While I was doing my grocery shopping today, the woman behind me in the checkout line introduced herself, said that she went to the same gym with my husband and daughter a few years ago, and asked me to tell them that she said hello.

I thought at first that she must have an excellent memory for faces, recognizing me when I wasn’t a member of that gym. She couldn’t have seen me more than a few times. But then my husband pointed out that his Facebook photo includes me, so that probably was how she knew my face.

Anyway, however it might have happened, it was nice to get an unexpected cheerful greeting while I was just buying groceries, and it left me smiling.

Word-art that says "Be the reason someone smiles today."

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 have good feelings about my New Year’s resolution of bringing more clarity into my life by focusing on little things in the moment. Part of the process is simply reminding myself that finding inspiration and direction will naturally happen when the time is right. There’s no need to plan tasks or compose to-do lists. Rather, awareness and presence, in themselves, create a welcoming space for life’s healing energy to fill.

Word-art that says "Be aware" and many other positive words in the shape of a woman.

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.

Last week was so dark and gray that I ordered a sparkly sleeveless top from a catalog to cheer myself up. That was somewhat out of character for me, as I’m not usually an impulse shopper. It definitely left me feeling more cheerful when I put it on, though. I would say there’s no harm in it because we all need to buy new clothes sometime! And now that the days are getting longer, it’s starting to feel just a little bit like spring. Even though today started with icy drizzle and ended with snow, we’re not that far away.

Word-art that says "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." -Victor Hugo

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.

Sometimes it can be hard to find energy when, like this week, it’s just one dark winter day after another. Still, there are many reasons to be grateful. Even the little things, like a flameless candle on my desk and a colorful lighted keyboard that my husband gave me for Christmas, add up to feeling well nurtured and cared for—when we take the time to notice them.

Word-art that says "Grateful for being" and many other words with a candle image.

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.

Sometimes on these long, dark winter nights, I get a feeling that can best be described as a longing to go home. It is just as likely to pop up when I am in my house, so it’s not about a specific physical place in the here and now. Maybe it has to do with a childhood home, or an ancestral home—it might even be a collective wish to get back on the mothership. I honestly don’t know.

When that happens, a good book always leaves me feeling more at home in the world. Being able to explore different places and times while discovering a wonderful assortment of new friends there, just by reading words on paper (or more often a screen, nowadays) always seemed magical to me.

Word-art that says "Books are the plane, the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home." -Anna Quindlen

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.

Today I want to give a shout-out to all the bloggers who take part in positive groups such as Nurturing Thursday. Even though the posts often are short, and maybe they don’t get a lot of comments, we shouldn’t assume that they have no impact or that they go unappreciated. Sometimes our small, persistent efforts add more goodness to the world than we realize.

Word-art that says "Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people."

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.

My daughter, her husband, and his family went to Florida for a week’s vacation and just got back today. Meanwhile, my husband and I were taking care of her dogs while she was gone. They were mostly well behaved, except for running around in backyard mud, which wasn’t entirely their fault because it had been raining a lot; and of course, they would have needed bathing sometime during the week anyway.

We had a bit of sunshine here today, along with rising temperatures, which left me feeling cheerful. It won’t be long before the days are longer and we wake up to birds happily chirping.

Word-art that says "Make today ridiculously awesome."

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 my husband had a new job. Last year he was in a bad situation because he’d been assigned to work on a failing project. So he looked around for job opportunities elsewhere, but didn’t find anything that looked like a good fit.

Then he got laid off when the project was shut down. That seemed like bad luck at the time, but it actually turned out better than if he had quit. He got severance pay, and a recruiter found him a good job in a week. Yay for labor shortages.

Word-art that says "Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a remarkable stroke of luck."

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 had a quiet day because I’m off work for the holidays, and it was especially quiet because my husband was at the office; he just started a new job. So I had nothing to do, except for grocery shopping. It felt very peaceful, almost meditative, because I didn’t feel obligated to keep busy.

An occasional to-do thought floated by, such as “That dusty hardwood floor needs mopping,” or “It’s Thursday, better get going on a blog post.” But I let them pass, telling myself that I had plenty of time for everything. This was a day to just relax, unwind, take good care of myself, and be jolly.

At the end of the day, the groceries are in the refrigerator, the blog post got written, and the floor still needs mopping. All things considered, I believe it’s fair to say that I had a productive day mending those frayed strands of workday time.

Word-art that says "Tis the season to be jolly."

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.

As the year winds down, I’ve been considering what intentions to set for the New Year. At this point, I haven’t yet formed a clear image in my mind. I feel that my energy has gotten a bit scattered from distractions. Everything seems to be working out well, in general, and I have no reason to complain. All I need right now is time to rest and reflect. Giving more thought to intentions is probably a good place to start.

Word-art with long inspirational quote that begins with "Intentions are causes that create effects."

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.