The Endzone

Even with self-reflection, it’s hard to be content and grateful for what we have because we aren’t anywhere close to reaching our goals and living our dreams.  Then again, even if we do, what then? Will we have a similar trance state of life, just with less worry, wondering what then shall we do?

Ease and relaxation are wonderful.  But they are not goals.  They are temporary, transitory conditions of the spirit.” – Quintus C

My wife isn’t thinking about how lucky we are to have a car – she’s thinking about how she’s pregnant again, unable to go to school and/or work, how finances are tight, and how much we miss our friends and family.  This in spite of how much we’ve actually accomplished this far together.  Why the sense of not just failed dreams, but of a lack of fulfillment in the one’s we have lived?

We need a mindset shift.  In a post about the struggles of life, Quintus Curtius  talks about the “Endzone” and about how we create goals for ourselves and yet still feel unaccomplished.

We must never allow ourselves to feel broken, defeated, debilitated, or beaten by life.  I will not allow this.  I will not permit this disease of defeatism in my life.  Will not.  Ever.”

Boredom and that trance like state spiral toward feelings of despair and failure before driving us toward any other kind of reality – Netflix for example – to take our minds off it instead of actually fixing it.  Eventually, it seeps through our diversion shields and breaks them.

When we falter toward the above,  boredom and distraction from it lead to that feeling of being beaten up by life lying down and reaching in vain for that fresh green endzone.

I’m not even in the endzone – I’m struggling within 80 yards of it, on my hands and knees dragging my burdens along.   But life is just that – a constant struggle to the day we die trying to arrive.   This is no cause for despondency and acceptance of vanity however.

Through the struggles in life is where we make and leave our mark.  Our character is refined in the furnaces of life and  reputations are forged.  Obstacles are overcome and foundations set. Stories are born and tales of your golden days are told to your grandchildren gathered around you.

You just can’t see it yet.

“But this does not mean that life is an endless sequence of gloom and doom, of conflict on top of conflict, signifying nothing.   No, far from it. It only means that life is for the living. Life is for the stout of heart. For the coeurs de leon.” – Quintus Curtius



Is Money In Politics Bad?

This always depends on whose money the “political party” and advocates are receiving. Ultimately, it is it’s own time held tradition of American hypocrisy that can be summed up as, “It’s wrong when you do it, but okay when I do.”

I came across this article in The Washington Post detailing a list for 2014 revealing the donors for the Center for American Progress.  CAP finally decided to do this after taking some criticism for a lack of transparency from fellow progressives as well as conservatives only too eager to point out flaws in their opponents.

Notable top donors include Walmart, financial giant Citigroup, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and some large biotech and pharma firms.  Walmart is actually particular shocking, considering unions’s attitude toward them and their top-dog status as a progressive punching bag.  This however, is not what what we should apparently be paying attention to.

“We’re proud of our donors,” CAP president Neera Tanden said in an interview. “We’re very diversified. We have a very low percentage of corporate donors. We have a wide panoply of individual and foundation supporters.

In political campaign financing and lobbying, there seems to be this odd disconnect between who you should take money from and why.  Most progressives will insist that money in politics is bad, but won’t hesitate to ask and accept plenty of it in order to win political races and advance certain agenda’s.  It was not too long ago when Michelle Obama decried the influence of money in politics, only to request campaign donations in the same speech only minutes before.

The irony of this hasn’t been lost on those on the left. This was brought up by The Atlantic in an article a few months back, “Is Philanthropy Bad for Democracy?”  in which Gara Lamarche made this point about his fellow progressives:

Why are they are not more concerned about the undemocratic and largely unaccountable nature of philanthropy? Why are we—since I too have failed, for years, to ask these big questions—hypersensitive to the dangers of big money in politics, and the way it perpetuates advantage and inequality, but blind, it seems, to the dangers of big philanthropy in the public sphere?

A prevailing question that continues to remain is as to why money from “corporations” is dangerous, but money from huge political PACs, non-profit organizations, ect are not.   The CAP president emphasized the variety of donors and foundations contributing money as somehow not as “bad” as receiving money from more “acceptable” sources. Why?

The fundamental question we must ask is rather simple: Do the end’s justify the means in regards to where the cash comes from?  There is no gray area.  Either money in politics is bad or it is not.  People with strong political involvements are willing to make all sorts of exceptions about where they get their money from while condemning others for doing the exact same thing.

At some point, there must be some consistency or the whole argument breaks down into what it has become now; decrying others for doing the exact same thing that you are doing.  While you may be right about the destructive influence of “their” money in politics, it doesn’t make your identical actions any less destructive.

Either we get rid of money from politics all-together, or we quit pointing fingers at people getting funding from places, people, and worldviews we don’t like.   This of course brings up another issue: Is money free speech?   That is another debacle with it’s own mess.

The Role Government and Christianity In helping Others

This isn’t meant to be some sort of infallible essay. It is meant to be my personal reflection on the world I see around me.


      Many people from every spectrum of politics constantly ponder and debate about the role of government in politics.  Now I suppose what each of us might believe that role entails depends on our worldviews. Most of us can agree their are many problems our society faces: Homelessness, corporations who get special tax breaks and subsidies that small businesses don’t,  a foreign policy that arguably encourages many people to hate America, income inequality in which people struggle to live,  people who are treated differently by our justice system, .ect.   (No, I’m not a Liberal.)

Well, how do we address them? What do we do? As a libertarian, I question the ability of the government to address these problems on a widespread level without suffering from the same problem it always has in history; the government and its power being bought by the richest and most influential in society.  For instance when the government gives “handouts” there are always strings attached – usually ones that involve voting for the person giving you the handouts. Regardless whether handouts are a bad idea, good idea, ect there is a very direct reason to keep that person in power as well as to make sure they can take from others for whatever reasons the public deems acceptable. Currently the rich are a favorite target, but what makes it okay to take from them and give to others? Assuming someone worked their *beep* off, became rich, and didnt get every special tax break and subsidy under the sun that their competitor didnt get, why is it okay to take from them? Should wealth be a reason to take from? If we did it for reasons of race, ethinicity, ect it wouldn’t be appropriate, but why is it all of a sudden okay to take from them because we think they have too much?

Alot of the rich in our country have become rich because they have been able to buy power and legislation which directly benefits them and hurts their competitors. And its not just them. Its almost every profession and class trying to get what they can for themselves at the expense of others who are deemed to be “acceptable targets” for whatever the reasons. Look at lawyers. There are so many laws now and those laws are so complex that lawyers are now needed for almost every case. They get rich, and the poor and minorities who cant afford them get screwed. Justice becomes a normal thing for the rich.  The poor are left to fend for themselves.

Beware: Indictment and reflection of Christian Church and its failings:

Now, I actually agree with liberals that the rich should share their wealth with others, specifically the less fortunate and the poor of our society. Why? Because Biblically the rich are supposed to take care of the poor. The homeless. The widows. The orphans. I see this as the responsibility of Christians, the Church and the overall Christian community. However, if I value the idea of liberty and freedom, should I just impose my beliefs on the rest of society through legislation even with the best intentions in mind? As liberals would say, we are not a theocracy.

The church here in America has become decadent. We care about money and political power. We’ve forgotten about the homeless in our towns, the poor striving to get by, and the single mother who we are willing to mandate that she shouldnt have an abortion, but are unwilling help her raise the child when she has it through. We have become willing to maybe throw out a handout here or there, but we refuse to make the time to teach people how to fish instead of giving them a fish.

We’ve refused to bother to help teach people how to raise crops for themselves (hydroponics, aquaponics,  local organic farming) so they can eat healthy and not be subjected to the horrid cheap food of today. We’ve refused to take part in helping the single mother raise her kid if she chooses not to raise them as a Christian, depsite what the Bible says about helping the poor. (Note it doesn’t say, help these people if they become Christians or are willing to go to Church, it commands us to help them regardless, because they are who the Kingdom of God is for and the love of God and his commands for us apply to the destitute of society) We dont have time to take in that kid afterschool, help teach him a trade, impart what knowledge of skills we have to him.

From a social standpoint its become worse. As much as I personally consider abortion to be a form of murder, many of conservative christian friends are willing to forsake the idea of liberty and insist that the government has power over your body, whether its to choose to have an abortion or do drugs.  While I understand the reasons, I dread the additional power we give to the government for the best of intentions.   (Isn’t it possible to discourage abortion without government intervention into the matter? Especially on a communal level?)

We’ve gotten caught up in some “culture” war in which we’ve completely abandoned the idea that the Kingdom is for the “scum” of society. Its for the muslims, the “homosexuals”, the domestic abusers, the rapists, the murders. (I’m not equating homosexuality with that, just saying that we treat homosexuals like the scum of the earth and we forget that the Kingdom is for them as well) Yes we want people to turn from sin, but first they need to know that they are significant, important, and loved because they are made in God’s image.

I’ve seen my fellow Christians say HORRIBLE things about “liberals”, the president, people who disagree with them. I think to myself, “How could you say that?” This is someone made in God’s image. They may be a sinner, but the Love of God specifically applies to them no matter what “sins” they commit or what we think of them. As Christians we’ve become obsessed with material possessions and money. One key failing that we are reeling from is that we’ve abandoned the concepts of freedom and liberty which are concepts I would argue come from the core of Christianity, especially considering we believe that man is fallen and sinful. How exactly can we trust ourselves to not abuse authority especially in the light of history? (Assuming legislation is someones morality enforced on the general public.)

I firmly believe I and many others in the Christian community have to go back to the drawing board. And this is where I believe the government on a small level can play a role. (My libertarian bias is going to show.) Too many parts of our society are convinced that they know whats best for everyone else. California thinks Texas should adopt its educational curriculum and vice versa. We want to insist that we can “legislate” problems away. That however has never worked and never will.

I have enough faith in people to believe that they know how to address the problems that affect them directly. Some of these can be on a national scale (I blame the government.) but many problems can be tackled at the local level by a community, and not through legislation necessarily. In fact legislation should be our last resort, rather than our first. 

Many conservatives have dissed the president for being a “community” organizer, but since when did that become a bad thing? It is the communities that solve problems. A community with whatever kind of safety nets they’ve set up know when abuse is happening, know when their neighbor needs help, and their representatives can be spoken to without a campaign donation in the streets, at town meetings, ect.

From a Christian standpoint, our call to help our communities is very important. If all our wealth that we have, every penny is given to us by God, should we not be helping not only our own poor, but the desolate, the homeless, the widows, ect who God has commanded us to? People however have become in love with their money. I guess I am emphasizing a change of heart as being the key to helping communities.

School shootings, suicides, bullying, ect happens because we are not invested enough in helping others and actually caring about them, not just giving them something from the food pantry and pretending we’ve done our penance for the month. If someone in our community has been treated so poorly that they need a specific label to call themselves (Trans, Queer, ect.) to feel comfortable and like they matter, what does that say about us in general? Especially Christians? Everyone is made in the image of God, and regardless of whether they are “sinners” or not, they MATTER. They are important and they are significant in the eyes of God and should be in ours as well.

To often our response to lets say a “homosexual” is, “Hey repent vile sinner, turn from your sin, and stay away from us and our kids!” WHAT? Yes, to repent you must turn from sin, but you matter no less in the eyes of God. To those who I don’t necessarily see eye to eye with, have differing opinions on sin, or even acknowledge it as a concept, my first response should be, “You my friend are loved. You matter. Your life is important and your wellbeing. If you need a place to stay my home is yours. IF you need a job, I will do what I can to give you one. If you need food, I will feed you.”  Mathew 25 is very specific as to what Christs commands as our duty to those around us, especially our own fellow Christians. (The urban poor Christians of Chicago?)

However we’ve let “politics” jade us, makes us say horrible things about people dying, who need medical help, shelter, a job, a reason to live. It saddens me to the point of making me want to cry. What can I do? I won’t bother with the government, as I don’t have cash to make campaign contributions. Instead I will go directly to those in need. I will encourage my fellow Christians to embrace our roles to help our communities, both in the resources we have as well as our time. If we can strengthen our communities, and I mean truly strengthen them, the amount of laws and government we need will be minimal and the potential abuses from strong government for good intentions will be reduced.

Alot of my fellow Christians especially liberal ones, are fed up with alot of the problems they see. They have been ignored often by their fellow Christians. They see injustice, whether it be from the police, lack of education, ect. This is where I advocate for a solution that emphasizes the community, specifically the Christian community to rise up and help those who are desperately in need. Their problems should be our problems. They are part of the Church and should be treated as such.

This is why I dont like prohibiting felons from owning firearms to protect themselves and their families, especially with how our justice system is an the amount of minorities that are felons. I truly believe the goverment doesnt care about minorities, only their votes. This may seem facetious and wreak of hubris, but I care about “minorities” and the poor because God says they are important and made in his image and he commands me to help them, not because I will get anything from it or that it will somehow directly benefit me.

No the concept of true Biblical love transcends that, “Scratch my back and I will scratch yours” that has permeated our culture.  Yes, we should attempt to make money, to excel in our jobs, to make music which people may end up throwing millions of dollars toward us for and all for His glory. We should however remember that all of our money is given to us by him and what he expect us to do with what he has given to us.

I will be the first to admit that I feel extremely hypocritical after saying all this. I’m selfish. I’m lazy. I want my time and I want it now. I would rather play video games and hang with my friends then really invest the time to help the poor around me.  However, I recognize my failings and will strive through the grace of God to utilize his time to the best of my abilities to fulfill his commandments.  Heaven may be a ways off, but the ability to create a “Shire” here, a little peace of earthly home for us and everyone around us should never be forgotten.


My friends and fellow human beings made in the image of God, you are loved.