Hey all, just wanted to ramble on a bit about how worthwhile the instrument rating is IMHO. Both to hear myself type, and also maybe encourage some students slogging through the IR gauntlet. For all the endless hours of training in the summer heat, in a flying greenhouse, under foggles, with so many numbers and headings and instructions bouncing around my head I could taste them in my sweat...I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. To say it makes me a better all-around pilot and vastly opens my horizons is a huge understatement. It's hard to verbalize the feeling of putting all of those skills to real-world use to navigate confidently through the clouds, decending through the goo, and having a runway appear before me at/near minimums. The freedom of being able to fly on many of those days that would otherwise be no-go due to an overcast/broken layer hanging around. It really is a COMPLETELY different animal being in actual IMC rather than simulated. Had a nice benign IFR day a few days ago, so I hopped up to drill some holes, rack up some more time in actual, and a couple of approaches for currency. Decided to take my girlfriend with me; she loves flying and learning all she can about it(scored bigtime on that front). We've flown together quite a bit and she's a proficient enough passenger to ask all the interesting questions without being distracting, even on a "boring" flight with no "scenic" views. Makes it super fun to share this passion of mine. We launched into gray skies and climbed through the overcast layer. Man, I'll never get enough of breaking out into sunlight from a gloomy day below. We headed to a more coastal airport with lower ceilings and started the approach. AWOS reported 700' but I slid down the glideslope to about 400' (100' above mins) before picking up the approach lights. Confident as I am, it's such a warm fuzzy feeling seeing it all come together on a nice stable approach. And admit it, we all love when passenger amazement strokes our egos just a little, haha. Anywho, we went missed and headed back home. Climbed back up to 4000' and enjoyed another short cruise between layers. As we started descending back through the undercast, I got a kick out of letting her reach out the window and "touch the clouds", which somehow surprised her to feel that clouds were wet, lol. All the 30,000 hour guys/gals reading this are probably yawning, but to all you students still trudging through IR training: stick with it! The training was difficult and often discouraging for a lot of us! I'd say the majority! It's a whole lot of hard work, mental exhaustion, and frustration. I promise you're not the only one feeling behind the curve. But the silver lining is, once you build the skillset, it's so incredibly rewarding to use and build upon it further. Keep training and stay proficient! NOTE: I don't recommend bringing anyone who isn't accustomed to flying, into IMC; use your judgement. We're used to the bumps and waves, but spatial disorientation and no outside visuals can really make an otherwise enthusiastic passenger miserable in a hurry. And be safe! I joke about feeling like a sky god in front of my girlfriend, but want to emphasize that no amount of cool points ever should affect your ADM. Safety is nothing to screw around with, especially in the clouds. I've scrubbed plenty of "cool" plans for safety's sake. The confidence the IR has given me is amazing, but never take it for granted.