Yesterday afternoon my husband dropped his phone and broke the screen, which left me thinking about how disruptive it feels to be temporarily deprived of our modern gadgets. Even the tiniest blips in our daily routine can leave us feeling a bit out of sorts; for example, my Keurig coffeemaker didn’t come on when I pressed the button this morning, and I had to unplug it for a moment so that it would reboot.

When modern devices are working properly, they are easier and more useful than their old-fashioned equivalents. The simpler things of the past weren’t as fragile and prone to glitches, though, so people didn’t feel that they were wasting time with unexpected problems. In fact, getting things done took more time back then, but it felt okay because our expectations weren’t being frustrated in so many small ways.

Sometimes we just need to step back, take a breath, put things in perspective, and start noticing those ordinary blessings that are right in front of us. Life really is easier than we often think it is, and we don’t need to get every little annoyance perfectly sorted before we can feel happy.

Word-art that says, "I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude. -Brene Brown

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.”

July 25, 2023 · Write a comment · Categories: Musings · Tags: ,

Following up on last Thursday’s post, I got a bit more pushing than I expected at the rowing regatta. Eagle Creek in Indianapolis looks peaceful and calm in this photo that I took when we arrived, but it is wide and often windswept, which makes it choppy and a challenging place to row.

Photo of Eagle Creek in Indianapolis.

On the practice day before the races started, when I had thought I’d go out in the double, my husband suggested that we row singles instead because the weather was good. I had never rowed a single there and, to be honest, I wasn’t planning to row it because racing singles are such tiny, narrow boats that it can be scary to go out on a choppy course. He talked me into it, though, and the water was in fact pretty calm, so it wasn’t bad.

We also had a good day for the mixed double race, with very little wind. The regatta was well attended, and our competitors were fast enough that we didn’t win any medals this time. Still, it gave us a good benchmark of how much we have improved and of what we need to work on.

The other races had the more typical windy, choppy conditions, and I felt that I had to push myself to keep going back out there. Our club currently does not have any quads that are small enough for lightweight crews (although one is on order), so we were bobbing around a lot, which made me nervous. By the end of the regatta, I was exhausted and glad to get home. Still, a few years ago, I couldn’t have done as much, so I can’t complain—it’s definitely doing me some good.

I’m writing this post in advance and scheduling it for Thursday morning because of travel plans. With a high number of entries in this weekend’s championship regatta in Indianapolis, at a location that doesn’t have much nearby parking, my husband, who tows the boat trailer for our rowing club, sensibly decided it would be best to take the trailer there on Monday to make sure of getting a good spot. The trailer had been mostly loaded on Sunday, except for two boats to be picked up Monday morning from another nearby club.

I rode along to help unload boats when we got there. I wasn’t expecting it to take very long because I thought we would just take off a few smaller boats and leave the others on the trailer, but some kind folks from the Indy club offered to help us to take them all off. We got the trailer completely unloaded and parked (far enough away that it was a good thing we wouldn’t have to carry anything more from it) and the boats secured against wind and storms. By then, it was later in the afternoon, and we still had to do a rowing machine workout when we got home, so it ended up being a rather long and tiring day. Soon after I went to bed, my husband literally fell asleep on the floor.

It’s all good, though—making the effort to do more, and being in the company of cheerful and inspiring people. That’s how we get stronger and more confident, a little at a time.

Word-art that says, "Surround yourself with people who push you, who challenge you, who make you laugh, who make you better, who make you happy."

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 rowing club traveled to the Chicago Sprints. It was my first time rowing at the Lincoln Park Lagoon, which is famous, or perhaps infamous, for sprint racing on a very narrow course that only has space for buoys down the middle. (Sprint courses normally have buoys on both sides of the boats.) Rowers going up to the start line have to stay very close to the shore to avoid colliding with boats racing down the course.

Saturday’s races were mostly college rowers, and some of them weren’t doing the best job of not running into each other. I had one race on Saturday, a women’s lightweight double that had no other entries, so it was like a practice. That was good because I needed some practice on that scary course. I’ve been rowing for ten years, so I am not a newbie, but I felt as jittery as one.

Word-art of a frog with a suitcase that says, "Uh, hi. I'm the Newbie."

I had calmed down enough by Sunday morning to row well in the women’s masters lightweight double, advancing to the afternoon final, which was a very close race. Our competitors were older and had seven seconds of handicap on us, and Deb and I weren’t sure if we had gotten far enough ahead of them. Afterward, we found that we had been just fast enough to win the gold medal. One of our competitors came over to our boat trailer and asked if she could row with us in our quad in Indianapolis—what a lovely compliment that was! We said yes. Nothing to be scared about, after all!

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.”

With all the random associations that the human mind makes, it sometimes takes a bit of effort to turn aside old, stale worries and push them out of the way. Even though they are just memories and not even real in the present, they still cast shadows. When that happens, I remind myself that there is much more to see.

Word-art that says, "Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." -Charlotte Whitton

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.”

The online library supporting my digital art display was shut down last week. I knew that was bound to happen sometime; the manufacturer went out of business six years ago, and the company that acquired it, Giphy, never did anything with it other than maintaining the database. So, now the display is permanently stuck on the last image I downloaded, which was a mountain landscape.

Over the years, I very much enjoyed being able to change the picture every day, creating a virtual window showing many imaginary journeys. Here is the most recent image I uploaded to it:

Ocean view with blooming honeysuckle in the foreground.

(Photo credit: Pragster)

So, now I’ll have to look into what else is available that would make a good replacement. While writing this post, I felt as if I should’ve had some sad classical music playing in the background. A dark, rainy afternoon with heavy clouds definitely matched the mood. Tragic opera, for sure.