After a fun mini-vacation with my husband in Tennessee over a long weekend, in which we got outdoors a lot and enjoyed the warm weather, getting back into my regular routine has left me feeling a bit unfocused. Some of that is because we got back home late on Tuesday night and didn’t get nearly enough sleep. Because I have been reminding myself that there’s no need to do everything all at once, I decided to share this useful reminder for this week’s Nurturing Thursday.

Word-art that says "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." -Mark Twain

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 slept late on Monday, which left me starting the week in a bit of a rush. My husband was busy too, and when we went down to the river to row after work, it wasn’t as early as usual. So I still felt rushed, instead of being able to fully relax and enjoy being out in nature; there wasn’t much time left before it would get dark, which meant we had to row briskly.

We got back to the dock just as the sun was beginning to set. The sky turned to a beautiful mix of colors, deep blue and pink. Then it seemed as if I had all the time in the world, though of course time itself hadn’t changed—just the way I was thinking about it happened to be different.

Word-art that says "If you think positive, then positive things will happen."

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 at work there was a team meeting in which one of the main topics was developing new skills. Sometimes that can feel intimidating, either because of uncertainty about what skills would be the most useful, or maybe just because things always seem harder when they’re new.

It can be a challenge to imagine future versions of ourselves becoming comfortable in new situations. We’ve had to do it, though, in one way or another, ever since we grew up—and when we look back and reflect on how far we have come since then, our younger selves deserve credit for believing it could happen and for doing a pretty good job of getting there.

Word-art with a kitten seeing its reflection as a tiger; it says "Believe in yourself."

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.

A dark, rainy, chilly morning had started to clear by midday, and I went out for a walk in the early afternoon. By then it was mostly sunny, and the wind felt much warmer. Every now and again I would stop and look at a bright spot of color where some crocuses or other spring flowers had come up.

I found myself thinking—what if I had gotten busy and not taken the time to get outdoors until next week? By then, that peaceful early-spring moment would have passed me by, and everything in the landscape would already have changed as the season moved on.

Word-art that says "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!"

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.

When I noticed a bit of loose wood on a kitchen drawer, I asked my husband if he had some wood glue. He said there was some in the garage, and I should write a note to remind him to look for it. So I wrote a short note that said “wood glue for drawer” and put it on the kitchen counter.

This morning I came into the kitchen and found my son standing there with a bottle of wood glue. He said he’d seen my note and wanted to help out. So I showed him what drawer it was that needed to be repaired, and he took care of it right away.

Having people around who want to be helpful, even in small ways, is something to appreciate. Pets also—they can sense when a person needs comforting, and their joy in life always brings a smile.

Word-art that says "The little things? The little moments? They aren't little."

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.

The Fitbit wars continued today, as my daughter started a new one-day challenge—after she worked out this morning, of course. Meanwhile, I hadn’t done much besides going to the supermarket on my lunch hour, and it was a windy day with rain blowing in.

Late in the afternoon, the sky got very dark, and there was even a tornado warning. Although I didn’t see anything other than a single flash of lightning, it definitely wasn’t the sort of afternoon to go outdoors for exercise. Not that it mattered because I generally work later on Thursdays, so I was still at my desk while the others in my family went to the gym.

The rain was over by the time I finished my work, though, and it was pleasantly warm outside, so I went for a walk. The sky had pretty much cleared by then, and the birds were singing happily. I ended up being glad that I’d gotten a little nudge to go out and enjoy it.

Word-art that says "We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

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.

The house seemed very quiet today after a week of dog-sitting was over. A sunny morning had given way to another dark, cloudy winter sky by the afternoon, and it was well into the evening before my husband came home from work and the gym. I was sitting at the computer wondering what to post for Nurturing Thursday, but I didn’t have much energy and nothing insightful came to mind.

Then my husband came in and started chatting cheerfully about the international soccer game he watched on TV last night, after I went to bed. He didn’t get much sleep and had to drink plenty of coffee in the morning to wake himself up, but he was fine with that because the game was so exciting.

Just listening to his upbeat conversation left me feeling more cheerful and energetic, and reminded me once again that happiness doesn’t necessarily have to be gained through effort or insight. It’s mainly just about having a good outlook on life and enjoying the moment.

Word-art that says "Positive thinking evokes more energy, more initiative, more happiness."

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.

We’ll be dog sitting this weekend because our daughter and son-in-law are traveling to attend a wedding. Their dogs are always so excited when they come here, running all around and wagging their tails. My husband often says that we can learn a lot from dogs about just being happy in the moment.

Word-art that says "Happiness is a journey, not a destination."

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 brief conversation on another blog this week about sadness and letting go of things. Everyone has memories of unpleasant events and hurtful attacks, which need to be worked through and tidied up so that they don’t fester. The old-fashioned advice of “forgive and forget” is of course much harder to do than to say, but it can go a long way toward a peaceful life.

Word-art that says "The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest."

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 is visiting for a few days. She enjoys wall decorations with inspirational sayings, and she has several of them hanging on the walls of her house. In general, she loves decorating and cheerful little things. I thought of her when I saw this image recently:

Word-art that says "Always remember you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, & twice as beautiful as you'd ever imagined."

Although I haven’t spent as much time decorating, I do agree with her that the more reminders of positive things, the better!

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.