I’m writing this entry on Friday evening, but that is okay. Yesterday I couldn’t quite get clear in my mind on what I wanted to post, so I decided it made more sense just to wait, rather than forcing something that probably wouldn’t come out right.

I joined the Nurturing Thursday blogging group in 2014 because I felt that a weekly reminder of the importance of self-nurturing would do me some good. In today’s busy society, it is all too easy to neglect ourselves without realizing it, while scrambling to get through the daily to-do list. For me, each of the Thursday posts became a snapshot of what I did to take care of myself in that particular week. Looking back on them gives me helpful perspective.

While traveling in the South this spring, I took a photo of Melton Lake in Tennessee. I meant to upload it to the online library for my art display, but that website hasn’t been able to upload anything recently. Given the fact that the company went out of business years ago, I can’t complain—it is still mostly functional and has given me a lot of enjoyment. I decided to go ahead and post the photo here instead.

Photo of Melton Lake, Tennessee, with a tree blooming by the water.

I wrote part of this post during a midday break, but rather than push myself to finish it, I went for a short walk and did an online yoga class before coming back to my work much refreshed. Afterward, my husband and I went out to dinner for our anniversary. We shared a bottle of wine, which is now making me sleepy because I don’t often drink it, but I sat down to finish this post anyway. Even though it is belated, I’m pretty happy with what I did for self-nurturing this week.

My rowing club’s annual training camp, on the first weekend in May, left me feeling stressed. That was mainly because I hadn’t left myself enough time to rest and recover after traveling with my husband on a road trip to Chattanooga the previous weekend. We had fun, but it was a long way home, and then we were back to work as usual.

I hadn’t quite gotten back my energy when the rowing camp started, and the weather conditions left much to be desired—heavy rain on Friday, then high water, and a chilly wind. Walking between the boathouse and the dock, I noticed violets blooming in the grass, but I didn’t pay much attention to them because I was more focused on avoiding the goose poop.

Afterward, I was lying awake in bed on Sunday night sometime around midnight, still feeling unsettled. My bed felt like it was not firmly attached to the floor but, instead, was bobbing around like a boat on the river. Then it occurred to me that my archetypal imaginary protector, Dame Shadow, featured in several posts, hadn’t been around for quite some time. Admittedly, she could be troublesome: her past antics included giving me a backache to get my attention (twice) and shrieking at me to trust no one.

Still, I felt that Dame Shadow’s protection would be helpful at that moment. I did a bit of searching in odd corners of my psyche, trying to determine what had become of her. Although I didn’t see or hear the Dame anywhere, my bed started to feel like it was solidly anchored again. Behind my closed eyelids, tiny violet dots appeared all over the comforter, which floated peacefully above me; and I drifted off to sleep.

By morning I still didn’t feel entirely refreshed, but the image of violets floating on calm water had helped to settle my mind. I had a quiet workweek, followed by a mostly unhurried weekend in which I spent time in the yard, weeding and mulching. Meanwhile, my husband traveled to Michigan for a junior rowing regatta where he was a referee. He sent me a photo of the course, which was beautiful.

Photo of starting line at rowing regatta.

After he returned, we went for a short row in our double; he wanted to spend some time outdoors with me, even though he was tired from driving and from waking up early. We also rowed on Monday and Tuesday.

I wasn’t expecting to go out yesterday because of rain, but it started tapering off later in the day. My husband said we’d be fine with our raincoats. I wasn’t as confident because we’d gotten soaked through our raincoats during the rowing camp, but it turned out he was right. The water was calm, the rain moved off, and we saw a rainbow. It was getting dark by the time we took the boat out of the water, and the grass was still wet, as were my feet; but then I thought about walking through violets, and all was well.

We got rained on at the weekend rowing camp during the Friday afternoon session, as the forecast predicted. I had thought it wouldn’t be so bad because my husband had bought nice raincoats especially designed for rowers, but there was such a downpour that we got soaked right through them. Then it got colder on Saturday and the river was high, so we stayed in the boathouse and did some exercises on the rowing machines. By Sunday the river had gone down enough to row, but the current was still fast enough that it was definitely no fun doing drills. The boats were drifting downstream and occasionally colliding with each other. It felt more like bumper cars than rowing.

The coach gave us some good advice, so it was worthwhile, though stressful. I meant to write a separate post about it before today, but the week sort of got away from me and I wasn’t able to concentrate on writing. I’ve been reminding myself to just breathe and be present in the now.

Word-art of open hands and a butterfly, with words like "now" and "being."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to encourage self-nurturing and to “give the planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.”

Last weekend, my husband and I went on a road trip to Chattanooga and met up with some online friends at the Lookout Rowing Club on the Tennessee River. Our hosts were very friendly and welcoming, and we had a great time. The river conditions were excellent for rowing, the weather was gorgeous, and we enjoyed riding bicycles in the park one afternoon.

This weekend, there is a rowing camp at our local club. We’ll do some training with a visiting coach and go out to dinner as a group. The weather forecast is on the chilly side, and we’ll probably be in raincoats; but it’s still good to get outdoors and do something fun with friends.

Word-art that says, "Good friends, good times."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to encourage self-nurturing and to “give the planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.”