Halfway through the winter, it’s cold and snowy here, and I’ve been wishing that I could curl up in a nice cozy burrow and hibernate until the world gets back to normal. Not having that ability, I have been looking for comfortable things that give the feeling of a safe, well-furnished burrow, like in all those classic children’s stories with talking animals. Here’s an image that lifted my mood recently—I hope you like it too!

Cup and pine cones with the caption "Favorite Things."

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.

Early this morning I was in a meeting about the features of a new web tool for my team’s work. Everything looked good, the managers who were on the call seemed happy with my input, and I felt pretty cheerful. All was right with the world.

Then I thought about another meeting I’d had last year, when this project was just getting underway. I had to present some information and felt nervous about it, worrying that I was getting things wrong and taking too much time, etc. Of course, nobody really thought I was that awful, but I let my imagination run away with me.

Today I felt much calmer and more confident. After everything that has happened over the past year, it’s getting easier to push aside those pointless little worries that once took up so much mental space.

Word-art that says "I got this."

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.

There hasn’t been much snow in my area this winter, just a dusting on Christmas. The forecast for Monday predicts either heavy snow or rain. Ordinarily I would’ve been hoping to avoid the snow, but life seems so relaxed right now that I’d be okay with it. No reason to go anywhere, and working from home means the driveway doesn’t need to be cleared—so it’s all good, whatever happens.

Word-art that says "Let it snow."

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 week got off to a slow start because I woke up later than usual on a cloudy Monday, and then I went to get groceries mid-morning, while the supermarket was still reasonably well stocked. So I didn’t get in a full day of work on Monday and felt like I was catching up all week.

Looking at it from the perspective of gratitude, though, it was a very good week. Working at home allowed me to get plenty of sleep and be well refreshed on Monday, the supermarket had almost everything on my list, and my home is a warm and comfortable place.

Word-art that says "Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A. Milne

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.

In difficult and traumatic times such as we’ve been through recently, it takes more effort to stay confident and move toward a better future. Even so, that’s when we most need to make the effort.

Word-art that says "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -Henry David Thoreau

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.

Yesterday was dark and rainy, but I decided to go for a run outside anyway because my husband’s Christmas gifts for me included thick winter hats, which looked very comfy, and a pair of tights (both by UnderArmour). So I tried them out, running around the block a few times. I came home when my shoes got wet enough to make my socks feel damp. The hat kept my head warm and dry, the tights were a good fit, and a jacket kept me otherwise dry, so I was comfortable except for the wet shoes.

This year has reminded us all to be thankful for having so many ordinary, comfortable things which, in past years, often got taken for granted. And even if much of 2020 felt like slogging through puddles on a dark winter day with wet feet, it also put such small inconveniences in perspective.

Word-art that says "Resilience."

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.

Unlike some (well, okay, most) previous years, I got all my Christmas shopping and wrapping finished two weeks early. Instead of hurrying to wrap the presents on the last day, I expected that I’d have a nice, lazy, peaceful Christmas Eve with nothing to do.

But my husband, who has been working a lot of late nights and weekends recently to finish up a project, still hadn’t gotten started on his wrapping. So, instead of sitting around all day being lazy, I helped wrap some of his gifts (not the ones for me, of course). It went quickly and didn’t feel at all like hurrying. In fact, with a better mindset going into the holiday, I still felt very much at peace.

Word-art that says "Peace on Earth."

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.

Yesterday’s major snowstorm, which was mostly to the east of my area, did not leave much snow here because the ground was warm enough that almost all of it melted. It’s not snowing at all today, but the dark clouds still haven’t shown any sign of moving on.

This time of year, staying cheerful can be a struggle because the lack of sunlight makes everything look so gloomy. Old limiting thoughts and their associated feelings are quick to pop up. But, one good thing about the long nights is that when the clouds blow away and the stars come out, the universe in all its glory reminds us that we have many wonders yet to discover.

Word-art that says "Reach for the Stars."

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 to a sunny morning and felt cheerful, but the daylight hours felt like they ended all too soon. That got me thinking about the ancient custom of lighting candles at the winter solstice, which I’m sure must have helped our ancestors to trust that light and warmth would return to the world.

My husband came upstairs after working out on the rowing machine and went to take a shower, while chatting about various things that had happened during his workday. He said that if I thought he was talking too much, I should feel free to tell him so. I said no, it wasn’t bothering me at all. Having some cheerful conversation on a dark, cold winter night is a very good thing!

Word-art that says "Trust..."

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.

In the year since my husband and I bought our Hydrow rowing machine in the 2019 Black Friday sale, we have been doing the rowing workouts regularly. The online library also includes Pilates, other flexibility exercises, and yoga, which are all in a category called “On the Mat,” but we hadn’t done anything with those—even though we bought mats when we first set up the machine.

I decided to try some of the pre-row and post-row mobility exercises last week, after the five-mile run for the virtual Turkey Trot left me feeling a bit stiff. I also did a beginner Pilates session today. They both seemed helpful for loosening up my body. Not sure if I’ll be adventurous enough to try the yoga classes, as I can’t quite picture myself standing on my head. Either way, I appreciate having so many options for fitness, health, and connection in today’s world.

Word-art with a dog in a meditation pose that says "Inhale love... exhale gratitude."

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.