As summer’s long, bright days reach their end and autumn’s cool winds take their place, we may want to spend time indoors with a book, or perhaps a journal, and a cup of hot tea or coffee. Or we may feel more inclined to take long, solitary walks through fallen leaves in misty woods. Autumn is about change, about letting go; but it is also about finding, in that it gives us a nudge to become better acquainted with ourselves.

Like the earth, settling in for months of quiet slumber while life goes on under the surface, we’re making ready for new growth.

Word-art that says "Find your soul."

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’m writing this post while on my midday break, after a conversation with my manager about career development. The company started using the Workday human resources system last year; it has a structured development process in which employees assess their skills and goals, then meet with their manager periodically to discuss them.

She mentioned that although these conversations take up a lot of time, she doesn’t mind because they are more fun than some other tasks. I said it’s good that people are feeling less unsettled than they were earlier this year, which got us talking about how everyone still wishes they could just hibernate until 2020 is over. Even so, I would say we’re slowly learning how to find peace.

Word-art that says "Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart."

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 online rowing session this afternoon came from a new destination—the instructor was on a river in Burlington, Vermont. The surrounding landscape was a beautiful emerald green. The video occasionally switched to a drone view during the workout and showed the river from above, in addition to the usual cameras on the instructor’s boat and on the safety launch following it. I particularly enjoyed that view after the dry, hot summer here in Ohio, which left the trees and lawns in my neighborhood looking parched.

Afterward, my husband mentioned that someone on Facebook had complained that the drone view was a distraction from the workout. I said that I didn’t look at it that way. It was good to have something different for a change. Besides, it was just for fun, and it made the workout feel more playful—like the dolphins that sometimes leap out of the water during the winter rowing sessions in Miami Beach. Life wouldn’t have much zest without curiosity and appreciation for new views.

Word-art with a dolphin and words like "Playful" and "Curious."

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 sat down to write a Nurturing Thursday post, drinking a cup of decaffeinated coffee because it already was too late in the day for caffeine, all that came to mind was random thoughts. The coffee was random too. We have an assortment of flavors delivered every month. Usually it’s about the same, but the company reserves the right to make substitutions, and it looked like there were some major supply issues this time because we got all kinds of flavors that we hadn’t seen before.

That was okay, though, because some of the new flavors turned out to be pretty good. Pumpkin caramel spice, yum, just right for the end of summer. And chocolate marshmallow. And, when you think about it, how amazing is it that when we’re just sitting around the house, we can share our random thoughts with other people anywhere in the world? All of which reminded me of why I decided to participate in Nurturing Thursday in the first place.

Word-art that says "Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing," -Dr. Seuss

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 woke up early this morning, just as it was getting light. My first thought, before I was fully awake, was that something about the light was beautiful. Perhaps a more accurate word, rather than “thought,” would be “impression,” because I wasn’t yet lucid enough to have a clear thought. However it might best be described, it got my day off to a happy start, reminding me that the world is full of beauty. To find it, all we need to do is wake up and open our eyes!

Word-art that says "Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life." -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.

With no real-life rowing regattas this year, my husband and I have been taking part in a virtual “Row the Great Lakes” challenge hosted by USRowing. The participants row individually on an indoor rowing machine, on the water, or both, and enter their progress regularly on the challenge website. The goal is to row a distance that is equal to rowing all the way around the Great Lakes by December 1.

Although it’s certainly not the same as traveling to actual regattas and rowing with our friends, I am glad to see this challenge and so many other online events keeping people connected and doing fun things together. I stayed up way too late one night recently, watching parody music videos that reworked popular songs in light of how people are getting by this year. Goofy as they were, it left me in better spirits.

Word-art that says "We are all in this together."

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.

Since my husband took over the grocery shopping chore in March, we’ve been eating more hamburgers for dinner because that’s what he likes. We’re having burgers again today. At first I expected that it would get boring after a while, but so far it’s okay. He also has been patting out the burgers and putting them in the skillet, and they are good burgers, so I’ve decided to count them as a blessing and enjoy the moment. There will be plenty of time to get back to a dinner rotation with more variety in the future.

A coworker sent an email recently with this word-art, which goes very well here, I’d say:

Word-art with cartoon condiments saying "Relish today, ketchup tomorrow."

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 was having an email conversation with a friend recently about how some things have changed for the better this year, even though it still feels like being a character in a bad zombie movie sometimes. She wrote that her family has been calmer and more focused since staying home, and I replied that my husband and I also have been feeling much more relaxed.

Giving myself permission to let things develop at their natural pace, without pushing myself to do more or feeling inadequate if I don’t yet have a clear sense of what to do, has made so much difference. Before now, I hadn’t realized how far I had gotten away from the simple enjoyment of being.

Word-art that says "I simply am."

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 had rain most of the day—cool, steady showers that soothed the parched grass and perked up the drooping shrubs. I was glad to see it because we certainly needed some rain. But, at the same time, the dark clouds gave me a gloomy feeling. The lack of sunlight made it harder to distract myself with cheerful thoughts and get worries and doubts out of my head.

The storm had mostly passed over when I finished my workday, though, and the sun was coming out. The world looked bright and refreshed.

Word-art that says "When the dark clouds of doubt, anger or worry begin to move upon you, steady yourself in the knowledge that in time, the storm will pass." -Bryant McGill

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.

Since my husband started working from home in March, he has mostly taken over doing the grocery shopping. That took me a little while to get used to, although it’s clear that he does not mind doing it, because buying groceries always had been one of my chores.

Then I asked myself, well, why shouldn’t I relax and enjoy having the groceries just show up without any effort on my part, like everyone else in the family always did before now? After all, I’m just as worthy of being nurtured and cared for as anyone else.

Word-art with words like "Worthy" and "Appreciative" on a woman's silhouette.

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.