Being a Better Adult One Baby Step at a Time

I’ve experienced two wake-up calls recently.

The first was the unavoidable and somewhat shocking realization that I am an adult. You would think at the ripe age of 34, I would have been smacked by this fact a bit sooner, but I wasn’t. Somehow, I was able to sustain a blissful state of youthful ignorance for most of my life. But eventually, that son of a bitch named Reality will come stampeding up behind you and sling his lasso around your throat, yanking you from your proverbial hobby horse. It may be a relatively short fall to earth, but man does it sting.

Campbell County Annual Reality Wrangle, 2014.

Campbell County Annual Reality Wrangle, 2014.

But, as bad as wake-up call number one hurt, the second left an even bigger bruise:

I totally and completely SUCK at being an adult. Really and truly friends, I am not good at this shit AT ALL.

When it came to being a child, I freaking crushed it. Not to brag, but if I were ever going to have a kid, I would want to have myself. I was awesome. I shared my toys, rarely ever pitched any kind of fit; I was friendly and happy. I hit all my milestones ahead of schedule, I was smart and followed the rules. In summary, I was a dang delight. So what the hell happened?

My theory – adulthood snuck into my life like a thief in the night. It did not announce itself and it refused to make its presence known. Pretty jerk move, if you ask me. How am I supposed to win this game when I didn’t even know we started playing? Ironically, adulthood is kind of like that bratty kid we all played hide and seek with at least once in our younger years. The one who tells you to hide while he counts to 100, but only counts to 15 and acts like a damn playground champion when he grabs your shoulder proclaiming, “Got ya!” Big whoop, adulthood. You’re a shitty winner, I’m an equally lousy loser, and you don’t play fair.

“1, 2, 8, 59, 100. Ready or not, I’m coming for you, sucker!"

“1, 2, 8, 59, 100. Ready or not, I’m coming for you, sucker!”

Needless to say, these two startling revelations were the source of some serious lamenting. I talked to Red about my conundrum, and although he reassured me that in his eyes I was perfect, I knew beyond all reasonable doubt I was in dire need of self-improvement. For my age, I’m slightly too irresponsible. I seldom make plans; I don’t set goals as often as I should. I sometimes act without thinking things all the way through, I’m neurotic and I have a host of crappy habits. In short, when it comes to being  an adult, I’m kind of a dimwit.

Now don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful to carry a healthy level of child-like exuberance into your mature years. But there is no dignity in being the sort of grown-up who can’t grasp a basic understanding of a 401K and can’t manage to ever muster the ambition required to fold and hang clean laundry in any sort of organized fashion.

But there are so many changes to tackle that as I continued soul-searching with Red, I became seriously overwhelmed. In my fledgling quest to become a better version of myself, the to-do list was rapidly growing, stretching longer than the coupon laden receipts you get at the grocery store.

receipt

And then the solution for which I was fervently searching illuminated my mind, like a light bulb being switched to the on position directly above my head.

Maybe, in order to be a better adult, one might be best served starting with baby steps.

As ironic as this logic may sound, I felt good about this idea and got started right away. I made a plan to begin chipping away at 5 specific goals. (See? I’m already planning and setting goals! Check two adulty things off my list.) While I won’t share each of these itsy bitsy improvements with you, I will divulge the first and most frivolous one, mainly because I’m kicking ass at it, and it’s quite appropriate for the theme of this post.

babystep1Goal #1 = To finally stop biting my damn nails.

Seriously, it’s about time I got around to breaking this terrible and super-embarrassing habit. In my defense, however, I’m pretty sure I used my teeny tiny nails in place of teething rings, so I’ve been at this a while. Whether you chew tobacco or chew on finger tips, even gross habits are difficult to discontinue when they’ve been a part of your routine for so many years. However, I’ve been off the nail-noshing for 24 days now, and my fingers are already looking less like those of a nasty nine year old and more like those of a lady. Therefore, I am tentatively putting this one in the WIN column.

Screw your maturity. I have you on my sites and I’m toddling my child-like little ass straight towards you at lightning speed. As I mentioned earlier, I kicked booty at reaching milestones in my youth, and this time shall be no different. You may have got a head-start, but I’m a fast learner.

I’m coming for you adulthood, one baby step at a time.

Being a better adult, one baby step at a time.

I’ve experienced two wake-up calls recently.

The first was the unavoidable and somewhat shocking realization that I am an adult. You would think at the ripe age of 34, I would have been smacked by this fact a bit sooner, but I wasn’t. Somehow, I was able to sustain a blissful state of youthful ignorance for most of my life. But eventually that son of a bitch named Reality will come stampeding up behind you and sling his lasso around your throat, yanking you from your proverbial hobby horse. It may be a relatively short fall to earth, but man does it sting.

Campbell County Annual Reality Wrangle, 2014.

But, as bad as wake-up call number one hurt, the second left an even bigger bruise:

I totally and completely SUCK at being an adult. Really and truly friends, I am not good at this shit AT ALL.

When it came to being a child, I freaking crushed it. Not to brag, but if I were ever going to have a kid, I would want to have myself. I was awesome. I shared my toys, rarely ever pitched any kind of fit; I was friendly and happy. I hit all my milestones ahead of schedule, I was smart and followed the rules. In summary, I was a dang delight. So what the hell happened?

My theory – adulthood snuck into my life like a thief in the night. It did not announce itself and it refused to make its presence known. Pretty jerk move, if you ask me. How am I supposed to win this game when I didn’t even know we started playing? Ironically, adulthood is kind of like that bratty kid we all played hide and seek with at least once in our younger years. The one who tells you to hide while he counts to 100, but only counts to 15 and acts like a damn playground champion when he grabs your shoulder proclaiming, “Got ya!” Big whoop, adulthood. You’re a shitty winner, I’m an equally lousy loser, and you don’t play fair.

“1, 2, 8, 59, 100. Ready or not, I’m coming for you, sucker!”

Needless to say, these two startling revelations were the source of some serious lamenting. I talked to Red about my conundrum, and although he reassured me that in his eyes I was perfect, I knew beyond all reasonable doubt I was in dire need of self-improvement. For my age, I’m slightly too irresponsible. I seldom make plans; I don’t set goals as often as I should. I sometimes act without thinking things all the way through, I’m neurotic and I have a host of crappy habits. In short, when it comes to being  an adult, I’m kind of a dimwit.

Now don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful to carry a healthy level of child-like exuberance into your mature years. But there is no dignity in being the sort of grown-up who can’t grasp a basic understanding of a 401K and can’t manage to ever muster the ambition required to fold and hang clean laundry in any sort of organized fashion.

But there are so many changes to tackle that as I continued soul-searching with Red, I became seriously overwhelmed. In my fledgling quest to become a better version of myself, the to-do list was rapidly growing, stretching longer than the coupon laden receipts you get at the grocery store.

And then the solution for which I was fervently searching illuminated my mind, like a light bulb being switched to the on position directly above my head.

Maybe, in order to be a better adult, one might be best served starting with baby steps.

As ironic as this logic may sound, I felt good about this idea and got started right away. I made a plan to begin chipping away at 5 specific goals. (See? I’m already planning and setting goals! Check two adulty things off my list.) While I won’t share each of these itsy bitsy improvements with you, I will divulge the first and most frivolous one, mainly because I’m kicking ass at it, and it’s quite appropriate for the theme of this post.

Seriously, it’s about time I got around to breaking this terrible and super-embarrasing habit. In my defense however, I’m pretty sure I used my teeny tiny nails in place of teething rings, so I’ve been at this a while. Whether you chew tobacco or chew on finger tips, even gross habits are difficult to discontinue when they’ve been a part of your routine for so many years. However, I’ve been off the nail-noshing for 24 days now, and my fingers are already looking less like those of a nasty nine year old and more like those of a lady. Therefore, I am tentatively putting this one in the WIN column.

Screw you maturity. I have you in my sites and I’m toddling my child-like little ass straight towards you at lightning speed. As I mentioned earlier, I kicked booty at reaching milestones in my youth, and this time shall be no different. You may have got a head-start, but I’m a fast learner.

I’m coming for you adulthood, one baby step at a time.

Go on girls. Be a little delusional.

Mirror, mirror, full of lies.

Why didn’t you tell me about my thighs?

I’m pretty sure I have an eating disorder. Although, I don’t think there’s a name for it. In an attempt to share this with my husband a few days ago, the best way I could describe it was like anorexia – in reverse. I’m unsure if anyone will be able to relate to this, but I’ll try to explain.

At this point in my life, I’m overweight, and more so now than I’ve ever been. I know it, I confess it and I’m taking steps to fix it. I think we’ve all been there, and we know that it takes weeks, months, sometimes years before we wake up and smell the coffee. We live with ourselves every day, so sometimes it’s three bigger pant-sizes later before we realize we’ve let ourselves slip just a tad. It’s completely normal.

However, it occurred to me a while ago that my long journey to BigBootyVille might be a little less than completely normal.

When every gal out there finishes primping, she checks herself in the mirror before venturing out. We all do it. And, as I admitted before, I am totally aware of all those extra pounds I’ve packed on in recent years. But when I give myself the obligatory final check every day, for the life of me I can’t find that fat-ass anywhere. I look and look, but all I see is a thin little hotty peering back at me. Logic tells me I’m obese. My mirror tells me there must be something wrong with my scale, and that those jeans make my butt look super tiny.

My morning routine.

It’s anorexia in reverse. Those suffering from that terrible disease find it impossible to see a thin body reflecting back towards them. I find it impossible to see a fat one. Either way you slice it, it’s delusional and it’s denial in its truest form.

I eat what I want, although I shouldn’t. I drink what I want, although I shouldn’t. I have an unhealthy, counterproductive lifestyle, and all because that lying bitch in the mirror this morning told me what a sexy beast I am. Her deception is a major contributor to my current state.

But, she is also a major contributor to my self-esteem. She’s a comfort and a friend and the reason I can face the world with my sass and confidence in tact. However, she’s not perfect. My super-hero of self-confidence most certainly has her kryptonite, and it comes in the form of a camera.

All it takes is one innocent picture of myself posted on a friend’s Facebook wall for that beautiful bubble to burst. In the flash of a camera bulb, I am snapped right back into reality. That heavy girl I was searching for in the mirror earlier that day finally reveals herself, and I’m left feeling confused and terribly betrayed. Where did that voluptuous vixon go? And who the hell replaced her with that heffer?

Turns out, ignorance really can be bliss.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that a person’s size has anything to do with their actual beauty. I’m not superficial. I’m not lost to total vanity. But it is disconcerting when you truly do not recognize yourself in pictures. It’s also frustrating.

So, in a battle for my self-esteem, who wins? Is it the irrefutable photographic proof or the less-than-accurate delusional reflection? On one hand, it’s great to love the body you see when staring into the mirror. On the other hand, it’s not entirely healthy to possess a level of denial that can eventually be detrimental to your health. I’ve thought about this a long time, and I’ve come to a conclusion.

By unanimous decision, the mirror freaking wins.

That’s right folks, I voted in favor of delusion. The choice was easy. I figure if I’m rational enough to know that I need to get healthier and I’m aware logically that I need to shed some weight, then I’m emotionally savvy enough to handle the somewhat skewed reflection in my mirror. Just because I’m battling my inner donut-devourer doesn’t mean I have to hate myself in the process.

Believing that would would be believing the ultimate lie.

Maybe I have a form of eating disorder, maybe I don’t. But if I do, there are far worse kinds to have. And to be honest, I kind of wish my variety was contagious. I hope that other girls, other women can relate to how I feel. My desire is for all of you to have the type of mirror that tells you everyday that you’re the fairest of them all. And I pray that girls everywhere develop my particular strain of delusional disease.

I love myself like a fat kid loves cake, and I’m okay with that.

What’s in a name? Sometimes a racial slur.

What is wrong with people?

I came across an old picture the other day, and since I’ve yet to master the appropriate way to celebrate Throw-Back-Thursday, I thought I’d share it with you. But before I reveal the photo, I owe you a quick explanation.

In a prior job, one of my daily tasks was to interview people who were applying to college. I would schedule appointments with prospective students, and upon their arrival to the school lobby, they were asked to sign-in on the visitor’s sheet. It was the standard sign-in sheet, asking for their name, the current time and the name of the person they were here to see. It’s pretty customary shit, people.

My name is Whitney. Although that’s not a terribly difficult name to spell, I fully understand that it’s not a beginner level name like Jan or Sue. I’ve learned over the years to expect misspells. I’ve seen Witney, Whittney, Wendy and even Brittany a million times over, and I’m completely okay with that. I don’t even flinch.

But on August 4th, 2011, I did flinch. Twice.

Flinch #1:

That’s right. At 9am, I strolled out to the lobby only to realize the student I was greeting had renamed me “Wintey” while I wasn’t looking. As in, rhymes with “minty”. Although I found the spelling a bit odd, I shook the student’s hand and walked my spearminty ass down the hall towards my office like nothing ever happened. I’m a professional, dammit!

But then, 4pm rolled around, and with it came Flinch #2:

Tango.

Foxtrot.

I did a double-take. I lifted the sheet closer to my face, squinting my eyes in disbelief of what I was reading.

WETNECK!?!

How in the holy hell did anyone mistake the name Whitney for WETNECK? God rest her soul, I thought Whitney Houston was a household name, which should render a mistake of this magnitude impossible! And even if they thought I introduced myself as “Wetneck” during our phone conversation, why wouldn’t they have questioned it???

And what exactly is a Wetneck anyway? I was curious, and therefore posted the photo that evening to my Facebook page, where my friend Paula enlightened me.

hanks, Paula. Maybe the kid wasn’t a moron, but instead just using my name to test out a newly invented racial slur. Great.

Have people botched your name before? Share your entries to the idiot name-game below.

Sincerely,

Wetneck

Men’s Synchronized Swimming and a MUST SEE Video

I detailed my death defying vacation last week in this post, but as I also mentioned, the trip started off fantastically. Since I lived to blog another day, I wanted to share with you one of the more hilarious moments from that week.

Two of the most ridiculous-in-a-great-way dudes in my family are Aaron and Bryce. They are brother-in-laws, bonded by not just marriage, but also a mutual love for each other and for all things goofball. Aaron lives in California now, and Bryce in Wisconsin, so when the two are reunited it’s pretty special. And not just special for them, but special for all of us given the opportunity to witness their antics.

The weather was especially pleasant during our trip, so the family decided to walk down to the neighborhood pool. The point of the excursion was to relax and let the kiddos blow off some steam.

Now, you’re not supposed to leave children unattended in a public pool. It’s irresponsible and anything could happen. But while the rest of us were carefully monitoring the 11-and-unders in our group, we neglected to tend the two older children. While our heads were turned, THIS happened:

A couple of notes about that video:

  1. You are going to want to watch both video clips in this post before Aaron and Bryce catch on and badger me to remove them.
  2. That is totally me you hear cackling like a fool in the background.

Because I can’t ever leave well enough alone, and because I had nothing to do but recover from my near death experiences, I decided to punch up the video just a tad. It’s pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. Make sure to hang in there for the slow-motion grand finale.

Needless to say, the family is very proud of our Olympic hopefuls.

Do you have any summertime silliness to share? Whether it’s a link to a photo, video or blog entry, feel free to post them below.

Until next time, just keep swimming!

 

You Can Dance If You Want To

This is less of a post and more of a treat for you guys – my amazing blog followers!

Since weekends are made for letting loose and having a good time, I thought the video below would help put everyone in ideal Saturday spirit. Enjoy!

Warning: Video contains men wearing pumps and may cause some viewers to experience violent dance outbursts and diva-like symptoms. Call your doctor in the event of a dance party lasting more than 4 hours.

Girrrrrl, you better work Beyonce! Those boys have your number and are infinitely less annoying to watch. Naturally, since I was home alone, I tried to recreate the video. Unfortunately, my version looked a little more like this:

I’ll see you electric sliders on Monday, but until then, keep on dancing like nobody is watching!

DimWhit’s Friday Fold-Up: Now with 50% more fold-up!

I didn’t post a Friday Fold-Up last week due to being on vacation with family, plus I was preoccupied trying not to die. To compensate, today I’ll be recapping what you missed over the last two weeks, therefore offering 50% more fold-up, free of charge! Who doesn’t like a bargain!?! Before you get too excited however, I must confess that not much happened in that time period so this won’t take long.

First recap on the agenda today, comes to you not from my blog, but rather my Twitter account. Yesterday, I tweeted this picture to Ginger Zee of GMA and she replied to it!

I took this photo last night while enjoying cocktails on my deck with Red. I’m sharing this with you for three important reasons.

  1. It’s a pretty nature picture and pretty nature pictures make people happy.
  2. If you didn’t know I was on Twitter, now you do. And if the likes of Ginger Zee can find time to trade tweets with me, surely you can too. Follow me @DimWhitBlog…I promise you’ll only be slightly sorry you did.
  3. Since I’m having Twitter conversations on the reg with celebrities now, my quest for world domination is picking up steam, so you may want to jump aboard the DimWhit Train while we still have seats. This locomotive is speeding straight to Famousville.

While you’re still feeling a surge of inspiration thanks to the majestic cloud photo above, it’s a good time to tell you about the uncharacteristically motivational post I wrote since the last recap. To all my fellow bloggers, I wrote this one specifically for you!

And if you’ve ever been guilty of taking a dumbass quiz via Facebook, I wrote a post for you too! I took some time to teach everyone the advanced skill of internet quiz-taking. The technique is considered advanced because it allows you to maintain your dignity and involve your family pets. Give it a shot!

That’s about all that happened since the last Friday Fold-Up. Oh yeah, except for the moment I almost died…twice.

Until next time!

I didn’t die but I almost did and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

I haven’t posted in a few days, and I’m not apologizing. Why? Partially because I was on vacation with family for Father’s Day weekend. Also partially, I’m pretty sure I almost died.

The vacation part was fun, or at least it started out that way. Red and I hopped in the car and drove from our home in Kentucky up to see family in the land of beer and cheese, Wisconsin. If you’ve never been,  Madison is a great town with beautiful lakes and tons to do. We had a great time catching up with our loved ones, goofing around, eating and drinking far too much beer. The weather was awesome and the company was even better.

We were due to drive out of town early Monday morning, making Sunday our last full day of fun and fellowship. The plan was to enjoy a cookout, with additional family members coming over to join in the Father’s Day festivities. Then that evening, the adults were to head out for a night on the town to a trendy bar for cocktails and cuisine.  That was the plan. Sounds perfect, right? The only slightly crappy part would be the inevitable saying of goodbyes at the end of the night, because as we all know, goodbyes really bite.

But you know what else bites? Spiders…

Since nothing can ever be easy with me, that morning as Red and I were getting gussied up at our hotel in preparation of Sunday-Funday, a freaking ninja-spider decided to hack and slash his way through my thick tresses and make a meal out of the back of my head. (By the way, if that made you squirm, I don’t feel sorry for you. I lived it.) I wasn’t aware when it happened, and for that at least, I’m thankful. My first clue something was afoot was while en route to our family gathering, when I suddenly began itching uncontrollably. And since I’ve never before experienced an allergic reaction, it took my dimwitted ass a while to realize there were hives forming all over my body. Red made a pit stop so we could buy some Benedryl, where while standing in the checkout line, I felt the back of my head and discovered a swell the size of a tennis ball.

Awesome.

By the time we arrived at our destination, I was more than a little panicked. I popped a Benedryl and went to the bathroom where family members slathered diaper rash cream over my hives in an attempt to squelch the relentless itching. A mere 30 minutes prior, I had strutted out of our hotel room feeling pretty cute. Now, I was hobbling out of the family bathroom covered in red bumps, white goo and with my gunky hair knotted into a bun.

Also awesome.

Although my family successfully rescued me from certain peril, for which I am grateful, I spent the rest of Sunday-Funday lumbering around feeling a little less than human and praying that at the very least, the vicious bite would result in the development of super-powers. Unfortunately, I had no spidey-senses, couldn’t shoot webs from my wrists, and try as I might, was not able to climb up the side of buildings.

Not awesome.

The next day as we set out on the road back towards the bluegrass state, I was unfortunately still feeling pretty shitty. I presumed it was the lingering effects of my death-spider head massage, but if you remember, nothing is ever simple with me. As it turns out, I was feeling increasingly terrible thanks to the beginning stages of an abscessed tooth.

That, my friends, is the mother of all awesome.

There are a few humorous-at-my-own-expense stories I could tell you in relation to this ailment, but I’m not going to. It would take too long and I simply can’t relive the trauma. Suffice it to say, I have never felt pain quite that intense before and although it didn’t kill me, there were times I was wishing for the sweet release of death. One tear-filled trip to the doctor and several drugs later, I am on the mend and finally feeling close to my former self. While I may still be chewing with only the right side of my mouth, I feel blessed to still be walking the earth.

On a happy note, I didn’t come away empty handed. During my vacation of near death experiences, Red purchased me this t-shirt!

And that, my friends, truly is awesome.

Until next time…

How to take Zimbio quizzes and maintain your dignity!

Zimbio and Buzzfeed quizzes are killing my Facebook newsfeed.

Killing. It.

Admittedly, it’s pretty damn convenient when a 20 second test on the internet can tell you how long you’re going to live. Oh, and what would life be if we had no way to accurately determine which Backstreet Boy we should marry?!? It’s truly enough to make anyone thankful for technological advances. We live in a glorious time! (Screw you, “Dark Ages”!)

Assuming we’re in a circle of truth, we can collectively confess that those quizzes are stupid. We all know this. However, we also know that at least once we’ve been suckered in, clicked the damn link and before you knew it, were finding out what adorable animal we were in a past life.

ADMIT IT!

In a moment of weakness just this morning, I succumb to one of those gawd-awful links to find out which Game of Thrones character I was. Every multiple choice selection I made got me one step closer to the answer and chipped just a tiny bit more away from my dignity. It was quite a pickle.

How could I indulge these idiotic quizzes while managing to keep my self-respect intact? I may be a DimWhit, but at that moment I was struck by genius.

Like an inconvenient fart, I’m putting this one on my dog!

It’s a simple fix, really. You merely open a quiz of your choice, pretend to be the family dog and answer the questions accordingly. You know them well enough to answer on their behalf. Plus, you get twice the giggles with zero of that nasty shame aftertaste. To assess my theory, I found my way to Zimbio and put DimDog to the test.

 

Click on this pic if you’d like to join us!

First, I randomly selected one of the quizzes highlighted on the home page. I figured the “Finding Nemo” test would be ideal for my experiment since it’s kinda about animals. Also, I was confident I could guess which character DimDog would be (Dory) and was looking forward to being validated.

Here is how she answered and her results. Question 1:

This was an obvious DimDog answer. She swims about as well as a giant rock with four plastic straws taped to the bottom. She’d want back to shore and she’d need help getting there.

Also easy. She never tries to run off, but I do trip over her constantly because she is permanently attached to my ass. If I were to go adventuring, she would go too. Moving right along.

Okay, so in actuality she’s feasting on kibble tonight. But her preference out of these four? Please, gimme something more difficult!

This was definitely the most challenging question in the quiz, but I used some deductive reasoning skills and am satisfied I got it right.

I won’t bore you with every lame, poorly written question, but suffice it to say, invoking my puppy’s persona was almost too easy. I felt confident that I represented DimDog well, although the result was a bit of a shocker. Can you guess what character she got? Here’s a little hint:

Sidenote: If you need a pro Photoshopper, I’m available for hire.

That’s right, folks. Courtesy the scientific findings of Zimbio, DimDog may now also be referred to as DarlaDog. I was a little surprised at the result, but once I read the description, I was reminded of the complete and total validity of these tests. Who am I to argue with science? I know my dog, and this quiz absolutely nailed her.

No joke, I honestly couldn’t have described my dog better if I tried.

Because of this, I label my experiment a definite success and urge you to give it a try. You can quiz vicariously through your dog, cat, infant baby, grandmother…whoever’s thought patterns you have a real handle on. Now you can Buzzfeed with the best of them and feel smug while doing so. (Because after all, it’s not really you taking dumb internet tests, is it?)

If you decide to join along, shout it out with pride in the comment section below.

Quiz long and prosper, my friends!

Top 5 Reasons Blogging Makes You A Better Person

Okay, okay. I confess blogging might not exactly transform a convict into a Care Bear. However, I would like to present you the argument that blogging on a regular basis not only forces a stimulation of one’s creativity, but also has the ability to enhance some pretty kickass virtues.

If you are the author of a blog, you’re completely aware that regularly coaxing brand new content out of your Gluteus Maximus is a challenge in itself. Obviously, it’s a task that requires a certain amount of ambition and the relentless flexing of your brain muscle. What may be less obvious, however, are the loads of other personality traits your site is subconsciously, positively reinforcing.

Let’s take a look!

What many people don’t tell you is that all Wordpress accounts include a free, freshly-baked humble pie, which is served directly to your inbox upon registration. It’s piping hot and just like Momma used to make. Most people start a blog because they have information or insights they want to share…with the world. They spend an enormous amount of time fixating on the exact right way to convey their intended message, waiting until completely satisfied before hitting “publish”. And then they wait. (Trust me, they do.)

And if they’re anything like me, they spend just a little too much time throughout the day self-stalking, waiting and watching for that moment the general population recognizes the genius of their most recent post and begins vigorously sharing it across the vast interwebs.

You worked so hard! You found the perfect GIF to get your audience giggling AND you tweeted the damn thing. What could go wrong?

But then, the sobering truth sets in the next morning when your only comment came from your cousin and some stupid quiz on BuzzFeed that helps you determine “What Your Poop Really Says About You” got more shares than your much labored masterpiece.

And that, my friends, is humility.

This leads us seamlessly into everyone’s most challenging virtue: patience. Life comes up with a million little infuriating ways to force us to practice patience. Like the time last week when I was held up 15 minutes in a grocery check-out line while 4 grown-ass men discussed the difference between sirloin and porterhouse steaks. Every time you stop for a red light and every time you have to wait for the coffee to brew, pop quizzes of patience can spring up anywhere and at anytime.

And your blog is no exception to this rule.

You may have mounds of meaningful content and a gorgeous site design, but the truth is that finding your audience and building their loyalty takes time and effort. Hang in there, kid. Keep on publishing, keep on perfecting your craft and stay involved. One day, your patience will be rewarded.

Red and I are on vacation right now, and this morning I saw a sign at our hotel that read, “Warning: Fireplace May Be Hot.”

No shit, Sherlock.

Before I began blogging, I would have cracked a couple of jokes about that sign and moved on with my day. However, once you become a blogger,  more and more of your observations start being mentally subjected to a “Is-It-Post-Worthy” test. Looking through the critical lens of a content curator is not a bad thing, though. It encourages a person to linger a bit longer on a passing idea. You slow down a tad and become more contemplative. You take more time to appreciate the little things and consider stuff from other angles.

You stop and smell the roses! (And take a picture of them for social media purposes, of course.)

Regardless of whether your blog is a fun hobby or a budding business, it’s a commitment. Coming up with original material and then crafting a post to bring that thought to life not only requires creativity, it requires your time. Maintaining a blog is a bit like getting married: it’s based on love and passion, it brings you joy, it challenges you, you have to make sacrifices in order for it to thrive and it needs your attention. No long-standing, consistent blogger can viably be labeled as commitment-phobic.

When it comes to blogging, if you like it then you gotta put a ring on it.

There is a level of self-confidence required when you make the decision to publish your thoughts on the internet. Some may argue that it’s cocky to believe your opinions or ideas merit publicity. Meh, whatever.

When writers construct a post, they have no way of knowing whether it will eventually be seen by a million people or by nobody at all. But they write anyway, because at least in that moment, they have confidence in their message. There is a certain amount of beauty and bravery in that act.

And even though accolades are not inherently necessary, a blogger will always derive a little extra boost to their self-esteem with every like, share, follower and kind comment acquired along the way.

So you see, friends? Blogging isn’t a waste of time; it’s character building.

If you blog or know someone who does, I urge you to read and share this list. Why? Because whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned vet of the blogging world, we all need encouragement and we all occasionally need to be rescued from the pits of posting purgatory.

AND because sharing is pretty virtuous too.