Still a Pathological Optimist

15 minutes. 

Never underestimate the power of 15 minutes.   

There are times in my life that I felt like I was at my best. Those times where my hair was perfect and I said just the right thing at just the right time. I sang all the right notes and nailed that joke in the second set.  

Magic. Those moments are amazing because they don’t happen very often. Sometimes I try to create the circumstances so as to produce those moments. Isn’t that what life is all about? Do the things that bring you joy and magic?  

One of the times involved a bicycle. I would ride 100 miles a week. Sometimes in a day! It was my meditation. My thoughts, my bike and the road. The purest edition of Nikki time I could muster at the time. 

About 6 years ago, I experienced a series of fairly tragic moments, and put my bike on the shelf, along with a lot of other things that made me happy.  

One by one, I’ve been digging those things back up and out and re-integrating them into my life.  

Friday was the day I got back on my bike. I committed to 30 minutes, but it only took 15. 

I rode hard. I got sweaty. I hadn’t felt that good in a reeeeeally long time. It was a high that was unlike any drug I have ever taken. I cried in the shower it was so powerful. I felt like a piece of me had been restored. Like I was back. At least, that part of me. 

15 minutes was all it took.

What are you going to do with your 15 minutes?

Sit. 

Henry learned to sit today. Well, not today, necessarily. But today, he actually did sit when I asked him to. First time around. Just put his little butt all 3 inches down to the floor.  

It was a glorious moment. The excitement that I achieved in my belly was comparable to finishing a song. I wanted to tell everyone. It reminded me of the time that he went to the bathroom outside instead of in my bed, or on my rug. I was so excited. The look on his face when I congratulated him and was so happy with him was priceless.  

I flashed back to the singer-songwriter circle when I first got started. I put a song out there that I had been working on, Juniper Coat. Total stream of consciousness song that was a little weird, but I felt so safe in that environment for feedback. A bunch of veteran songwriters giving me tips and excited for my growth and learning process. They certainly didn’t jump up and down like I did with Henry, but the feeling I got when they liked it made me grin like Henry did. 

This dog. 

Coffee. 

I have officially become a coffee drinker.  

I believe that drinking coffee is a bit genetic. Meaning that 85-90% of all my friends who drink coffee, grew up with coffee drinking parents. They view it as a ritual. A routine that was part of the basal grooves in their brain from birth.  

I didn’t grow up with coffee drinking parents. I treated coffee as a treat for when I went to brunch with friends. I’d dress it up with cream and sugar and have dessert first. So yummy. It never had the stimulating effects on me that made my day better, or gave me super powers like my friends touted.  

Until now. 

Coffee is much like eggs. One week it’s good for you, (research done by coffee growers/manufacturers) and the next week it’s bad for you (research done by tea and orange juice companies).  

In the last few years, I have been performing little experiments on myself. What works and what doesn’t for my particular make up of bacteria, chemicals, muscles and bones. I’ve tried different exercise routines, different times of day to go to bed and wake up, and many ways of eating to see what my body likes.   
My body really likes yoga, weights and cycling. I perform best when I go to bed early and rise early. My body likes lots of fat and not many grains.  

I have been experimenting with a new thing, Bulletproof Coffee. Coffee with butter and coconut or MCT oil in it.  Not only is it delicious, but it helps me focus, get stuff done, and not worry about food! In many experiments, I was obsessed with food.  What to eat when and how much, etc.  This way of eating makes me feel good, full and not so worried about the in’s and out’s of my diet, so I can focus on more important things. 

Like blogging. 

Although I don’t need it, (that’s what I tell myself) I have come to appreciate the ritual and quite like being a coffee drinker. Best of all, I feel good, and that is what I’m all about. 

Henry likes it when I feel good.  More walks and treats for him!

Dog. 

I never knew being a dog owner was such a thing. All of my friends make it look so effortless and like it’s no big deal. “Yeah, I have a dog. What’s the big deal?” Oh my gosh, what a big deal it is!  

Do you know they like to eat at the same time every day? Well, Henry does and if you miss that mark, it just isn’t the same. He’s practically disinterested.  

But give him a cardboard toilet paper roll, and heavenly proportions have been achieved. What a weirdo. He dances around it and is so excited it just makes me chuckle. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I kinda forgot what it’s like to chuckle. Genuinely chuckle. He’s such a spaz, and to have access to that 24-7 is quite the privilege.  

Unless it’s at 4am, and then it’s not quite as funny and adorable.   

I remember hearing Patty Griffin (who I want to be when I grow up) say that she wrote “Heavenly Day”, a love song, for her dog. As I type, it’s all clicking.  
I've had this dog a month, and I can’t even imagine life before him anymore. Is that not the craziest thing? If only he could generate income and do laundry. My life would be SET!  

Seriously though, Henry was a stray running around my neighborhood. I would tell people, “I am saving his life”. Indeed. A friend told me, you save his life, and ultimately he will end up saving yours.

Blog? 


To blog or not to blog. Some friends think it’s a good idea. I’m new at it. I can write four lines, carefully crafted and edited to death. Full of metaphors and clever turn arounds.  

But the idea of writing full sentences, well, it’s a little intimidating, I have to admit. Well, I don't have to, but heck, isn’t that what blogging is all about? Getting to a piece of a person that might not come out otherwise.  

Just me and a blank page. So. This is me, trying my hand at blogging.  

Henry, my very new to me 1yo terrier/corgi mix seems to think it’s a good idea in theory, but when it comes down to me sitting with a computer in my lap instead of him, he’s less than thrilled about my new adventure.   

That all being said, I’m excited to try my hand at a new experience. A new way of sounding. I think the creative process must have several outlets to stay fresh. When one is stuck or out of steam, perhaps another outlet can provide the drive to keep going and to not feel all dried up. I’ve been a songwriter for 15 years. It’s challenging to keep up a fresh muse.  

I fancy myself a cyclist, and recently came across a potential (very cheap) new to me bike. It’s mauve. I’m not a big fan of mauve. My mind went instantly to stickers, and paint, and what I could do with it to make it so much my bike that no one would ever steal it, because it could never be mistaken for someone else’s bike. I literally can’t wait to get it in my hands on it and go crazy.  

Do you know they have all sorts of different colored duct tape? This girl’s dream come true. 

To blog or not to blog. Some friends think it’s a good idea. I’m new at it. I can write four lines, carefully crafted and edited to death. Full of metaphors and clever turn arounds. 

But the idea of writing full sentences, well, it’s a little intimidating, I have to admit. Well, I don't have to, but heck, isn’t that what blogging is all about? Getting to a piece of a person that might not come out otherwise. 

Just me and a blank page. So. This is me, trying my hand at blogging.