I have been assisting my wife with her wedding photography for several months…or “second shooting” as they call it in the biz.

Other than a newfound appreciation for wedding photographers, in general, and a slight regret I didn’t do more squats growing up to strengthen my thigh muscles, I have come to recognize one very important detail about the wedding experience.

Pastors, priests, clergy or whoever the heck is asked to perform a wedding ceremony should get paid afterward.

Yeah, I know this is usually in the form of an “honorarium” given since, as far as I believe, most don’t have a set fee for this sort of thing (unless they were ordained just to make some extra cash on the weekends).

But seriously, there needs to be some sort of sliding scale when it comes to their performance at these ceremonies.

Maybe it can be a point system where the pastor starts with 50 points (dollar equivalent to be determined by those funding the wedding) and can go up or down based on what is said from the moment they start to the pronouncing of husband and wife.

For example…

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“You are mean, Daddy.”

The four words I never wanted to hear come out of my child’s mouth flowed out so easily the other day when I was bringing her home from church.

Sure, I was probably a bit naïve to think she would NEVER see me as anything but the coolest man in the world (I think that image actually ended around Day 2 of her life), but I guess I held out hope it would come during some teenage rebellion stage when I told her she couldn’t have the new flying car by Audi.

So, when the phrase was so effortlessly and thoughtlessly uttered by my precious little 4 year old pre-teen, I was sent into defense mode.

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I loathe this feeling.

The idea of having little to no creative inspiration literally keeps me up at night.

Have I so little inside me fueling any type of creative expression that I have peaked at writing a few humorous blog posts and a few songs when I was a teen?

How depressing.

I enjoy creating. Using my imagination to come up with something original and sharing it with others. But during these times where inspiration seems to have dried up like the Sahara, my frustration tends to turn toward annoyance at all the ways the rest of humanity seems to be churning out one creative work after another.

And truthfully…I want to punch them.

Well, maybe not the person (I’m not violent in action, only thought). I want to strike their talent on the jaw and tell it to calm down.

Seriously. How many amazing songs do you need to write or paintings do you need to produce or stories of hobbits do you need to create before you run out of creativity?

How do these people find so much inspiration in their daily lives and are they, perhaps, taking some sort of pill to help unlock hidden recesses of creativity deep within their brains like that movie Limitless? (I think we need to start drug testing these people.)

What really bothers me the most, though, is my lack of ability to recognize something amazing out of something so basic.

It’s not writer’s block. It’s caveman brain.

Me see rock. Rock look round. Rock feel hard. Me laugh when thrown rock accidentally hits person on head.

See? There really is very little depth to my creativity.

Maybe I need to take more time to just sit, reflect and consider the miracles of life? Or, maybe I should just watch more funny YouTube videos of people falling? Who knows?

What I do know, and hope, is that this post will encourage others like myself searching to find their own creative voice when it feels like they just don’t have anything original left in the tank to offer society.

Also, I hope this reaches the secret society of limitless pill holders so they can drop off a few at my backdoor – second potted plant to the right – and help jumpstart my struggling inspiration.

I’m not big on doing a lot of self-reflection at the end of the calendar year and then coming up with all the ways I am going to make myself a better ME.

I don’t know. Maybe there is just too much improvement needed and I’m afraid to even go near that can of unfulfilled expectations.

Maybe it’s just easier to be surprised by my accomplishments at the end of the year instead of being disappointed by the areas I still find lacking when January 1 rolls around.

Or, is it possible I have already reached my peak level of personal fullness and there is nowhere to go from here but back down? (You’re laughing at the joke and not me, right?)

Anyway, I have decided it is time to give this resolution stuff a fair chance and what better way to ensure true accountability than to place it on a blog in the form of a Top 10 List.

So, here we go!

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I come from a long line of determined, focused, talented and overtly patient, amateur bakers.

They made sweets, treats and breads that would fill their houses with an aroma powerful enough to send the mildest diabetic into a coma through scent alone.

Against all gender odds, I picked up the bug and dove into the world of baking. Looking back, I can see there was not going to be much of a choice in the matter. I had gotten hooked on the “white stuff” since I was a child sneaking into the kitchen and dipping a wet finger into the sugar container for hit to power my next several hours of…whatever I did as a kid.

Here is the thing about baking, though…it is a cruel and fickle lover. Enticing you to a world of heavenly concoctions just beyond the preparation and pages of the recipe while knowing full well the fight it will take to accomplish the proclaimed end product.

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