Truthfully, I’m getting a little sick of myself

photo by Kim Ulmanis

photo by Sharlynn Vee

As I got ready to post this morning, I stopped for a moment and scrolled through my last several entries.

Me.
Me.
Me again.
Me again, in a thong (sorry again).

I suddenly had the realization I could be in danger of wearing out my own welcome.

While it’s true this site is called Ned’s Blog, I’ve tried to avoid having it become a mere self-promotional or marketing tool. My goal for this blog has always been a simple one: Make it a place where people can count on getting a laugh or two.

Possibly three if I’m really on my game.

Over time, it has also been a place where I’ve opened up on occasion about the more sobering aspects of my life as a firefighter or growing up in a family of alcoholics.

Granted, those posts didn’t get many laughs.

But because I’ve made so many personal connections with bloggers here, this place has evolved into something more than just a laugh zone; it has become an extension of myself.

During the past few months I’ve been exploring some different avenues for humor, including short audio clips on SoundCloud and, most recently, videos like The Nedinator which, for me, is like being handed a blank canvas and a new set of paints. I believe passionately in the power and importance of humor in our lives, particularly in these times of high stress and low tolerance mixed with information overload. It’s getting harder and harder to live our lives in the moment because we are constantly being told to move forward faster in everything we do.

Humor helps ground us in the moment and remember, at least for a little while, where we are instead of where we’re in such a hurry to get to. It’s also an equalizer. It speaks an almost universal language that, when done well, helps us identify and connect with others in a way that is non-threatening and positive.

Sharing a laugh is sharing yourself.

That being said, I feel in my excitement to share some of these other projects, I have inadvertantly turned my blog into what might appear to be nothing more than a stage for my own spotlight — rather than being a facilitator working beyond the spotlight in the interest of the real star: Humor.

It’s not that I’ve received negative comments or have seen stats dramatically drop; but looking over my last several posts and seeing myself front-and-center has given me a moment of pause. Possibly even a Long Awkward Pause, which I would mention if this was all about promoting. But it’s not, so I won’t… *cough cough*

Seriously though, as I mentioned, this blog is a true extention of myself. And like me, it is evolving and growing. Not necessarily in terms of maturity (I think we can all agree that boat has sailed and sunk), but growth through trial and error. Like that time in the late 80s when I wore my hair in what could’ve easily been mistaken for a mullet.

Today, I looked in the mirror and feared my blog was in danger of wearing that same mullet. If that’s the case, I apologize about that. And the 80s.

Like everyone, I want to be successful and good at what I do. My father once told me, “Just concentrate on doing something well and the rest will take care of itself.”

He was right.

Thanks for giving me time to remember that.

— Ned

(Note: The “Ned’s Oil & Stuff” sign was taken by talented photogrpaher Sharlynn Vee. For more of her terrific work visit her Facebook page or on Instagrav at “sv1.”)

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(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation.

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61 thoughts on “Truthfully, I’m getting a little sick of myself

  1. Pretty sure we’ll never get tired of you, Ned, but very well put, anyway. Me, I think you’ve hit a darn good balance around here. My favorite place to visit when my spirits need a lift. Keep on keepin’ on!

  2. Agree with Marcia. I lurk mostly but I do appreciate the balance between you and material that is “not all you.” I worry over this constantly in my own writing. I once followed a blogger who had great reach and likability, but at some point there was a collective groan over the self-centerness of his style. I don’t see that happening here. At all. Even with a token thong shot or two. 😉

    • The fact that you’re willing to overlook the thong shot means a lot, Tara. And so does the rest of your comment. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and your own experience with a “likable” blogger who went sour. I just needed a gut check because I don’t ever want to be that guy.

      Again, many thanks, Tara — from commenting and lurking 😉

  3. Hi Ned,
    I completely agree with Marcia above. COMPLETELY!
    The fact that you are so self-aware, humble, and kind will never put you in a space where it’s “too much me.” That said, I totally get it! In fact, out of the 300+ e-mails that are sitting in my inbox, it was your title in the subject that caught my eye. Before that, I had spent the morning trying to decide if I’d ever put up another blog post (or FB post) because I just get so tired of me, me, me! It was as if I was meant to read your wise words. Seems like that always happens in the best way.
    And, for the record, I have enjoyed seeing your new mediums and watching your creativity unfold in front of us. Keep it up, my friend. I count you among my many blessings!
    Michelle

    • I have to say, Michelle, I think I was channellng your last post about your fears of projecting an image that is too carefully constructed — and not completely honest. It was a beautful and unflinching look in the mirror. I stayed on my mind and manifested itself this morning.

      • … as I was saying, before I was rudely interruted by my own fat finger pushing the wrong button… I think it was YOU who came in when I needed a gut check and some introspection. So thank you for that.

        And blessings tend to travel together 😉

        • Dear Ned,
          You have no idea how much your comment made my day. I love how this little bloggy sphere works to inspire. Goodness knows, you have been my inspiration more than once (Butt Cheeks and Elbows; Tethered, Tangled and Tied….fruitcake!)
          Reading through these comments hopefully gave the you reassurance that your voice is a strong one and we’d miss it if you ever ran off to be a movie star. That said – I’d stand in line for your autograph at the Terminator’s next grand opening. I hope you had a fabulous 4th!

          • Michelle, your comment and those of everyones’, has been very humbling and inspiring; I’m so appreciative.

            And our Fourth was terrific. I hope yours was as well 😉

  4. I really like the direction you’ve taken your blog Ned. Realistically, I think of a blog as a chance to peek between the drapes into the house of the blogger – Peek-a Boo! I see you in your wife’s thong! Ha! -With the bloggers’ permission, of course. You have a funny and amazing mind Ned – just bring it on! I will say this though – those who are sane are the ones who question their sanity. Now that you’ve done that, I can hardly wait to see what’s next.

    • I THOUGHT that was you behind the Rhododendron bush…
      Thanks for the kind words, Paul. I’m fortunate I don’t always have to rely on myself to question my sanity. There are lots of others willing to do it for me 😉

      Again, thanks my friend

  5. In other words, you’ve noticed an abnormal growth on the extension of yourself? Well, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure it’s benign. 🙂

  6. Nope, you’re good. Introspective, funny, brave and I have never once rolled my eyes. For what that’s worth. Except when I didn’t see the thong at first, and I fainted, and that doesn’t count. 🙂

  7. Hi Ned, I smile and laugh out loud at your interesting thoughts and experiences. Love your comical outlook and extreme experiences. Please continue and take special care. Stephanie

  8. It’s good writing, Ned, so it never gets boring.
    And some of us *cough cough* LOVE reading about you. Thong or no thong.
    Wait. That came out wrong.

    (or as Freud said, there ARE no mistakes.)
    (Did Freud say that? Or was it some idiot that kept making mistakes?)
    (Did my Ex say that??)

    • I believe Freud’s exact words were: “There are no mistakes. Not counting Exes — who are generally idiots.”

      I really appreciate you, Samara, and your *cough cough*

  9. No worries here, mate.

    For this past year, I have been substituting “Ed Begley, Junior” every time I see the name “Ned”. Now EBJ is one egotistical prat!

    BTW, did you still want me to monogram your next shipment of Ego Waffles?

  10. Lovely post – just completely wrong. Your humour (Canadian English) extends its hand into both your life and work; while it can be clinically separated, the removal of the personal anecdotes would devalue the open relationship status that you have with the audience who follow you ‘because’ of your candor and self depreciating ability to convey a personal experience into one which others connect with. You, you, you have absolutely no worries about self centered, self promotion.

    • *Sigh of relief*
      *Sigh of appreciation*
      *Sigh of inspiration*

      Ok, now people are looking at me funny…

      RM, your comment is deeply appreciated. I truly enjoy and admire your writing — it’s insightfulness, passion and honesty. For those reasons, your words mean a lot.

  11. Getting tired of you is not possible. True story. I’ll always be your #1 fan. Even when I disappear for two months at a time because I can’t get my head out of my own ass without medical assistance. Sigh. Life is weird. You’re the best – don’t go changing!

    • Haha! I think you just gave me a new slogan, Beth…

      Ned’s Blog: All the guilt, none of the calories. Unless you eat away the guilt.

      Thanks, Beth 😉

  12. Don’t fret, friend. It’s clear you’re excited about what you’re doing (scary movies) and that’s great, it’s infectious, and it’s fine. I do know the feeling, though. I get sick of myself all the time. No joke. I feel this most profoundly when I do my radio pieces, especially the straight essays. It motivates me to mix it up, try to do more creative, script-like things, dialogue, use sound and effects. In other words, self-loathing is the humorist’s friend.
    As Arnie would say, “Come with me if you want to laugh.”

    • I’m so glad to hear you say that, Ross. Seriously. It’s a strange combination, working to build a readership and spread the laughs, then reaching a point of critical mass (not talking weight gain) and suddenly worrying that there’s too much “You” out there,

      I appreciate what you said, and I’ll still tread thoughtfully forward while trying to stay a step ahead of my good friend Self-Loathing 😉

  13. I know when I’m worried about narcissism I like to take the time out to focus completely on myself, shine up the mirror a little. Then I realize what a gift I am to humanity and can get back to writing about it. But I like the way you added links.

  14. It is totally ok to have YOUR blog be about…well, YOU! I, personally, like reading about YOU! I love your stories and the way you write. I don’t think you are narcissistic at all! If you are, then so are MOST bloggers out there because a lot of us write about ourselves. LOL! When you start sharing too much information, we will let ya know! 😉
    In the meantime….keep on keeping on! ~

  15. I liked the 80’s- and then I started singing this song:
    Every breath you take
    Every move you make
    Every bond you break
    Every step you take
    I’ll be watching you.
    Which was my way of saying I won’t stop reading your blog – EVER. And then when I started to read it, it sort of sounds like I am a stalker- but I’m not I swear, just ask my ex-boyfriend. You have to ask him though, I am supposed to stay like 50 feet away or something.
    I should erase all this and just say I really like your blog. To late.

    • Thanks, Kristin. Even though you’re not technically a stalker, you’re the closest thing I’ve had to one since that whole mall security “incident” a few years ago with Santa. So stalker or not, I’m appreciative 😉

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