A love/hate relationship with yoga

One of the websites I go to almost every single day without fail is Wanderlust. Several years ago they brought an outdoor yoga event to Dallas; I went with a friend (and then co-worker), as it was walking distance from our building at that time. It was only the second time I had done yoga outdoors, and it was amazing. I’ve kept up with Wanderlust over the years, but now it’s an all out obsession. They have studios in LA and Austin, both of which I’d love to visit at some point. And they host these huge, fabulous yoga festivals all around the world.

One of their first posts of the year encouraged followers to set intentions for 2016, as opposed to resolutions. We often give up on our resolutions, or just flat out fail at them, which leads to disappointment and dejection. I am the self-appointed queen at beating myself up anyway, so this sounded like a great idea!

My first intention: more yoga, please. I love yoga. But also, I sometimes really hate yoga. I leave some classes very frustrated. Frustrated I can’t do some poses well at ALL or ridiculously pissed off I can’t do others as well as I could three years ago. This, I am fully aware, is not the point of yoga. After all, it’s called a practice for a reason. And letting go is a huge part of that practice, which is clearly not my forté.

I bring up three years ago, as it was the summer I famously played Real Housewife of Dallas. I was floating on severance after the company for which I worked sold and at that time, thought I had a lucrative job lined up (it later fell through, so tragic). A girlfriend and I went to yoga three to four times a week. It was glorious. And these were not easy classes. There were plenty of poses I couldn’t do because of my ankle (and all its metal) and the fact I have very little upper body strength. I have a better chance of marrying Jake Gyllenhaal than I do of ever performing a successful crow pose. But still, I was in great yoga shape for me, personally.

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How I survived week one of Whole 30

The-Whole30-299x300Plot twist: how I did has absolutely nothing to do with the food.

But first, why am I so bad at this blogging thing? October? Really, Nikki?

Anyhow, I’ve wrote before about my lifelong struggle with my weight. And when I say lifelong, I mean at least since kindergarten. I was well aware at that time I was not as small as the other girls. My cheerleader uniform didn’t fit as well as theirs, just like my basketball uniform didn’t two years later. In 1st grade we had a 50s dress and dance competition; I was obsessed with the 50s then – much like the 60s now – and I won, which was amazing. But it was also the day one of my crushes told me my belly looked like a bowl full of jelly. Around a year later, I dressed up as Tinker Bell for Halloween. I was even late to school because my mom put so much effort into it; although it’s still one of my favorite costumes to this day, I remember the looks, the stares, and all the laughs because of how I looked in a leotard.

Given that this all happened during formative years, the feelings and insecurities never left. I’ve made a lot of terrible choices and decisions because of decades of being ashamed of my weight. Not until the last two or three years, full of life’s real problems (not the size of jeans I wear) and a lot of soul searching, have I finally grasped the idea that losing weight, for some, is much more of a mental process than physical. I know many people reading this are thinking “but Nikki, you look fine!” or maybe you’ve struggled even more and want to punch me in the face right now. But it’s all about perspective and one’s own personal experience, and weight has be a huge part of my personal experience.

I made myself stop stressing about all of it over the holidays (cause, really?) and focus on a game plan for Sweet 16. I made the investment in Class Pass in November (more on that later) and decided to start Whole 30 on Jan. 4.

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How to be: a beer and a kiss before I go

YYL IntroI’ve not blogged in months, at least not on a personal level (but for paying gigs, yes). Many, many embarrassingly long months. If you know me well, you know the last two plus years have been — what the’s the best word — complicated. But the wonderful news is, that chapter is coming to a close. Although the next is not yet decided, I am excited for whatever it may bring.

What I do know and can share is this, whatever is next, it will be entirely different than anything else in the last 19 years of my life. As many of you know, I have been in the movie theater and film distribution business since I was 16. Shoveling popcorn and tearing tickets was the very first job I ever had. Never did the idea it would turn into a career cross my mind. Especially since, at that time, I was absurdly obsessed with anything and everything hockey. However, one thing lead to another, I blinked, and there I was at 35 still in “the industry”. From here to LA and countless trips around the country, I have enjoyed every single experience I’ve had because of this business. If I listed every wonderful memory, person, place, and thing I have because of it, we would be here for quite some time and you would never read a single thing I posted again. Trust me, it’s absurd how long a list it is. Though I will admit meeting Seth MacFarlane is without a doubt on top. (You knew I wasn’t getting through this without mentioning that, don’t lie).

The aforementioned complicated past two years have resulted in a lot of soul searching. Should I leave the business, should I move back to LA, should I just stay here, should I say screw it all and move to a beach. The questions (and tears…and wine) have been endless. But about six weeks ago, I decided the time for great change had come. Although I am not sure I’ll spend the rest of my life in Dallas, I’m certain it’s not yet time to leave. For many reasons. But it is time for me to leave the industry. This was not an easy decision. But I am ready to grow, to change, to meet new people, and find out what life is like when Monday’s mood isn’t determined by the box office and your next boss knows nothing about your personal life. Wherever I end up next, it will be a fabulous adventure and I know my experience will serve me well. And for that and everything else mentioned, I am thankful.

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How to be: learning how to walk the talk

e4b63ab11991795bfda531f0accd48ecAnytime a girlfriend or I find ourselves in a sticky situation where we’re not making the best decisions (let’s face it, it’s usually with guys) I always like to stop and say “if you were watching Kate Hudson go through this in a movie, what would you think? What would you want her to do?” It will quickly put things in perspective and sometimes make you realize you’re making a fool of yourself! If you wouldn’t want Kate putting up with that jack ass anymore, why are you?

However, this I know well – it’s quite easy to say something and it’s quite easy to think something. What isn’t easy is the ability or willingness to actually get off your booty and do that something.

For various reasons: travel, work, etc. I hadn’t been to church for awhile until last weekend. So as I was working on some projects last week I fired up the podcast for the sermons I missed. One of the sermons was highly applicable to a situation in which I recently found myself; it was entitled “Actions Reveal (Not Intentions)”. And oddly enough, not two hours later someone quoted the well-known Emerson phrase to me, “your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear what you are saying.” This is actually something I’ve thought about a LOT lately when it comes to my dating choices. I’ve found myself in the habit of being drawn to guys who say they’re looking for the same things I am, but when it comes down to it, they’re not. This seems to be an epidemic in dating; I know I am not the only woman who has suffered because of it. It’s made me much more strategic when it comes to whom I say yes, that’s for sure! But as often as I’ve thought about “actions speak louder than words” when it comes to silly boys, I’ve never really had to think about it when it comes to my friends.

I haven’t lost a lot of major friendships in my lifetime, for which I’m quite grateful. Have I had relationships strained by time or distance or just because of well, life? Of course. That’s natural. But rarely, if ever, have I been in a friendship that has ended because of any sort of unfortunate incident.

As very well documented on this blog, I have put forth tremendous effort over the past year on working on myself. Who I am. Who I want to be. Ridding bad habits and developing new ones. All this work I’ve done, however, had yet to be tested by anyone other than the voices in my head until a few weeks ago. I had a friend who unintentionally (or so I believe) put me in a very uncomfortable and awkward situation in which I was going have to lie – by omission – to another individual. We’re not talking a little white lie. We’re talking a huge, red, your pants are engulfed lie. I just couldn’t do it. I loved this friend, quite dearly. Our friendship was very special, it meant a lot to me over the past five years and helped me through some really difficult periods. So the decision wasn’t an easy one. I could have SAID anything I wanted to my friend or even to myself; I could have completely justified going along with the lie just to save my friendship. I could have told myself it wasn’t my life so what did it really matter, I get to go home, leave this all a million miles away and even pretend like it never happened. But instead, I spoke up and expressed my feelings. And I walked away. As my pastor said, it’s your actions that reveal your true character, not you intentions.

Taking the actions I did cost me a friend. Although I am sad about this, I don’t regret it. No one should have friends in their lives who expect them to lie, cheat or steal on their behalf for any reason. That’s not what friendship is about. Don’t compromise who you are to make someone else happy or save their ass. This world is filled with many, many wonderful people who are great friends and lovers. I’m sad I had to lose someone in the process of really figuring this out, but I’ve learned staying true to and the relationship we have with ourselves is much more important.


How to be: Kitty Pryde walks in, sends you back to your 16 year-old self…what do you say?

1337793508719_8160999We’re all aware of what occurred in Santa Barbara last week and that his actions were unfortunately due to loneliness and rejection. Although God and the Universe clearly had other plans for him, given how young he was, there is no telling what wonderful directions his life could have taken if he had actually received the help he so desperately needed.

At some point we have ALL wished our younger selves knew then what we know now. Today’s post on a blog I follow, Daily (w)rite, asked what relationship advice would you give your 16 year-old self? I have thought about this a lot since I read it. Sweet 16 (which was actually anything but) was one of the most pivotal years of my life. May of 1996 I was finishing up my sophomore year of high school. I was preparing to go to France with my French teacher and a group of my fellow students, not only my first time out of the country, but also on a plane! I was finalizing the first extremely difficult decision I ever had to make, the one to leave my mother’s house and move in with my dad. And I was about to land my first job. At a movie theater.

What I would absolutely tell myself

1. Try not to wait till 34 to realize how awesome you are. You won’t be in Denton forever (girl, you spend three years in LA!) and invisible to guys your entire life (though you’ll always feel that way to an extent). I promise it gets better. You end up dating the widest variety of guys ever. One of them even writes for really popular television shows!

2. Whatever you do, when you walk into Mrs. House’s keyboard class next year and she puts you in alphabetical order, do not speak to the guy to your left. Continue to think he is a jerk like you’ve done the past two years. You will save yourself a two-year, miserable crush and countless hours of humiliation and social suicide. Just TRUST ME on this.

3. That little Thai girl you’ve called your best friend since middle school? You two are in for the long haul. There will be weeks or months you’ll go without conversation over the years, but it doesn’t matter. You two always pick up where you left off. You’ll still have conversations exactly like you do now, mainly about boys and food, over a thing called “text messaging.”

4. Spend time with your cousin Jacob. Like, now. And next month. And as much as you possibly can. I know you’re not close like when you were little and he drove you insane, but in less than 4 1/2 years you’ll never get to see him again.

5. When you move in with your dad after Paris, it will break your mom’s heart. There’s no way around it. But you’re doing it for the right reasons and it pays off, it just takes a lot longer than you expect. But you’ll wake up when you turn 30 and realize she is one of the best friends you have.

6. It’s SO not a big deal you don’t make drum major again. You actually have to quit band after junior year to focus on newspaper and French and well, once you all go to college your instructor lands in prison for having an affair with a student. So there’s that.

7. You’re not going to marry Petr Buzek. Or Brenden Morrow. Just go ahead and deal with that now.

What I would want to tell myself, but wouldn’t

1. You get married at 24 because you think it will be your only chance. Shockingly, it doesn’t turn out well. You get divorced at 28. But you’re going to be okay. You’ll realize it was all meant to be and that the next time you do it, it will be for all the right reasons.

2. When you walk into the mall, fill out that application at the theater and they hire you on the spot because they’re short handed? That ONE moment will set off a chain events that affects the remainder of your life. You cannot possibly fathom the experiences you will have because of it.

3. Your beloved Dallas Stars…they win the Stanley Cup in three years. And it’s even more wonderful than you can imagine. Your hockey adventures have only just begun.

I have to believe I would refrain from telling myself those last three things, as hard as it would be, because these represent experiences I had to go through without any warning and multitudes of surprises I wouldn’t want to ruin. That made me realize (at long last!) as much as I would love to know who I marry and when, when I’ll actually have babies and what type of job I’ll have in five years…I actually don’t want me or anyone else to spoil those experiences and surprises either. Forty-four year-old Nikki is already looking back at me now, rolling her eyes at how ridiculous I can be. Thinking of the things she wishes she could come back and tell me. And all of the things she can’t wait for me to discover on my own.




How to be: hi, my name is Nikki. And I am still a Twilight fan.

HUNGRY KIDS...HA!The majority of you people reading this are from the United States of America, Canada or possibly the UK. Therefore we are all fortunate enough to live in (mostly) free societies. We have the right to our opinions, our beliefs, our thoughts, our values, our interests, our hobbies, how we spend our free time…the list goes on and on. We eat what we want, we drink what we want, we read and watch what we want. It’s pretty much amazing.

But we also have the ability to disagree. And gosh knows there isn’t a place where we tend to disagree more than on the INTERNET. It is a cesspool of negativity and attack when it comes to most everything. How nasty people can be is astounding. If I had a dollar bill for every time I’ve read the phrase “I couldn’t care less…” I wouldn’t have to work for a living. Ever. Side note, it’s actually usually misused as “could care less”, which drives me bananas. If you could care less, that means you DO CARE. Think about it.

Grammar nazi-ness aside, let’s talk about Twilight so I can use myself as an example (it IS my blog after all, no matter how neglected it’s been). Rarely has a book/movie/interest divided the human population into two such drastic opposing sides. Y’all know there are starving children in Africa, right? And you really care THAT much if someone likes poorly written novels or followed every detail of the Kimye wedding? Does it affect your ability to pay your bills? Put food on your own table? Get out of the bed in the morning? Yeah…I didn’t think so.

Let me explain why I personally became a Twilight fan, not that it should matter. Two things happened in April and May of 2009 that whooped my ass. My divorce papers were final and I went through my first post-husband break-up with someone I absolutely adored. I was a DISASTER. In full disclosure (to put it in perspective) it was the second time I was legitimately diagnosed with depression. I lived on Chinese food and Ben & Jerry’s. I rarely left the house for anything other than work and to walk the dogs. I was 1,500 miles away from my entire family and just felt quite alone, despite the fact I lived in the second largest city in the U.S. and had a gazillion friends. You get it, it wasn’t pretty. Twilight had recently made it to OnDemand and I still had no freaking clue what the heck it was about and why it was so popular. So one night after picking up the requisite City Wok (orange chicken and pork fried rice should you be curious), I thought well, might as well…

Fifteen minutes into it I knew I had made a terrible mistake. Because I can’t just like something with a passing fancy. I have to love it and hug it and SQUISH IT TO DEATH. I have a penchant for obsession (see: hockey and my high school years). All three Twilight books were purchased and read within like a week and a half. I went to Comic-Con, I even made some new friends. It was awesome. I never got into Twilight because I found it to be Pulitzer-prize winning literature and Oscar-worthy movies. Quite the contrary. It was senseless entertainment and a much-needed distraction. It pulled me out of a my own head for a little bit each day. Books have ALWAYS been an escape for me and no chick I know of – correct me if I am wrong, it’s the internet so I know you will – wants to take on A Tale of Two Cities when she’s bawling her eyes out over a guy and halfway through a pint of Half Baked.

You have no idea why people like the things they do. And you just shouldn’t care. A Twilight habit (or bad TV or shitty movies, whatever your vice) is much better than a cocaine habit, I say. The fun part is you don’t have to like it too! Crazy! Also what you don’t have to do is be so self-righteous about it. You are not better than me because I like Twilight (and 50 Shades of Grey, *gasp*) and you find it trashy and unbearable. I guarantee you that you like something I find unappealing. I have dated Philadelphia sports fans and Conservatives, I can clearly get past terrible interests. (She’s funny, this one!)

I may say to you, hey You, I don’t like that. But hey You, it’s totally cool that you do. Cause that’s how it should work. Remember in Steel Magnolias when Clairee said our ability to accessorize is what separates us from the animals? I believe our ability to pick and choose our likes, interests and individual thoughts are what separates us from not only the animals, but also from being absolutely mundane and boring. Who wants boring?!


How to be: learning to love your Nineveh, wherever it may be

f455e13b0dc25a5583c1f8a5b58cb0a1Sunday at church our Pastor began a sermon series on the book of Jonah. Often deemed a children’s tale, most people are of course familiar with Jonah and the whale. Regardless if you’re religious, the overall tale is quite applicable to most everyone I know. Short story even shorter, God orders Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah has absolutely no intention of going to Nineveh and runs in the complete opposite direction to Tarshish. Clearly God – because, well, he’s GOD – is not too thrilled with this idea. A massive storm overtakes the boat in which Jonah travels and the sailors figure out he’s the one to blame…so into the raging ocean he goes. Whoopsies.

Basically, he should have gone to Nineveh. And once he finally does (post that whole whale situation), he still acts like a punk.

We ALL have Ninevehs. As my Pastor explained, it could be our marriages, our jobs, where we live…any situation we’re in that isn’t the way we want it to be. And as we all know, just as with Jonah and Tarshish, the grass is always greener on the other side. If you read this post, you know I certainly thought I had all of my acres upon acres of green grass planned out. When I worked at the theater, the corporate office was greener. When I made it to the corporate office, Los Angeles was greener. Although I appreciate all the experiences, both professional and personal, I had while in LA, it didn’t turn out the way I initially hoped. So three years in, I looked east and thought, huh, Dallas is a lot greener than I remember it being. And well, we all know how that turned out. All grass is greener when you’re unemployed and get your heart broken (especially when both happen at the same time!)

As the church’s Facebook post introducing the sermon asks, “what if the place you don’t want is the place you need?”

Again, if you read this post, you know I’ve worked hard on not planning my every move since June. I no longer think about how “much better” things will be when/if I’m married and/or have kids. Though I won’t lie, I still have a secret Pinterest board for a wedding. Cause if you know anything about my first, you know I get a major re-do on the next. Anyhow…what I realized as I was driving home from church Sunday is that I’ve not been practicing focusing on the present as much as I should when it comes to day-to-day or even week-to-week matters.

Example one: for a couple of weeks now I’ve known I am getting closer to full-time employment (hold the applause till it’s official). I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve said or thought “well when I have a job…” Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a certain level of necessary planning that can go on. Such as, when I have a job I must go to an allergist and get new tires. Kids, we know those things aren’t greener AT ALL. Those are just things that have to be done. But I know I’m guilty of thinking ridiculous things about “when I have a job”. Like what I am going to buy (not talking tires here), how people won’t think I’m a loser anymore (though I know no one does, but if I hear “I just can’t believe you don’t have a job yet” one more time…) or how I won’t have to worry…

Stop. Please. Have you met me? I will still have to worry. Not sure about what, but about something.

Example two: this past weekend all I could think about was next weekend. I’m going out of town (for fun) so a level of forethought is to be expected, but in the meantime, I almost glazed over a fabulous three days. A wonderful dinner and wine at The Porch Friday. A lovely day Saturday with my mom, sister and niece for my niece’s fourth birthday. A birthday she’ll only have once. Followed by a visit to my paternal grandparent’s graves for my grandmother’s birthday to bring flowers and have a great chat. Topped off that evening by a phenomenal Wade Bowen show at The Granada with one of my best friends. Sunday morning a wonderful sermon at church (obviously) and a day of getting organized at home. This all happened in one weekend. And all I could focus on was the next. I almost missed the chance to truly enjoy the awesomeness that was already happening.

Example three: it is cold. It has been cold for awhile now. It’s winter, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that it’s cold. This goes for all of you. No one likes the bitter cold (that I’m aware of). Just like no one likes 105 degrees with humidity. When it’s cold we wish for it to be warmer, when it’s hot we wish for it to be cooler. What we forget is the weather and seasons also mean time. Time we won’t get back. There will never be another February of 2014. I’m not trying to be all fairy dust and homemade granola here. I am just taking the bigger picture involved and lesson to be learned in Jonah and Pastor Forrest’s words and breaking it down into a daily practice and applying it to things of which you might not otherwise think. I’ve finally learned that breaking down most anything, from daily chores to accepting your current lot in life, into smaller bits and pieces is much easier to manage. It apparently doesn’t ALL have to be done at once. Who knew? So, as much as it pains us, maybe dealing with the bitter cold of February is exactly where you (or I) need to be right now.

Xo, Nikki

PS I am by no means a biblical scholar and never will be. If anything in the beginning is wrong, my apologies…and if that’s what you focus on, you’re missing the point!

How to be (crazy): got a little cliché last night

48746b6afc5287ec19c5b4558f7c2255I have always had my hair professionally done since my later college days. Store-bought color hasn’t touched this head since around the time I could legally drink in the United States of America. Please don’t think I’m judging you should you use it; if a box of L’Oreal works for you, more power to you. It does not work for me. At all. And have you met me? I would end up coloring two cats, half my bathroom and my elbows by accident. It wouldn’t be attractive.

I was fortunately born a natural blonde. Well let’s back up, I actually didn’t have hair till I was 3 years old. And what I did have was so blonde you couldn’t see it. Unfortunately it did not stay that way. Genetics could have saved me so much money had they not called a plot twist when it came to my hair. What I was left with was what some call dishwater blonde. And they must mean the water that’s left after you let a couple of used skillets soak overnight, right? Cause that’s what it looks like to me. I have to either go much darker or much lighter. Except for a year in LA of what I call my Carrie Bradshaw break-up hair (read: extremely dark) I’ve mostly been 1,495 shades of blonde.

Because of my current financial situation, I’ve not had my hair done in at least three months. I am pretty sure it’s closer to four. This is absolute sacrilege in my world. Come hell or high (dish)water I’ve always had my hair done consistently every 6-8 weeks. Outside of my ridiculous makeup collection, it’s pretty much the only high maintenance habit in my life for now (dear imaginary future husband, two words: Michael and Kors).  So basically what I’m saying is I’m officially dying over here. It really hurts us, precious. Luckily for me and everyone who has to look at me, I picked up a little work this week and it’s going straight into the hands of a hairstylist at some point in the near future. Come on y’all, priorities. And it can’t come a minute too soon, I have a few interviews coming up and oh that’s right, I had a total come apart last night.

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How to be: don’t plan the off-ramp

crm-successJane Pauley and Alex Dunphy completely hijacked my original post for today. Sorry readers, you’ll just have to wait till tomorrow to read about my love for World Market. Or homemade body scrub.

Two things to preface about this post. One, the overall theme (if you will) is nothing you’ve not heard 1,297 times before. I just know from personal experience it’s not something we always take to heart. Two, this is a rather personal entry; it’s not about lip gloss or watching a movie. So here it goes…

My name is Nikki. And I’m an obsessive compulsive planner.

Almost every step of my life up until June 4, 2013 was more or less strategically planned and entirely over-thought. I knew very early on where my bread was buttered. I was never going to be a beauty queen or a star athlete (really, an athlete at all). I always had self-image and weight issues, for which I was of course made fun of by both kids at school and even family. I knew the only way I was ever going to stand out and be recognized was academically and eventually what I achieved professionally. So I might have overdid it. My parents were called into see the teachers because they thought I was under too much pressure at home…in elementary school. My mom had to explain it wasn’t them, it was all me. All of the stress and scrutiny of performing well I placed on myself. My therapists over the years have mixed opinions as to why this was, but I’m way too sober to go into that.

If you saw last night’s Modern Family, you know I was Alex Dunphy growing up. I wasn’t quite as smart as that character is, but the same obsessive drive and sense of over-achievement was always there. Where I ended up graduating from college (not where I started, but from where I graduated), where I worked after college, the job I accepted in LA, how I got married, how I got divorced, how I moved back to Dallas…it was all extremely methodical. Whether or not it seems like it reading this, please believe me when I say it was all VERY much planned. I always knew what my next step was and a general idea of how long it would take me. Uncertainty was not in my vocab. Yet neither was the expression “stop and smell the roses”.

I’ve always used the show How I Met Your Mother as the perfect example of focusing on the journey and not the destination. Yet it’s also always annoyed the hell out of me, because it took so long to meet the freaking mother. See where I’m going with this? I never knew how or wanted to focus on the journey. The JOURNEY doesn’t necessarily put food in your mouth or a roof over your head. If you focused on the journey you weren’t guaranteed to make the intended destination and not making the intended destination meant you were a failure.

And there have been many minutes, hours and days since June 4 of last year that I’ve felt like a failure. Not to my parents, not to my friends, but to the worst possible person…myself. That was the day I was officially laid off. You don’t work your ass off since you were 16 years old, become the only one in the family to graduate from college, strategically plan your career, only to end up unemployed. It doesn’t matter the circumstance under which I was laid off had nothing to do with me or my abilities and could happen to anyone. If you had told me at the end of 2009, as I was blissfully preparing to move back to Dallas, that at the beginning of 2014 I would be out of work for over seven months and still single, I would have needed a straightjacket and the largest bottle of vodka you could find. This was not the way things were supposed to be. This is not what I had planned.

As Jane Pauley described it on KERA (our local NPR affiliate) today, I had planned all my off-ramps. I knew exactly what highways to take and where to get off. No stopping for pee breaks, folks. But then the bloody freeway went and ended last summer. I was forced off, then utterly lost without a map and Siri, that heifer, she wouldn’t help me. Thus began what I (now) call the scenic route…I still have no earthly idea where it’s taking me. After pulling over for a lot of begging and praying, hours on a yoga mat, miles walking the M Streets, gallons upon gallons of red wine, an unexpected major friendship and more crying than you ever thought humanly possible, I’m finally okay with that. I’m not just saying that, y’all…I MEAN IT. I’m okay. It’s going to be OKAY. So if you, too, are going through anything similar, I promise you, it’s going to be OKAY. And do you like a good road trip? Bring chips and M&M peanuts. Please and thanks.

I know what this time wandering back roads and getting stuck in ditches has been about (let’s see how far I can take this metaphor…). When I saw Alex Dunphy and who I was then and heard Jane Pauley and realized where I am now, I was so very grateful for it all. There was no way I could have actually planned for this to happen.

Now if I could just not plan my way into a husband, I’ll be good…

We both know you’re not going to be here forever, this is just a weigh station on a road to bigger and better things – Ron Swanson, Parks and Rec

Xo, Nikki

How to be: till we see the sun

DallasSunriseYes, I’m sitting here listening to One Direction. Don’t judge. Those cute little things just make me want to DANCE. And then I want to put them in my pockets and feed them Cheerios. Is that so wrong?

I have not been in a set daily routine in so long now and am officially disgruntled with it. Mostly because it’s affected my sleep habits. Or lack thereof. In my working days (oh how I miss thee) I could hit the pillow at 10 p.m. and sleep a solid 8-9 hours with NO problem. Now I’m apparently playing a really neat game to see how many times I can wake up per night. And oh, oh…how long I can stay awake each time! And which animal will notice I’m awake and want attention. It’s all so FUN.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if I could I would be a total night owl. Ask my college roommate. She is the exact same way. The two of us could easily stay up till 4 a.m. every day and sleep till 2 p.m. Throw in the ability to drink as much Cherry Coke and eat as many chocolate chip cookies from JD’s Chippery we can without weighing 725 lbs. a piece and you’ve got the BEST LIFE EVER. However, we all know responsible adult society calls for something entirely different. And since I’ve been unemployed, daily schedule chaos has ensued. I’m now determined to start getting up and working out first thing in the morning. I ALWAYS felt better when I worked out first thing. Yesterday? I didn’t work out till 9:30 p.m. Have NO idea why I couldn’t sleep till after 1 a.m. and had to take four Melatonin pills. Plus, I know for a fact maintaining a general routine and habits each day keeps me mentally and emotionally balanced.

I personally start each morning with a Spark. That’s AdvoCare’s energy drink. It comes in eight great flavors (I keep a steady rotation of grape, mandarin orange and pink lemonade). A lot of people have misconceptions about energy drinks because of what is sold in cans at you local 7-11. Rest assured, Spark is not like that. It’s rich in vitamins, good juju and you won’t have a total energy crash afterward.

Once I sit down with my Spark, I pick up my Kindle and read a daily devotional. Right now I’m using Joyce Meyer’s The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Inspirations. I guarantee if you’re looking for a fantastic way to start your day, this is it. After Joyce I turn to Gaby. You’re going to hear a LOT about her. Right now I’m doing a second tour of duty through May Cause Miracles. It’s a 42-day meditation and pretty intense self-evaluation guide. I’m getting even more out of it the second time around. If you’re new to meditation or any practice of this kind, start with one of her earlier books, Spirit Junkie. This is the perfect combo, because as Gaby teaches, prayer is when we ask God or the universe (whichever you prefer) for what we desire and meditation is when we receive.

Once this is all over, I’m not ashamed to admit…I watch talk shows. I can’t help myself. The Broadcast (a Dallas version of The View), The Chew and Bethenny. I’ll make a heck of a housewife one day, y’all.

What’s your morning ritual? I challenge you to add one or two little things, like I have my Spark and my readings, to incorporate on a daily basis. These are special to YOU and should put a little smile on your face.

Xo, Nikki


Note: photo from The Dallas Voice. So pretty!