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.

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.”

I’ve felt a bit rushed this week, in part because I was trying to cram too much into the days, and in part because I did not get quite enough sleep as a result. When that happens, I remind myself that it’s nothing to worry about. Time is not really a scarce resource, even when it seems that way; it’s just a matter of getting the days better organized.

Word-art that says, "It's not about having time, it's about making time."

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.”

My husband took his car to the shop for an oil change early Wednesday morning, so I had the home office all to myself when I started my workday. The house seemed weirdly quiet. For the past two years we’ve been sharing the space, and that is likely to continue because my husband is now on a team that doesn’t have anyone in the company’s local office, so he has no reason to do his work there.

I worked from home even before the pandemic, and I thought it was pretty comfortable having the house all to myself during the day. Now it seems as if I was missing out on more than I realized. Although I wouldn’t want to sit in a cube farm all day, it’s nice to have more human connection.

Word-art of a handshake with words like "connect" and "cooperate."

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.”

Although today was just an ordinary workday and I didn’t do much beyond going out to get groceries at noon, it felt like the day went well. Maybe yesterday’s post, in which I wrote about my future self and about developing perspective over many years, put me into a calm and reflective mood. Rather than letting mundane worries drain my energy, I felt more inclined to appreciate how I’ve learned and grown.

Word-art with butterflies that says "Give yourself some credit for how far you've come."

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.”

I have a row of willows along my back property line that I still think of as trees, although they’re not much more than bushes now, after a few years of climate change stress. Hot, dry summers killed so many branches that I had to cut the willows back drastically, and some died altogether.

Last year they started looking better, though, and I am hopeful that this will be another good year for new growth. I took some cuttings in March, which I plan to use for replacements. They’re currently sitting in a pot in my kitchen, and I noticed a few leaves sprouting this week, which has me feeling optimistic.

Words of advice in a tree shape such as "Stand tall."

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.”

I’ll be traveling this weekend to row with my husband at a regatta in South Carolina. My women’s double partner, Deb, who rows with both our Greater Dayton club and the Great Miami club, will be there too, making a total of three events for me. Along with the women’s double and mixed double 1K Masters sprints, I’ll also be rowing in the mixed double 2K, which my husband and I are doing for the first time.

Although the 2K is mainly for younger rowers, we’re giving it a try anyway, even if we are old enough to be our competitors’ parents. We are both fit enough to row the longer distance—and it’s a new adventure, after all, so why not?

Word-art that says "We travel not to escape life but for life to not escape us."

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.”

I’m posting this entry on Friday, rather than Thursday, because we had some server issues yesterday evening. Around the time I went to bed, my husband thought that he’d gotten everything resolved, but he was still checking to make sure.

Of course, I could’ve stayed up later to make sure I posted an entry on Thursday and avoided deviating from my usual schedule, but that didn’t seem like it would make much sense. Nurturing Thursday is mainly about being gentle with oneself. Among other things, it’s meant as an antidote to society’s pressure to meet all expectations, whether self-imposed or external. Weekly posting is good because it gives me enough structure for meaningful reflection on a regular basis, but too much rigidity would be counterproductive.

Word-art that says "Being gentle with yourself is a radical act."

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.

This morning, I got into an email conversation about gardening and spent a few enjoyable minutes imagining what I could do with my backyard. I pictured a monarch butterfly garden in the corner of the yard where my home office looks out, with flowers everywhere and small ornamental trees.

Although it’s probably fair to say that I was letting myself get distracted in the middle of a workday, I would also say that a reasonable amount of distraction and fun contributes to a productive life. Keeping one’s attention entirely focused on external tasks while neglecting oneself is not optimal. If I had a beautiful garden outside my window when I was working, I’d surely feel inspired to accomplish more.

Word-art that says "Give yourself the same care and attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom."

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.