This time of year, often there are storms rolling through the area when my husband and I go rowing after work. We can’t always tell from looking at the weather forecast if we’re likely to get wet. So, we sometimes drive down to the boathouse, which is not too far from home, and then look at the sky and check the weather radar to get a better idea if any storms are near. We might row one lap and then stop to take another look.

What often happens on such days is that we have the river to ourselves because other rowing club members decide to stay home. They look at the sky, see dark clouds, and don’t want to risk the possibility they might be caught in a storm. As a result, they miss out on a lot of days that turn out to be good after all.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that anyone should take foolish risks. If we hear thunder while we’re rowing, we hurry back to the dock and get off the water like we’re supposed to do. But if we’re not sure that it will rain, we generally prefer to err on the side of adventure rather than caution.
 

Word-art that says "Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure." 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

I enjoy having a digital art display on an otherwise blank wall because I can imagine it as a window into many places. The company that made it is no longer in business, though, and I can’t always count on being able to log into the online art library to change the picture. Not enough bandwidth where it is now hosted, apparently. Of course, I’m lucky that it still functions at all, rather than ending up as just a dead screen.

It’s a bit of a disruption to my routine because I had gotten used to changing the picture every morning, so as to imagine myself starting the day in a new and different place. Now I can rarely log in that early and instead have to wait until the afternoon. Today I wanted to display this peaceful image of a garden path, but I had to try several times before it worked.
 

Flagstone path through a perennial garden.

(Photo credit: Jennifer Rafleyan)
 

I found myself thinking about how people create calming rituals and routines to make a busy, complicated world feel a little more manageable. When it works as intended, it’s all good; but when something doesn’t go quite right, it becomes another source of anxiety.

Looking at it in perspective, the time of day when I change the picture is so insignificant that I shouldn’t care at all. Most disruptions to everyday activities are just as small and unimportant, but people often find them hard to cope with anyway. That’s probably because in the modern world, there is always so much going on at once, the least little disruption can feel like it might all spin out of control.

That feeling is just an illusion, though, like the window on my wall that isn’t really a window. Those little disturbances and interruptions usually cause no problems at all. The more difficult part is simply to convince the subconscious mind that it’s all okay. Looking on the bright side, a nice, relaxing imaginary walk along the garden path should help with that…

I had a conversation on another blog this week about writing affirmations and how that can make them feel more concrete. I said that’s how blogging can be too; we attract readers for whom our words resonate, and we affirm the content of our blog entries in our own minds.

So, at the risk of getting a little bit goofy (which seems to be the way this summer has been going for me anyway), I decided that my Nurturing Thursday post would be about sharing fun affirmations and good vibes with my readers.
 

Word-art that says "Sending good vibes your way! Zazzle! Zing!" 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Over the weekend I sat down and began writing a few times, but never finished any of it. The weather was sunny, warm, and beautiful, and getting outdoors seemed much more appealing.

The rowing club had a canoe race on Saturday against some members of the canoe club across the river. My husband got in the canoe, but I opted to watch from the shore, which turned out to be a wise decision when the canoe overturned in the middle of the river. No harm done to anything but the rowers’ pride, but I was glad to have stayed dry.

Then I got “Margaritaville” stuck in my head for most of Sunday, which was apparently my subconscious mind’s snarky answer to whatever thoughts I had about being more diligent with my writing.
 

 

When I went to bed, I tried to reboot my brain and get ready for a more creative week by listening to ocean sounds on my clock radio and trying to visualize an insightful younger self with a helpful life lesson to ponder. But instead, all that came to mind was an image of Fannie, my 119-year-old future self, sitting in a lively beachfront bar that looked like something out of Star Wars and smiling at me while holding up—yeah, you guessed it—a margarita.

At least there was no Jabba the Hutt anywhere to be seen, so I suppose I ought to be grateful for small mercies. I don’t know the reason I’ve been goofy all season, but I know it’s nobody’s fault. Or maybe, well, it could be my fault…

My daughter and her dogs visited again last weekend. In between looking at new cars and talking about all the things she’d like to do, she came down to the river to row with us and her brother. The next day she went kayaking with a friend. Toward the end of her visit, when the dogs started snoozing on the floor, I thought she was going to doze off right next to them! That would have been okay—even though people in today’s world get used to always being busy, we need to give ourselves a little downtime too.
 

Word-art that says "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

August 16, 2018 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Monday seemed like a melancholy day, without much good reason for it. Dark thunderstorms and cooler temperatures have been rolling through the area for days, making it feel as if we’ve already lost the warmth of summer; and I was bothered at times by memories of past foolish acts when I was younger. Of course, those things didn’t matter much even at the time, and they’re all totally unimportant now; but they just tend to stick around as little irritants in the mind—rather like burrs, or maybe sand and grit in shoes.

So when I went to bed Monday night, I decided that I would benefit from a calming visit to my imaginary Channelwood Sanatorium for troubled past selves, as described in several of my Younger Self posts. I generally picture two of Channelwood’s tiny homes as being kept available for my use. They’re both about the same in dimensions and furnishings, about 100 square feet and containing a bed that converts to a daybed, a nightstand, a small desk, and a dresser/wardrobe unit that has a mirror with an ornate pewter frame hanging above the dresser section.

The only difference is that they are located on opposite ends of the village. One is deep in the forest, while the other is close to the beach. Depending on which I choose, when I get in bed I’ll set my clock radio to play either an ocean soundtrack or a rainforest with tropical birds singing.
 

Tropical bird on branch in rainforest.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)
 

I started to feel better after listening to the rain and birdsong through my imaginary window on Monday, and then it occurred to me that perhaps all those annoying past incidents needed was a few good laughs to take the sting out of them. After all, it really was very silly that I still felt bothered by insignificant stuff that happened 30 or 40 years ago. Some of the people there at the time probably weren’t even alive now.

Although that last sentence looks like a morbid thought when put into written words, it briefly struck me as hilarious in my half-asleep brain. I pictured myself telling them, “Hey, guess what, you guys are dead now! Ha, ha, wasn’t it silly, all the ridiculous stuff that we used to think mattered?”

Then a few of their disembodied voices joined in the laughter. “Yeah, we’ve been dead for years! We’re all jolly ghosts now! Ho, ho, being human was so absurd! Can you believe we ever imagined any of that nonsense was important? What a hoot!”

We all laughed raucously together for a minute or two, while the birds went on singing and a cool, refreshing rainforest breeze blew through the tiny house’s open windows.

“Thanks for dropping by, you guys,” I finally said, just a little more seriously. “You’ve really cheered me up.”

“No problem, glad to oblige,” one of the ghosts promptly replied. “Hey, it gets kind of boring sometimes, being dead and all that.”

My husband bought a waterproof bag for his mobile phone so that he can keep it with him when we go rowing. The bag is designed to allow operation of the touch screen through a clear front panel.

This morning before he left for work, he held up the bag with the phone inside to show it to me. Then he told me to smile and took a picture of us both smiling at the camera. That started the day out on a cheerful note!
 

Word-art that says "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." -Phyllis Diller 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

August 7, 2018 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags: ,

Last night I dreamed that I was a trucker (in real life, I’ve never driven a truck) and I had a white goat named Wilhelmina, who rode in the passenger seat of the cab, happily looking out the window and watching the world go by. I took her for a walk at a truck stop like a dog.
 

White goat standing on grass.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)
 

I’ve never owned a goat in real life either, but I’ll guess that the meaning of this dream had to do with being adventurous—getting out and seeing more of the world. Long-haul truckers drive to new places every day. Dogs and other pets that enjoy riding in vehicles are always excited about the adventure.

Why a goat rather than a dog? Maybe just to put more emphasis on the idea of doing something unusual. I’m not sure where the name Wilhelmina came from, as I’ve never known anyone by that name. It sounds like a German queen, though, so it does add to the travel motif. Anyway, this dream gave me a bit of fun trying to figure it all out!

When a coworker recently sent me the image below, I thought it was cute, but couldn’t quite decide whether it would be suitable for Nurturing Thursday. I put it in my media library anyway.

Then I saw it again while I was sitting at the computer just now, trying to make up my mind what to write for today’s entry, and I had to laugh at myself. I certainly wasn’t being decisive! So, in the interest of not ending up as Nurturing Thursday roadkill, I went ahead and put the image into the post. Hope you all enjoy it!
 

Word-art that says "Remember, right or wrong, be decisive. The Road of Life is paved with too many flat squirrels that couldn't make a decision..." 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

August 2, 2018 · Write a comment · Categories: Musings · Tags:

To simplify their lives, my husband’s parents try to avoid scheduling more than one activity on the same day, which they view as “too much confusion.” I usually am more flexible than that, but this week definitely had more confusion than its fair share.

Monday started out pretty good when an energy-efficiency rebate check from the power company arrived for replacing the old air conditioner. Unfortunately, the equally old refrigerator died on Monday evening, so that money now has to go toward its replacement.

No food got spoiled because the freezer side is still working and my husband brought an old dorm refrigerator (left over from when our daughter was in college) upstairs from the basement. Still, it was disruptive, what with going shopping for the new refrigerator and having computer issues at work.

Tuesday was a dark, rainy day. I got confused driving to the appliance store because the street numbers changed from one city to another, and I had to call my husband (who was meeting me there) to find out where to go. I put an image of a dark, tangled tree on my art display because it seemed to fit.
 

Dark tree outlined by pale green leaves. 

The new refrigerator is on order and should arrive next week sometime, so the confusion won’t last forever. Yesterday evening we went rowing on a nice calm river. Getting outdoors and spending time in nature always helps to calm the mind and the senses.