My family has gotten scattered around the country over the years. We stay in touch by phone and mail, but it’s not the same as seeing each other in person. I like to think of friends as being part of a larger circle of family. That helps with feeling connected—which, of course, is something we all need.

Word-art that says "Friends are the family you choose."

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.

In addition to my regular work, I’ve been putting together a PowerPoint presentation entitled Resilience, Stress Tolerance, and Flexibility as part of a group that presents online sessions for employees about digital transformation and related issues. I haven’t used PowerPoint much before, and it’s interesting to see what can be done with design and images. I like this Lego juggler image to illustrate the flexibility needed in a work environment where the pace of automation keeps increasing.

A Lego person juggling Lego pieces.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)

Meanwhile, after a short break when the sprint season ended, my husband and I are training for the rowing regattas again. During the fall season the races are 5K, which is about the same length as one lap on our usual course on the river. Usually we row two laps, but we are now rowing three laps most days to build up our endurance. With the shorter days this time of year, we’re in a bit of a hurry to row that much before it gets dark, and sometimes we still have work to do when we get home. We’re also doing some online yoga and mobility exercises in the evenings.

Finding time to write blog posts has seemed like a bit of a challenge, but as I’ve built up more mental and physical flexibility, I’m finding that creative ideas come a bit quicker. The self-improvement advice that I’m putting into the presentation seems to be doing me some good in real life!

My employer has been training the managers this year on Psychological Safety, which involves creating a supportive environment where workers feel that they can express their concerns and will not be punished for asking questions or making mistakes. I believe that it is more important than ever in today’s circumstances, after people got totally stressed out last year and are still struggling to recover. More kindness and understanding are needed now, rather than unrealistic pressure to be perfect.

Word-art that says "Making mistakes is better than faking perfections."

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.

September 8, 2021 · Write a comment · Categories: Musings · Tags:

One good thing about the shorter days at the end of summer, when it gets close to sunset while I am out rowing with my husband, is that we see more wildlife on the river. Sometimes that can be kind of freaky, though, as in “the freaks come out at night.”

We were rowing along in our double at a nice steady pace on Monday when, all of a sudden, we heard a loud noise right next to us. It sounded halfway between a snarl and a splutter, or maybe a dog sneezing. But we hadn’t expected to hear anything like that in the middle of the river! Because we were so startled, we stopped rowing by instinct, and then we saw a furry little head right next to the boat. We had bumped into a raccoon swimming across the river, and it looked more startled than we were.

Because we hadn’t brought a phone in the boat, we could not take a photo—so, instead, I’m illustrating this post with me standing next to the boat after we rowed it.

Meg standing next to a double scull on slings.

Today was much quieter, without much to be seen other than the usual ducks and geese. It’s always good to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine, though, whether we have unexpected adventures or not.

This morning, my husband and I had a Zoom meeting with our rowing coach, Christine Cavallo, to talk about the sprint races we did this summer and what we’ll be doing in the fall season. We let her know that we were pleased with her training plan and that we’d both improved our speed, endurance, and consistency. Christine said that when she looked up our results from last month’s racing, she was surprised to see that we had competed in several sprint events during the regatta. She would have given us more work, she told us, if she had known we would enter so many races!

Truth be told, before we signed up for online coaching this year, we hadn’t realized how much a regular training schedule would improve our fitness. It’s very good to know that there are so many possibilities—both in rowing and in life more generally—for improvement.

Word-art that says "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm Possible."

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 mentioned in a recent post that I might change my Gravatar/WordPress image to a cartoon avatar instead of a real photo, just to have more fun. I’ve changed it now, and not only as a Gravatar, but also on Gmail and on my work Outlook account. A few other people at work have done the same, so it’s not entirely silly—or if it is, at least I’m not the only one. Here it is:


Because the cartoon image looks younger than my real age, I’m curious as to whether seeing it every day will cause me to feel younger and more energetic as time goes by. There are research studies establishing that older people actually become healthier when put into an environment filled with reminders of their youth, showing measurable improvements in conditions associated with aging. It’s an interesting experiment, and even if it’s a bit on the goofy side, there can’t be any harm in it.