Perception & Perspective…

When you focus…

things can change. Maybe not the facts of the situation but, at the very least, the way that you feel about them.



A regular day. I was at work, doing my thing. Answering phones, placing orders, greeting customers and helping them to design the cakes of their dreams.

It really is much more difficult than it sounds, decorating the cake of someone else’s dreams. We look at things so differently. We like different things, we all perceive “pretty” in our own way, or “cool” or “current”. It really is much more difficult than it sounds.

To top it all off…I am sick again. Miserable aching, nausea, temperature, head-achy, foggy miserable. My temperature is centered in my head and my neck and it makes it very hard to think. Although I am “manning up” and “pulling my weight”,my brain has a very difficult time switching gears and getting the creativity to flow.

And, I am scared. Nervous. Worried. Am I going to get better again? Or worse? I try my best to keep my feelings buried at work, ordering a cake should be a happy experience. I owe that to my clients. But underneath the fear is brewing, constantly simmering, threatening to boil over.

Yeah, I will admit. I am feeling sorry for myself. I’m not proud of it. I like routine. I like things dependable. When I am sick I can not depend on my body or my mind. That scares me.

In she walked…

A normal woman. Dressed comfortably. She wanted to look around. Not sure what she wanted. At least that is what she said. Grabbing a book of custom designed cakes she found one that caught her eye. A pink and white stacked cake, the topper was a big number 16. Her daughter was turning 16.

What a sweet time in life. Your baby girl is growing up. Becoming a young adult. This mom wanted to honor the occasion. To do something special for her daughter.

She asked me for an estimate and decided to keep looking. She never said that she could not afford it, or that it was more money than she wanted to spend. Class act.

I pulled her over to my computer to show her some pictures of Sweet Sixteen cakes and we started talking. Her daughter is in the same school system as mine. Just a year older.

We worked on designing a cake that fit into her budget and chatted some more.

I asked questions, what did her daughter like, sports, clothes, shopping…what did she do? Trying to get an idea of what to put on the cake. But the girl did not play sports or have a hobby. I was stumped and a bit frustrated.

We talked colors, stripes, dots, flowers…we were getting somewhere.

But what she said next changed my perspective.

Her daughter was sick. That peaked my interest. She had a very rare type of cancer. And she had been battling it for the last year and a half.

Now I attempted to talk to her around the huge lump in my throat. She was an incredible mom. Wanting to do something incredible for her daughter. Something to honor the occasion.

And something to celebrate her life.

I called the Cake Decorators, asked them to make this the best Sweet Sixteen cake ever. Do it up, make it awesome. I wanted to pay for the entire cake, but the Mom paid cash before she left-so I will take care of the difference.

“Out of all the Gin Joints…”

That this mother could have walked into. She walked into mine. She changed my perspective. After all they have been through, with all the uncertainty, all the fears, and the unanswered questions about the future-she was a class act.

Here I am, feeling sorry for myself. I owe her more than she knows. She changed the way that I look at my illness, my life, and my future.

It really sucks to be sick. Honestly. But I would be sick a million times before I would ever want to see my children suffer.

So, right now, (and for the last several hours) I am thankful, I am grateful. And I hope to hold on to that feeling, for as long as I can.



  1. says

    I really needed to read this today…..You sure know how to pick someone up. I am down on my luck too. Kind of makes me feel bad that I’m having “woe is me” thoughts. I hope you get to feeling better Nikki.

    • Nikki says

      Girl, love you so much!!! I have been watching your journey, and I am so PROUD of you! Takes guts, courage, and curiosity to do all the things that you have done in the last year! Moving, leaving all that is “known” to find something bigger for yourself…including love…so, so proud of you!

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