Today was very dark and wet. I got rained on when I did the grocery shopping this afternoon, and then there was a power outage for about two hours. Meanwhile, my husband had to move the rowing club’s boat trailer to higher ground because the river was rising high enough to flood the parking lot at the boathouse.

So, even after the power came back on, I didn’t feel particularly lucky or glad until my husband texted me from the gym after work. He asked if I had checked the basement. I went down there to look, and the sump pump was running. The floor was dry, though; so even with all the rain, there hadn’t been enough water to flood the basement floor while the power was out. That left me feeling much happier about how the day had gone, as compared to what might have happened.

With all the water around here today, I decided this word-art was quite appropriate for Nurturing Thursday:

Word-art that says "Happiness comes in waves."

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 put on my cozy winter pajamas after taking a shower, and then I started thinking that I should go write my Nurturing Thursday post because it was getting late in the evening. But instead I sat down by the fireplace, on the carpet next to the bricks, enjoying the warmth and feeling grateful to have a comfortable home.

After a while I started composing this post in my head, so I wasn’t entirely idle; but mainly, I was just sitting there and letting myself have a few pleasant minutes without feeling obligated to start doing something. It’s good to write blogs, along with all the other ways we can so easily connect with people in modern times; but we also need to take enough time to connect with and care for ourselves.

Word-art that says "You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other 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.

This year I am keeping a journal of people’s kind acts, as described in my New Year’s post. The original idea was that by writing about kindness, I would give it more weight subconsciously, which in turn would shift my perspective toward seeing the world as a kinder place.

So far I’ve noticed something else, which is that I am not only giving more weight to kind acts—I am seeing more of them in the first place. When I take the time to consider (as journaling requires) what acts of kindness I’ve seen on a particular day, I find myself reflecting on events that seemed ordinary at first glance and then realizing, “Oh, this was done with kind intentions, and that was kind too.”

Even the most commonplace things can seem very different, depending on how we look at them.

Word-art with a dandelion that says "Some see a weed, I see a wish."

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 evening I got distracted and, instead of writing my usual Nurturing Thursday post, I put on my pajamas and chatted with my husband for a while. Then I got in bed and was still awake, looking at the brightness behind the window shades where light was reflecting from snow, and had a vague sense that there was something left undone.

The internal to-do list never fully came back after its mysterious disappearance over the holidays, it seems. I did eventually remember that it was Thursday and I hadn’t written a blog post, so I got back out of bed and sat down at the computer. Oh well, nobody’s perfect, and anyway, Nurturing Thursday is about gradual self-improvement rather than getting it right every time.

Word-art that says "Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection." -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.

One advantage of getting older is that every passing year comes with more perspective. The list of entries grows longer in what I call the Portfolio of Past Problems. Just like we keep track of our job accomplishments by writing resumes to show employers how proficient we are in our jobs, solving problems in our personal lives also gives us valuable experience and makes us more capable. Rather than feeling gloomy because not everything came out perfect on the first try, we should give ourselves credit for work well done!

No matter how troubling a particular situation may be, the chances are good that when looking back on it many years later, it’s probably just going to be another one of the many things that worked out all right.

Word-art that says "Problems are like washing machines. They twist us, spin us and knock us around. But in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before."

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 did some after-Christmas shopping and got a new electric skillet yesterday, with nonstick ceramic coating. It replaced a worn-out skillet that wasn’t keeping food from sticking anymore. Last night I cooked hamburgers to try out the new skillet, and it worked very well and was easy to clean up afterward.

Electric skillet on kitchen counter with refrigerator in background.

I had been meaning to replace the old one for months, but did not get around to doing it earlier because I was busy. Of course, putting off the errand didn’t save me any time, and in fact caused me to waste time scrubbing the old skillet. Even though we may think we’re too busy for simple things that make life more comfortable, there is really no good reason to neglect ourselves like that. It’s just a bad habit.

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’ve been getting more rest while on vacation this week, and because of that I’m feeling more relaxed. Tuesday night my Fitbit said that I slept for 10 straight hours. That wasn’t quite accurate, as I remember waking up a few times. Once I dreamed of wandering around in a hotel with confusing passages, where I wasn’t sure if I could find the way back to my room. Apparently I didn’t move enough when I woke up for the device to register it, though, and I must have fallen back to sleep soon.

This morning my husband was sound asleep for a long time. Usually he gets up pretty early. After a while, I thought I’d better check and make sure he was still breathing, although he is healthy and there was no cause for concern. He was fine, of course—just needed a little more rest, the same as I did.

The holidays won’t last forever, and we’ll get back to busy days soon enough. That is not a problem in itself—everyone needs both rest and adventure. What’s important is to find a good balance between them.

Word-art that says "Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them."

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.

One of my husband’s relatives, if asked what he wants for Christmas, will generally answer by saying “I have everything I need.” Other family members often find that answer a bit annoying, as if he is being a Grinch or a party pooper by not getting into the Christmas-gift spirit of frivolous wants. What do you get for a guy who doesn’t seem to want anything? Another ugly holiday sweater?

I do have to give him some credit, though, for keeping a positive focus. In that regard, I’ve reposted the word-art below (with permission) from an article on money quotes and affirmations, which can be helpful at this time of year when we’re all likely to spend more than usual.

Word-art that says "If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough." -Vicki Robin

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’ve had a tiring week because of the upcoming holidays, overtime work, and catching a cold, all of which have left me feeling very low on energy. As a result, I haven’t felt much inclined toward blogging. Rather than skip Nurturing Thursday, though, I’m posting this little cartoon I came across recently. As with all things, this too shall pass…

Cat picture that says "One day things will get better. Until then here is a drawing of a cat."

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’ve been doing overtime work the past two weeks. That is good both because it’s extra money—which I can use, in a year when my refrigerator and air conditioner both had to be replaced—and because it means the company values my workgroup’s production enough to pay for more of it, which is always a positive sign.

When I noticed today that the house was colder than it should have been, my first thought was that the furnace wasn’t working. That left me worrying that all my overtime money might end up having to go toward buying a new furnace, and what bad luck that would be, and why couldn’t I be rich and have plenty of money for new stuff like some luckier people do.

As it turned out, what really happened was that the door to the garage had been open, letting cold air into the house, and I hadn’t noticed (probably because I wasn’t as alert as usual, with extra work hours taking up more of my mental energy). That was all. And, no need to worry—it’s all good.

Word-art that says "Remember, being happy doesn't mean you have it all. It simply means you're thankful for all you have."

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.