dog in bed

Every night, as I’m getting ready for bed, I say the same thing…

“I can’t wait to have my coffee in the morning!”

To which my boyfriend typically mumbles something to the effect of, “If you’re saying this again, your caffeine addiction must really be out of control.”
  
My addiction is undeniable, but the truth is, my excitement has very little to do with caffeine and everything to do with comfort. I look forward to my morning cup for two reasons. One, because it’s delicious. And two, because it’s the only time I consistently allow myself to savor something for five whole minutes before jumping into the rest of the day. 

Which is to say, the coffee doesn’t hop me up as much as it slows me down. 

To the untrained observer, my morning beverage may look like bean water in a cup, but to me, it’s actually something more profound. It’s a tiny anchor, lending a bit of certainty and familiarity to uncertain days. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference. 

Traditionally, an anchor is “a device that prevents a craft from drifting due to wind or current.” Similarly, a tiny anchor helps ground us amidst the currents of our days. Instead of connecting us to a place, they connect us to the moment, offering a tiny bit of presence.

These days, I’ve been collecting tiny anchors wherever I can. The cardinal that appears every day outside my window (dubbed ‘the yardinal’). The familiar scent of my dog’s fur (these days, like a cross between a slightly stale cracker and an actual dust bunny). Catching the clock right at 11:11. Watering the plants every Sunday afternoon.

There is an oft-quoted Zen saying: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate on the present moment.” Which sounds so lovely. Yet some days — scratch that, most days — that is freaking impossible. As much as I love to meditate or go for intentional walks or rake my nonexistent sand garden, much of the time, life gets in the way. So coffee is what I have. And for those five minutes, that’s enough for me.

Do you have any tiny anchors these days? I’d love to hear.

P.S. How to stay present and a personal ritual I’ll never forget.

(Photo by Studio Firma/Stocksy.))