Relationships

What Are Your Tiny Anchors?

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.))

  1. Justina says...

    Yoga for me. It’s an open invitation to come back at any time. My little ‘me time’ that holds me while riding the waves of everyday life.

  2. Zoe says...

    Life with small children is all about these tiny rituals. Walking into my son’s bedroom every morning with the words ‘hello sunshine’; lunchtime with my husband; the walk up the hill from school pick up; the moment before my baby daughter’s bath where I take off her clothes and she wriggles with abandon; the nightly breastfeed and sleepy snuggles and my bath with a book after they are both in bed. This is the stuff life is made of.

    • brooke says...

      This is beautifully put Zoe – thank you! x

  3. love this! my morning cup of a tea is also a ritual i savor…with the morning call of birdsong for company. . …and i too love to catch the numbers on a clock when perfectly balanced. my small dog Lucy is an anchor too….taking her for a walk when the shadows of the day stretch themselves long, loving her enthusiasm her delight to run in wide circles. her happiness. lighting the candles on my altar. burning incense. yes….anything and everything to bring us to the present moment. and a quiet relaxed mind.

  4. Katrina says...

    Mine is porridge for breakfast, even in summer, and a cup of tea. I always look forward to this the night before. And on Saturday mornings (here in Australia) it’s reading the links on Cup of Jo as I have the tea. I feel irritated if I don’t get to enjoy that part of my daily and weekly routine.

    • I’ve also been eating porridge for breakfast every morning during even the hottest weeks of summertime, along with a big mug of hot tea! I cannot break that habit, I guess it’s one of my anchors, too!

    • CS says...

      Ha! Me too! :)

  5. Emma says...

    Checking on our small garden, virtual piano lessons, reading books to our boys, and as always—trying to guess the inner workings of my neighbors lives based off of which cars are parked in the drive way :)

  6. Cathy says...

    Coffee in the morning. Conan’s podcast at night (much needed laughs).

  7. Amy says...

    This made me realize that I haven’t seen one of my tiny anchors in a couple of months! My indefinite work from home spot is right by a second-floor window in our guest room, and in the spring I would see the same guy run by our house every single day…always in the same outfit! His uniform was black shorts and a red short-sleeved tech tee. (ONCE I saw him in a neon green tech tee. Just once.) Hopefully he’s just taking the summer off and I’ll get to see him this fall!

  8. Lais says...

    The joy of having a name for a specific feeling! Thank you, Caroline. So nice to see mine are similar to other people here. Mine are a morning cappuccino, checking out the garden/plants and observing the birds that live around the house and come by daily for food. It’s the best.

  9. I’m really enjoying listening to history lectures as I fall asleep. I have done this for years (the great courses on Audible are my favourite), but when new lecture series from my favourite professors like Dr Dorsey Armstrong, Dr Philip Daileader, or my very favourite, Dr Robert Garland, become available, I really look forward to drifting off to sleep listening to them. Diving deep into the Middle Ages or the ancient Greek world I find takes my mind out of present woes, but also reminds me that people have come out of very difficult times before.

    • Jamie says...

      Erin,
      Thank you for this tip. I find myself looking for something with more depth than my nightstand reads and the news/social media/blog world on my phone before bed. I’m going to give this a try. It’s been many years since college and I think listening to this would be so enlightening, interesting, and unique, without the responsibility of trying to remember it for a test :)

  10. I’ve just returned to work as a teacher after a few years off at home with my kids (and oh, what a time to return to teaching…). In a bizarre start to the school year that’s just getting weirder and weirder, I’m savoring the 45 minutes where I’m the only one awake in the morning, drinking my coffee and reading the newspaper, and the quiet drive to school, where I can listen to an audiobook OF MY CHOICE (the glory).

  11. Margo Stoner says...

    Every evening when I make it back to my studio in Harlem I say aloud, “Hello beautiful home!” As an essential worker, my gratitude for a calm, safe and stabile home has deepened so much.

  12. allison says...

    exercise is such an anchor for me, i genuinely struggle to understand how some people live their whole lives without it. it could be a quick walk around my neighborhood, a self taught yoga session, a mid-day run, 10 minutes of stretching, but whatever it is, it is the best gift to give myself to just move. my. body.

    other anchors that have gotten me through the best and worst of times: like almost everyone else: coffee, real estate stalking on zillow, mud masks, a glass of wine on my stoop, buying grocery story flowers + arranging at home and gently rubbing my puppy’s pink belly <3. (why is the pink part *so perfect* ?)

  13. L says...

    I was thrown a major curveball this past weekend racing to be by my mom’s side when she started experiencing seizures, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, then went into emergency surgery and is now recovering in the ICU. I have had the same tiny anchor each day; waking up and going outside in the sun for a few minutes to drink my tea and collect myself as I head into each day of anxiety, fear, anger, grief, relief, joy, sadness and the unknown. It has been my comfort through quarantine, losing my job, my recent breakup and now this. It is not much but it is reliable and that is what I need right now as I enter this next season of life.

    • Maggie says...

      I read this and think the rest of us don’t have much to complain about. We have so many tiny things to be grateful for – the sun rising, a breeze blowing and fresh clean water are enough little miracles when you don’t have to worry about lthem bed ones health. Thinking about you and wishing a speedy recovery for your mother!

    • Jess says...

      Sending you love during this tough time. <3 Hope for more little moments during the day where you can feel a little at peace.

    • AC says...

      Praying for you dear friend I’ve never met. I know now is a strange and hard time for many, but that doesn’t make your hardships, any less hard. You are not alone even when you feel like it. This sweet corner of community is here for you.

    • Elise says...

      The same thing happened to my family earlier this summer with my dad. He’s in treatment now and doing as well as possible. Sending you love and peace.

    • Susan says...

      Ten years ago my dad experienced seizures attached to a brain tumor. I’m so sorry. That is very hard. It was a very trying time for my family. Lots of hugs and prayer and positive vibes. From here to you.

  14. Laura says...

    I love this. I did not realize I had a tiny anchor until reading this post, and it hit me: my tiny anchor is getting ready for bed by myself after putting my two kids to bed. I change into my pajamas, brush my teeth, and wash my face. I do the exact same thing every night, 365 days a year. It’s only a few minutes, but I get to connect with my body, splash cold water on my face, look in the mirror, and just reset.

  15. Bee says...

    And here I thought I was the only one that started thinking about and craving my morning tea while getting ready for bed! Glad I’m not alone. :) It’s a comfort thing for me, mostly, but caffeine is an added plus with my 3 y.o. waking me up at 5:30 every day.

    My other anchor is a steaming hot bath at the end of the day, after putting said 3 y.o. to bed. Again, more about comfort and familiarity than anything else.

  16. Sara says...

    I love getting in my car, starting a podcast (Radiolab or MIchelle Obama’s podcast or The Daily), and sipping my piping hot coffee on my drive to work. As much as going to work infuriates me (I work in an office and we do all meetings remotely–why am I required to be physically onsite?!?!), I do love that anchor of a commute. Also, watering my garden, picking my son up from school (to see his eyes light up at the sight of me! Heaven…), snuggling with my kids as they fall asleep with their arms draped over my neck, and climbing into bed with hot yogi tea and my binge show of choice…

    These days it seems these anchors are the only happy things in my anxiety- and stress-filled days, but thank you Cup of Jo for reminding me that these are actually a bounty of blessings.

    • Kathryn says...

      My anchors. Bless my little ritualistic toddler for bringing anchors into our lives. Every night we kiss goodnight, me while I’m breastfeeding the baby, he bounces on the bed-always wakes her to give us both kisses and ugga muggas. Then we say good night and sweet dreams. I’ve been ‘working out’ daily which is really just some sort of stretching and/or movement in the morning. It’s perfect and always what I needed. And I do meditation nightly. But the sweetest are weekend. Thank god for waffles, npr, record playing all day. I love the comments and am inspired, Friday fun day?! I want one!

  17. Jules says...

    While I have others this website is definitely one! When work gets tedious and I need a break I hop on and see what new posts you ladies have given us and it’s an immediate mood lifter. Especially the weekend post on a Saturday morning with my coffee (or catching up right now on them at the beach!)

    • Allison says...

      +1 ! i was just telling my fiancé the other day that a small pleasure for me is coming from back a vacation during which I wasn’t on my laptop and having a week’s worth of CoJ posts to devour <3

  18. Malissa says...

    Likewise, Caroline – I get amped for my morning coffee starting the night before. I also have my Crime Junkie podcast on Mondays during my walks or work commute and I have my after-work cocktail or wine, too. Love to think of these as tiny anchors these days.

  19. Le says...

    Friday Fun Day. My parents started “FFD” when they retired; they do something new together each Friday. I’m a freelancer with a two year old and a three month old, and we’ve adopted Friday Fun Day since the pandemic started. I’ve decided no more trying to get “work” or “something” done on Fridays–and gone with that is the guilt for not doing it. Last week, we went to a park with my parents and drove through a new shaved ice place; some times we just make pancakes or muffins and cover them in sprinkles. We make a sign for Daddy that says “welcome home” or “weekend party!” and stick it on the front door before he gets home. I’ve never enjoyed Friday so much, or been so appreciative of the small, special moments with my little people and, for that matter, my parents. I look forward to it every week.

    • Julia says...

      This sounds wonderful!

    • Andrea says...

      So fun! :) I want to adopt Friday Fun Days in our home!

  20. Lola says...

    I check on my garden every day, sometimes more than once – it’s the only thing I take care of that doesn’t ask me for anything (rare these days, home with a 5yo, 7yo, and husband)

    Also, I met a baby deer one morning and she led me around our field for a good half hour. She was back the next day and trotted right up to me, but on day three she brought her mom so the visits are more sporadic now. I look for her every day, and every few days she’s back. Tiny Anchor sounds like a good name for her.

    • Kristina says...

      Lola, I love that! Hope Tiny Anchor shows up every once in a while and reminds you of all the good things in your life. :)

  21. The very first thing I do when I wake is snuggle with my cockapoo, Chili Dawg. Usually my daughter wakes around the same time and joins us, getting me a long hug. She’s 18 and a freshman in college. She should be living on campus and away from home, but because of Covid her campus is closed this semester and she started her freshmen year online in her bedroom. I’m sad she’s starting college this way, but I will take the morning snuggles as long as I can get them.

    After making my bed, I open all the blinds in our house of glass. I live on a hill in a coastal Southern California town, so it’s always a treat to see that morning’s view of the ocean. Is it a marine layer and foggy or sunny and deep blue sparkling? It’s different every day!

    Then I put away the dishes from the night before. This ritual makes me feel productive right away and gets my body moving. After exercising (usually kettlebells or Yoga with Adrianne), I finally sit down to my computer with a pink Yeti mug of matcha tea and light a candle. I choose today’s Apple Radio station depending on my mood. I am now ready to write. When I started writing seriously I needed a ritual to help me know “it’s time to write” and it’s matcha, a candle and music. I LOVE my matcha tea and the days that I don’t have it, I feel off. It’s not the caffeine, it’s the ritual and the warmth.

  22. Gabriele says...

    Morning coffee, Italian roast, filtered the super old way in a cone shape filter, is def a tiny anchor. We rise early to have coffee in the “drawing room” and then start our on-line workday day at home. Also cuddles with our Shih Tzuh Kimball, watching the bird feeder, and soothing Spotify playlists, (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6fkceniWQp3sBGtJEqwLSO?si=v2V_rf3cSziwODMp5HkiJA) are tiny anchors. Sometimes it is harder than other times.

  23. Molly K says...

    Mine are: burying my face in my bath towel and taking a huge inhale before I use it to dry off, hearing my four-year-old tell me “fank you!”, and a (rare) treat of Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough ice cream.

  24. This is just beautiful.

    My anchors certainly include morning coffee, which usually my bf makes and leaves for me but now that we’re both home all day and he sleeps in more, I make before I do anything else. My daily PM walk around our neighborhood, usually listening to a podcast. A short meditation. My home workout. Watching my two cats playfight up and down the halls each evening (cats’ entire LIVES are anchors – they are such creatures of habit!). Wine has also become a little more of an anchor than is probably healthy during 2020, so working on finding some intentional new anchors like a nightly cup of tea or CBD seltzer! I find the routine comforting more so than the alchol or the taste.

  25. Rachel says...

    When I had my first baby, each morning when we’d finally make it past 5:00 a.m., I’d have a piece of cinnamon raisin toast and say to myself (and my husband if he was the one who made the toast for me), “we made it to another day!” In the midst of not really knowing which way was up for a while, the little accidental ritual of having that buttery toast was so hopeful and set the day off on the right foot somehow. It’s funny because I guess I fell out of the habit, and even though I LOVE cinnamon raisin toast, I don’t think I’ve had any in the last 10 months or so! Maybe I’ll revive the tradition with our second baby (due in January)…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love that, Rachel :) and congratulations on your baby news!

  26. Leslie-Anne says...

    Every night after I turn out the light I think about three things that I am grateful for that day. Most nights the list is longer than three, and sometimes much longer. But inevitably there are nights that I struggle to find three. At those times I think about the simple things in my day (like my morning coffee) and I realize that no blessing is too small to be grateful for.

  27. Megan says...

    I’m sure like a lot of people right now, I’ve been experiencing great highs and some pretty icky lows. But without fail, every morning, I get up and take my two dogs for a walk. That is my anchor. I wouldn’t say I look forward to it–I’d much rather snuggle with them on the couch with my other anchor, a cup of coffee :-) –but every once in a while, I’ll catch a glimpse of the sunrise through the houses in my neighborhood, or I’ll look up at a bird on a rooftop chirping into the great unknown. What is she saying, I’ll think? Is she giving thanks for another day to live? Calling for someone? Just making noise? And then I pick up my dog’s poop with a plastic bag, carry it home, and resume worrying about the past and/or future.

    • Julia says...

      Your text sounds like poetry. Beautiful.

  28. Sophia says...

    Every night my husband and I get in bed and talk about “our favorite part of the day.” We started doing this during quarantine, when the days seemed to blend into one long worry and my anxiety needed something to hold on to. So we recount the best things that happened, some days as small as a the pretty sky at sunset or as big as me starting second year of med school. I can’t wait to do it with our kids someday :)

  29. Sasha L says...

    I love posts like these- I always feel like I’m peeking through a window and seeing something wonderful.

    My anchors:
    Hugs from the children I care for.
    A meditation practice with yoga with Adriene every morning. 15 minutes or so of just being, breathing, listening to her soothing, affirming voice is like warm sunshine on my face. It’s helped me so much lately.
    Walking our dogs with my husband every day after work in a big open field with a creek. Seeing the big sky, the mountains, feeling the weather, hearing the water, holding my husband’s hand and just being with the unbounded joy that is dogs running and playing.

    • Sarah says...

      Sasha, that is such a lovely way of putting it and so true, “ I always feel like I’m peeking through a window and seeing something wonderful.” Thank you for putting words to feelings!

  30. M says...

    My anchor? The everyday hug my husband gives me when he gets home from work. I think about it from the moment he lives until the moment he gets home. The whole day is a whirlwind storm of kids and chores and tantrums and joys and through it all, i am always thinking about his silver honda civic pulling up in the driveway, honking and waving, the kids running after him, and him getting out of the car, and us hugging in the crevice of his car door. It is then, I know, that I completed another day at sea with my kids, and it is thoughts of him that kept me anchored throught it all.

    • Suzie says...

      This is beautiful.

    • Anna says...

      I love this <3

    • Le says...

      M, wherever you are, I want to be your friend! So relate to this.

  31. Erica B says...

    Caroline, I think we’d be great friends. Almost everything I read of yours I’m like “…..same.” Enjoy your coffee. :)

    (oh also – coincidentally, my best friend of 30+ yrs is named Caroline).

  32. Tiny anchors — what an apt and wonderfully whimsical way to express this idea! Your’e just the best writer, Caroline!

    Even though our daughter is four, we’ve kept the baby monitor in her room, just in case she needs us in the middle of the night. Every morning, I can hear her shifting awake, starting to rumple her covers. Next, she talks to her stuffies for a bit. She usually sings a song or two. Then — my favorite part — she bounds out of her bed and runs across the hall to our room. We pretend to be asleep, even though we wake the moment she does. She hops on top of us, yelling, “It’s today! Mommy, daddy, it’s TODAY!” Today usually never means anything big, like a holiday or special outing, which makes it even better. Her excitement about just being alive on an ordinary day sets such a hopeful tone for OUR days!

    That’s my tiny anchor, though it feels really big and important sometimes. I’m so lucky that I get to spend the first moments of every morning surrounded by my people.

    • Christina M says...

      So sweet! We should all wake up like this!

    • Rusty says...

    • M says...

      Oh so, dear, this is so beautiful.

  33. Ann says...

    Same idea but with warm lemon water. I like to get up before my husband for that little moment of complete quiet with no phone, no talking, nada. Just me and my water and my thoughts.

  34. Claudia Gator says...

    My building has a huge backyard and some allotments were converted on vegetable gardens. Although I don’t own one, my downstairs neighbours have a very neat garden with tomatoes, mint, basil, green beans… It all started when they asked me to water the vegetables when they were away on vacations. Now, even when they’re home I still spend ½ hour each day outside, pulling out the weeds and doing other garden stuff. It is my anchor moment.

    • Cherie says...

      I love this. Nature is so grounding. I’ll bet your neighbors appreciate it, too.

  35. Lori H says...

    My morning hot brewed tea is definitely an anchor! I look forward to it and feel “off” when I miss it.

  36. Esther R. says...

    This article is just what I needed today! Over the past year, I’ve lost (or changed out) most of my big anchors—called off a wedding, quit a job, moved across the world—so the small things have become hugely important. my small anchors include: morning coffee on my balcony, attempting even five minutes of yoga a day, snuggling my cat/letting him sleep on top of me, and frequent walks along the canal.

  37. Sally says...

    Thinking about it, through the past 5 months, 3 main things have been my anchor.

    1: My breakfast egg. I make a hardboiled egg the night before, but only softboil it. So I’m actually eating a cold softboiled egg. It’s a challenge to eat the egg white without bursting the runny yolk. But actually it’s so delicious, I get up excited to go eat my egg!
    2: My 10am coffee. I wait until at least 10am, because I don’t want to be one of those people who NEEDS coffee to even get out of bed. I have it with 2 chocolate biscuits and watch a YouTube video. It’s a lovely 20 minutes.
    3: I have a lie-down in bed between about 3pm and 4pm and watch Facebook videos. It shows me an interesting miss of true crime shows, dogs being rescued and turning out gorgeous and happy, Dr Phil episodes and documentaries about people’s lives. It’s the perfect way into the latter half of my day, and I get up feeling rested, calmer, and ready to think about dinner!

    These little things helped me more than anything to give my day a little structure, when everything was at it’s maddest. Here in the UK, schools are going back this week, and I think we’re all so ready for “normal” again!

  38. Sharon says...

    I wake up my house every morning. I walk in to each room, turn on lights and open curtains and windows. I love to greet the morning and appreciate the blessing of a safe and cozy place to live.

  39. Kamina says...

    Monday night meal prep while my husband works late on his computer
    Thursday morning ballet fitness class on zoom with old friends in other states and countries
    “Fun food Fridays” – it helps to distinguish the weeks from the weekends. 
    Pancakes on Saturday mornings and playing a Carole King album
    Saving up my favourite podcasts to listen to while going for a run
    Group text with my best girlfriends
    Putting sunscreen on my face every morning
    Reading in bed at night with my feet on my husband’s feet
    Getting big boxes of fresh produce delivered, then sorting it all, planning meals, freezing and preserving so that nothing gets wasted
    Washing every dish and wiping every surface before bed at night
    Having a hot shower in the dark with just a candle lit

  40. Melanie says...

    Our morning ritual with our 4 year old daughter. 99% of the time she wakes up and calls out for one of us to come get her. One of us then goes into her room, gives her a cuddle and holds her hand back to our room. Then we all climb into bed, cuddle, talk & giggle together until we inevitably have to start getting ready for our day.

    This is one of the silver linings that started due to COVID as we both work from home atm and save a lot of commute time, so able to spend more time on family cuddles.

  41. Laurel says...

    Reading bookends sleep for me. 20 mins in the morning after I wake up and 20 mins (or less if I fall asleep) before bed. I love it. The house is quiet for both times, my husband will occasionally bring me coffee in the morning and it’s a gentle way to wake up and wind down.

    • CEW says...

      So lovely, Laurel. Such a mood. :)

    • Molly K says...

      I love that! I read books at night too, but I don’t know why I don’t do it in the morning. Instead I scroll on my phone for too many minutes and usually regret that time wasted. I’m going to try to switch that habit to reading my book!

  42. This is too funny because I just started drinking coffee in quarantine! I never used to like how the caffeine made my heart race and didn’t care much for the taste, but with my husband being a prolific coffee drinker, I began to enjoy a cup with him in the mornings (and now he jokes that I’m fully hooked). There have been many, many mornings since March where I’ve thought “this is the most important moment of my day.” Because no matter what happens, no matter what I read in the news, no matter how weird or awful things get, I feel lucky at least to have spent my morning quietly enjoying a cup of coffee.

  43. Angela says...

    A few years ago, I would go to bed thinking about breakfast and coffee, nowadays breakfast isn’t as appealing so now it’s coffee. I love getting up before anyone else to sit, drink and enjoy and often while reading a few pages of my book too.

  44. Monica says...

    A morning cup of coffee is one of mine too.

    Walking away from my husband and big kids to snuggle my four month old to sleep – a few nights per week.

    “Evening devotions” via zoom as a situational alternative to evening vespers services with our parish community.

    Knowing that every few decades there comes something that indicates “the end of the world” and it never is – and leaning into the experiences of those who have shared their resiliency with us.

  45. Well I didn’t realize it but my morning coffee is my anchor too. We recently went on a lovely vacation and sipped plenty of fancy iced coffees, lattes and teas… but by the last day I was dreaming of my perfectly foamed oat milk latte, whipped up and handed to me personally by my personal barista/husband of the century in bed every morning (he’s a keeper.)

  46. Lisa (11:11, make a wish) says...

    Caroline, you are simply a beautiful writer, so grounded, wise, and down-to-earth. You feel like a kindred spirit when I read you. Thank you for the truth and beauty you’ve brought to our covid-time Cup of Jo experience.

  47. Liz says...

    Tiny anchors is such a beautiful way to describe these moments. For me, it’s morning coffee, the Hamilton soundtrack while I wash dishes, snuggling with my little guy before he goes to bed, and reading before I go to sleep.

  48. Emily says...

    When I was pregnant, I would imagine a thread connecting my heart to the baby’s heart, and as I would breathe, I’d imagine a bead of light passing back and forth between us. My daughter and I talk about this often – our thread – and how no matter where we go (even Paris! even the moon! even to death!) it will stretch but not break. No matter what, we can give each other our bead of light.
    She’s 5 and she’s been having trouble sleeping (I got very sick with COVID in March and haven’t gotten better. She doesn’t want to leave my side or have me go anywhere. She worries.) She recently told me she gets in our bed at night and lays against my back to make our string as small as she can. She said asks for my light to help her sleep and she gives me hers to get better.

    I know thats not exactly what you meant when you speak of tiny anchors but its what i immediately thought about… the peace that comes from being tethered in a storm.

    • Hellen says...

      Emily, that was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes. I will pray for your recovery to health !

    • Lindsay A says...

      Oh, Emily – my heart just broke a little bit. This is beautiful and I’m so sorry. Sending you a little of my light tonight for your recovery.

    • Marian says...

      Thank you for this. I’m almost 30 and my mother and I still have a strong (and long, I’m in NY, she’s in CA) string and lean on each other often for light. It doesn’t go away.

    • Brianna says...

      I almost cried. Lovely.

    • Sandra Shinazy says...

      Thank you, Emily, for sharing this beautiful story. Sending you supportive thoughts for good health.

    • Kamina says...

      Me and my mother have an “invisible string” too.

    • Christina M says...

      This is so beautiful and immediately reminded me of the children’s book, The Invisible String by Patrice Karat, about how we’re attached to everyone we love, no matter where they are (even heaven) by an invisible string and we all have to do is pull it. Often times, my kids will ask my husband and I at the end of the day, “did you feel it? I pulled the invisible string today!” And the answer is always yes.

    • Sally says...

      That is such a gorgeous way to explain the bond between a mother and daughter. I have it with my mum, and since my dad died 3 years ago, it’s only gotten stronger.

      I’m sending you all my love and best wishes for your recovery!!

    • Laura Melnik says...

      There’s a book called the invisible string you would like it’s a children’s book about the same thing

    • Oh, this is absolutely gorgeous. I always imagined my daughter’s heart and my heart as old-fashioned cup telephones, stringing us together. Anchors and threads, all ways to connect and ground us. I loved your bead of light metaphor SO much!

  49. My tiny anchor is my pre-dinner green tea and treat time. The environment might change – in bed with socks during cool evenings or in the patio garden at sunset with a light shawl draped around my shoulders. The treat might change – a cookie, a brownie, biscotti. And today, September 1, I notice how the light has changed, from a sultry summer illuminance to a golden-hued filter. BUT the one thing that doesn’t change is my pot of green tea, enjoyed in the moment, after a day’s worth of somethings and before a night’s worth of other things. It’s a meditation of sorts, a moment to pause and notice and feel and, really, just be.

  50. Rosemary says...

    Too funny–I just had this revelation about my cup of tea every morning!!! <3

  51. Dana says...

    Over the past few months my partner and I have been having two Dove chocolates each as an after dinner treat. As soon as we start unwrapping the chocolates our cat perks up and comes to sit at our feet. She waits for us to finish our chocolates and then roll the wrappers together into a little ball for her to bat around with her paws. She gets a new toy every night & is the sweetest tiny anchor for us.

    • Kylee says...

      The after dinner dove chocolate! Except, I may sometimes eat 4…
      And Caroline- my friend and I send each other a text whenever we see 11:11. It happens quite often actually!

  52. Seja says...

    I love these all so much. Thank you for posting this.
    For the past few months when I first wake up, my feet touch the floor out of the bed, carry me to the front door, and I walk outside to the grass in front of our house barefoot. It is cold and dewy and feels shocking at first, but exhilarating at the same time. I walk around for a few moments and now that it is dark when I wake, I find myself noticing the morning stars for really the first time in my life. I am not even sure what the initial thoughts were to do this, but this new morning ritual has brought me so much peace during these time and stays with me throughout my day.

  53. Emily Thompson says...

    The smell of my 7 month old’s breath! Giggling at an episode of The Office we’ve seen a million times with my husband after our daughter goes to bed. It always levels me out after a crazy or exhausting day. Putting my Weleda face lotion on. It’s cool, mildly scented, and makes me feel like if I found time for face lotion, I must be doing alright.

  54. karen says...

    The 11:11 comment made me remember a time of our lives when my son was 5 and cried every time he missed seeing the digits all the same. “IT’S 5:56 WAHHHHHH”. Glad that stage passed. Almost as bad as not being the toilet flusher when he was 3.

    Coffee is what I think about before bed too :)

  55. M says...

    I love this post and reading all the answers. What a lovely community.

    Here are some of my anchors that come to mind:
    – Early morning dog walks. There’s something about noticing my neighborhood in a different way that comes with the repetition and ritual of it. It’s always the same, and always different. It makes me aware of the passage of time, as the seasons change. And no matter how late I’m running, I simply can’t rush my dog’s poop! There’s something kinda zen about just letting him poop when he’s ready! :)
    – Early morning coffee in bed. I try to squeeze in a little novel reading with my cup before the day begins, even on weekdays. My husband thinks I’m nuts for setting my alarm earlier than I “need” to, but having some fiction in the morning feels so peaceful before the busy day begins.
    – Sunday print newspaper
    – Lighting candles at dinner each night with my husband

  56. MK says...

    Whenever I get home from work (or, well, used to get home form work) I take off my bra and declare in a loud voice — to no one in particular — “Free the tatas!”

    • Molly B. Jackson says...

      This comment made me laugh out loud and made my entire week better. Thank you so very much. You are an awesome human!! Free the tatas!!

    • Alice Ramsay says...

      Yes MK, I’m with Molly B. Jackson. Absolutely brilliant!! Still giggling here….thank you so so much

  57. Hillary says...

    My morning coffee and nightly dessert are two anchors in my day. But the biggest and best right now is by far the morning smiles and kisses from my 1-year-old son. I have no clue what the rest of the day will bring, but his smile when he sees me come in the door never ceases to give my heart settle with a bit more certainty.

  58. Amy says...

    I love this. Coffee’s a tiny anchor for me, too, and I always curse myself whenever I finish a cup and don’t relish it enough (“What? How? Why?!”)

    A Tiny (!) Anchor: Listening to Tiny Desk Concerts while working has made remote work less isolating, especially since the latest series (Tiny Desk at Home) features musicians recording from their homes. The latest concert with Dirty Projectors is incredible, especially the track “Overlord.” The song is a good rallying song for these crazy times: https://youtu.be/DSgJ_6sOBB8

    • Laura says...

      Brilliant recommendation thank you! Chilling with my wee baby after a long night and very much enjoyed watching this! X

  59. Kristin says...

    When I shower, I lay or sit in the tub for an unspecified period of time and totally zone out. The water, heat, steam, and sounds are all immensely calming and it’s so nice to lose myself completely for a few minutes.

  60. Kelsey says...

    One of my anchors is this blog! When I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I navigate to Cup of Jo for reassurance that life is still beautiful. I’ve seen some comments that are critical of the fun and light posts given the times but I disagree wholeheartedly. The world is tough enough right now, I love that this is a place that we can come to feel happy, calm, reassured—if only for a few minutes. Thank you!

    • Mimi says...

      Agreed! Thank you CoJ – life feels a bit less overwhelming and a whole lot more beautiful and hope-filled because of you 🙏 ❤️

    • S says...

      I didn’t realise it until I saw your comment Kelsey, but it’s true. CoJ is a tiny anchor for me <3 I know every time I come here I will read something comforting, inspiring, affirming, or all of the above.

    • Alice says...

      Hear! Hear! ❤️✨✨✨

    • Rachel Youngman says...

      Me too! A constant in life xx

  61. Megan Powell says...

    LOVE THIS so much! I love thinking of everyday delights as anchors. With a new baby (3.5 months old) my favourite thing right now is getting him from his crib after a nap, or in the morning. Because I’m always greeted with a giant, gummy smile that instantly turns my mood around.

    As someone who struggles with depression, pre-baby I would dread the next day. I wouldn’t want to go to sleep because I didn’t want to wake up. But that thought of a fresh cup of coffee to look forward to usually got me by, and okay with falling asleep.

    • Paige says...

      Congratulations on your little one! I have a 4 month old daughter and agree with you, the gummy smiles kill me every. damn. time.

  62. Pooja says...

    I love this article. My little anchors are my morning cup of coffee as well (my little sister bought me an Ember cup and now my every sip is the perfect temp – who knew it could make such a difference!), my snuggles with my youngest who is 4 and almost not a baby anymore, my daily walks with my older girls and my husband’s heavy arm across my waist at night (grounding in the most literal sense).

  63. Kate the Great says...

    One of my anchors is reading this blog. Another is Marco Poloing Kulani Holston, one of my dear friends. A third is reading my scriptures. Two reading tasks, two screen tasks, two social tasks. Knowing I’m a Libra and I always seek balance, this feels good to me.

  64. Mary says...

    I recently quit my job and went back to school. Starting (virtual) law school in a pandemic in a 460 sqft apartment with a dog while the world falls apart has been disorienting, so I’ve begun to rely HEAVILY on the 5-4-3-2-1 senses meditation: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. I’m always delighted by what I notice when I start paying attention.

    • K says...

      Mary, as an attorney who has been in practice for the last 17 years, I wanted to say welcome to this journey. It is never easy to start a new path, but this one can be very rewarding, and I hope you find great satisfaction in it. I taught legal writing and research to 1L’s at my alma mater, and the non-traditional students always brought such a wealth of real-life experience with them. I trust yours will serve you well. Best of luck! You can do this!

  65. Abbe says...

    My 3.5-year-old boy/girl twins have one of those color-coded night lights that turns green when it’s morning and tells them they can get out of bed, and THEY ACTUALLY USE IT.

    (I take no credit for how they’ve decided they will, under no circumstances, come downstairs before the light turns green…I just thank my lucky stars.)

    So every morning at 6:40am on the dot, they come padding downstairs in their PJs with their blankies trailing behind them and climb into our bed as I’m waking up, and we cuddle.

    Lots of bedhead, squeaky little voices and that toddler aroma that isn’t quite new baby smell but is just as wonderful.

    For anyone wondering, yes, twins are a LOT of effort! But…high effort/high reward. These mornings are priceless to me and I don’t like starting my day any other way, pandemic or not.

  66. lilly says...

    Oh yes. I go for a 20-min swim in a nearby lake, every morning between 6:30 and 7 a.m. This early, it’s still rather calm on my bike ride through Berlin, which is a blessing in itself. And I am positive, without it, I would’ve gone insane. I swim throughout the year, but usually, in late fall, winter, early spring, I go only 2 or 3 times a week (and for shorter swims, of course).
    But this year, as soon as Corona and the lockdown hit, in early/mid March, I knew, I had to change my tradition. So, a positive side-effect of Corona for sure was, that my every-day-swimming-season started very, very early this time around.
    This morning was the best proof: the water was a leeeettle warmer (ca. 13-14°C) than the air (chilly) – so that the surface of the water was covered in a breezy fog, and the morning sun hit it just in the right way. Swimming through this mix of stunning landscape in the midst of my crazy city, this morning, on the first day of fall – man, there is just no way to not be flooded with dopamines. Every morning, on my bike ride home, I’m whistling. And yes, agreed, looking forward to my coffee, too.

    • Yulia says...

      Wowww. What a beautiful morning. This sounds so special.

    • MS says...

      THIS <3 thank you for sharing such a sweet, beautiful piece of your life with us, Lilly. I'm currently in Boston wishing I were back in Berlin.

    • Julia says...

      Sounds magic! Where do you swim?
      I m in Berlin too…

    • Corrie says...

      Lilly, this sounds so blissful. Thank you for the evocative description!

    • hali says...

      wild swimming!! this is inspiring.

    • Teri says...

      I too am a daily swimmer. In Texas. I seek colder water when I can but water is my anchor. Swim on my friend, enjoy!

    • Lilly says...

      Oh, thank you for your kind replies, and hi, fellow wild swimmer in Texas! If you have any chance, I couldn’t recommend it more. It is the best, easiest, most natural (sorry, had to) mood enhancer and, if you will, anti-depressant. In Berlin, Plötzensee is an option. (footnote: if you are in the northern hemisphere, this is the time to try it out – just keep on swimming from late summer into fall and then see how it goes. The water temperature drops just by 1 degree celsius per week, sounds doable, right?)

  67. Anna says...

    Iced Green Tea every morning (and getting it ready every evening so it can steep overnight). A walk mid-morning with my daughter, and then every evening by myself. On my walks, I try to find new paths I’ve always been meaning to take, and also find a flower, or a leaf that I take home as a souvenir. An episode of a TV show with my husband after dinner. A book chapter right before bed. These things really do matter, don’t they. Thank you Caroline for prompting me to write these things down. I want to remember them for when Covid is over, and I can remember that simple joys helped sustain me.

  68. Nursing my baby at bedtime. We’re down to only nursing twice a day, and while the morning nursing session is a bit unpredictable (COVID has thrown morning routine out the window), we both know what to expect at night. It’s our quiet time to snuggle and be still before the day ends. And especially as we move closer to the end of our nursing journey, I cherish these moments, not just for the quiet time for myself, but also for one more chance to snuggle my baby.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Yes this! We are down to just once before bed and it’s such a precious time for me.

  69. Joanna says...

    I go to the same coffee shop most days of the week and have been going for 10 years since I discovered it. I’ve gone through good days and bad days, brought my new babies there, gone through postpartum depression while still going daily and I’ve continued going there even after we moved to a different town. I’ve still been going through the pandemic (wearing a mask and social distancing of course) and it’s always been a beacon of light in my life. I’ve also met a lot of people through this coffee shop who I chatted with weekly (before pandemic times).

  70. Laura says...

    Oh my goodness! How cool!!

  71. Millie says...

    I moved to a new neighborhood during the pandemic. I’ve discovered this really excellent alleyway not far from my new place. The alley’s not paved — it’s grassy and soft (I live in a fairly large city so this is a rare find). The people who live there have set up benches and planted flowers everywhere. Someone keeps bees in their yard (one day I watched as he opened his hive and let bees crawl all over him). There’s a tree there that must be over 200 years old. Even if I have to work late, I’ll take a break before dinnertime and put on a podcast and walk through the laneways, always making sure to hit this one (right before the house with the yellow doors). It reminds me (despite how terrifying the world is all the time) to notice the small good things where I am.

    • Julie says...

      Wow this sounds so dreamy!!!

    • Anna says...

      Millie, I wish I could take this walk with you. This sounds beautiful!

  72. Savannah Wilson says...

    Dahlia sorry my comment popped up under yours! All this time with tech and this still happens!

    What a lovely thing to have a town wide meditation time!

  73. Holly Warren says...

    This line – “Nature doesn’t know that anything’s different. It carries on in an abundant, joyful, blissful ignorance, that grounds me to my core.”

    Now THIS made me tear up while taking it in.
    That’s not just a tiny anchor but a bright beam of hope.

    Thank you!

    • Rusty says...

      Holly…as I read through the comments, I thouggt “That sounds familiar. Is that what I wrote?” I scrolled down to findcmy comment and it was!
      I’m so moved that you were moved by ‘my’ Maggies! I had a big ‘ol happy cry that the Magpies connected with you, too!
      As I sit here in Perth, Western Australia after 11PM at night, I can hear Skitty (her motherly self) chortling away in her nest she’s just built. The tribe only have one breeding pair and during breeding season, they stake themselves out over about a kilometre and chortle away. Skitty’s a bit unusual as she does it ALL night. I don’t know how! She broke her leg in mid-air battles about three years ago, so she kinda crash lands and hobbles along, since it meshed awkwardly. I always give her extra food, hehehe.
      I’m so touched that these beautiful feathery friends of mine touched you, all the way on the other side of the world!
      Sending you BIG hugz,
      Rusty xOx

  74. Maywyn says...

    Your dog exceeds adorable!
    I think of having a hot coffee as cracking open the day for my brain to affirm that I did not…die before I wake.

  75. Holly Warren says...

    Ooooo do I love this! It’s so funny because I have the exact same thoughts about my morning coffee right when I get into bed, I do a little happy dance about my black cup of coffee. That and my scrambled eggs with feta and my early evening walks with my boyfriend. I also find A Cup Of Jo to be my Tiny Anchor on most days. I make sure to take 20 minutes out of my day (mostly in the afternoons when the blogs have been posted for the day) so I can soak it all up, especially the comment section! It’s so nice to find comfort on here during trying times. And right here is enough for me, so thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this makes me so happy, holly! thank you so much. xoxo

    • Snowefall says...

      I’m amazed at how many posts here include coffee!
      My tiny anchors include:
      -putting jeans on each work day, along with a light blouse and a casual jacket. Even though I’m working from home this helps me feel polished and ready to face the day. Plus I’m enjoying my nice clothes for just me and not anyone else. And the jeans keep me honest on staying at my comfortable/healthy weight during these stressful times.

      -listening to music while at my desk

      -making our bed each day

      -enjoying a Live Root Beer Kombucha as my daily “beer” (a big treat!)

      -starting the day with a devotional

      I love reading each of the comments here. It shows how much these self-care elements matter. I hope others are inspired to enjoy or add more to their own day.

  76. Ilayda says...

    My daily language lesson! My mom’s side of the family is Turkish and we’ve never been able to communicate past a few basic sentences (with some pantomiming). I’m finally teaching myself. It makes me feel closer to my family, who are all far away because of travel restrictions, and I have the sense that something is going forward, rather than backwards.

    • Saba says...

      I love this! My daughter has been doing FaceTime Farsi lessons with her baba joon (my dad) since the pandemic began. My dad didn’t speak Farsi to me growing up, so I only know a grab bag of phrases, mainly food. I am so grateful for this new connection between them. Your comment is inspiring me to try some lessons of my own.

  77. MMC says...

    Loved this thought, Caroline.

    My tiny anchors are: taking walks to break up day (two 15 minutes at mid-morning and afternoon, then 30 minutes at lunch). Also, doing my skincare routine in the evening. It’s simple, but anchors me by “cleansing” away whatever kind of day I had.

  78. Anna says...

    WHAT KIND OF DOG IS THAT???

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      a Shih Tzu! :)

    • Erin G. says...

      Pretty sure it’s a lhasa apso, Anna!

  79. Hope says...

    The 4pm cookie & tea, scrolling back on my own insta account before bed to remind myself of the shiny moments that weren’t 2020, and jumping into the bay up the hill after dinner with my girl when the tide is just right.

  80. M says...

    i feel the exact same way about coffee. i don’t say it out loud, but i always think about it as i’m going to bed, or in the middle of the night. it’s a comfort, but also a joy.

  81. Lauren says...

    I love this! I can think of a few (coffee!) but it also reminds me of a thing I do and I don’t even know where it came from. I say “tiny blessings” to myself in my head when little lucky things happen. If I save the milk from crashing to the floor, find a good parking spot or have cash on me when I need it. It reminds me to pay attention to the tiny good things happening and not the tiny “disasters” like when the milk does crash.

    • Hanna says...

      love this!

    • Elle says...

      I love this, Lauren! I have a dear friend that modeled something similar. For example, when driving in the city she would say aloud, “I love green lights”, or, “I love close parking.” I’m going to remember “tiny blessings!”

    • Corrie says...

      Lauren, yes, me, too! Except as a divine-feminine-centered person, I say, “Thank you, Mama,” for those great parking places or lucky catches!

  82. Sarah Bastien says...

    I currently look forward to watering the garden in the coolness of the evenings while the kids do the dishes; I take my time to check on the plants, chat with the cat, do a bit of weeding, and listen to birdsong. It helps me unwind at the end of the day.

    • Jenny says...

      My friend Grace and I have been through ups and downs together, our 20s, heartbreaks. We have a Venting Joy text thread where we just tell each other victories and happinesses. It’s not the whole picture— our friendship is complex and wide— but it’s a space where we just celebrate each other and tiny goodnesses.

    • Megan Klein says...

      My husband has never been that interested in our garden but this year he took on the daily watering and it seems to be his tiny anchor now. He eats tomatoes and admires new leaves on things. It’s sweet.
      Mine is having tea in the morning while it’s still a little dark out. For the past week I’ve been calling my grandma in New Hampshire and we have our tea together. My heart prematurely aches knowing there will come a time when i can’t call her anymore, but for now we’re both really enjoying it.

  83. Eliza says...

    I LOVE this!!! I’m a mental health counselor and train other counselors, and I talk often about this topic. Interestingly, I call these moments, rituals, and comforts “Daily Uplifts” rather than anchors, and I find it fascinating that these things can be both grounding and uplifting at the same time!!

    For me, my most significant uplift was when my dad bought me my first Keurig in the midst of my postpartum depression/anxiety with my second son. During a difficult and dark time, my first cup of coffee of the day was a saving grace for me and something I looked forward to every night!! Thanks for sharing, Caroline.

  84. Emily says...

    Since moving temporarily to be near my parents this summer, I’ve started swimming laps daily with my dad. The swimming makes me feel strong and clears my mind, and then I come home and shower and feel fresh and new for at least a little while after. I’ve never been very into exercise but this is converting me!

  85. amy says...

    100 % agree with you! i wake up earlier then i need to, just to make my coffee and slowly drink my coffee with my husband before starting our busy day. Love sitting for 5 minutes and drinking my hot latte…sitting! thanks for sharing

  86. DebPS says...

    Oh I just love this (and all the reader comments! xo). My wee anchor, my sanity, is the out-of-doors… I’m working from home full time now (until ???), as are my spouse and son. It’s a lot of home. But every day I raise the umbrella on my front deck and take my work outside. It’s far from private (hello elderly neighbours and feral children) but we set up an outdoors couch and ottoman, and I do all that I do AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I call it the Lido deck :) And even on the hottest/chilliest days, the fresh air and connection to the rest of the world makes me a better me. (I’m Canadian… not sure how I’ll cope in November. May need a REALLY puffy coat LOL).

  87. Catherine says...

    I have a particularly intense four year old, and days are long and bedtime sometimes lasts until midnight. I adore her, needless to say, and a the same time I am depleted every night. My eighteen year old cat, Pearl, waits for me every night outside of my daughter’s room, and we just collapse together and she purrs on me for fifteen minutes before we fall asleep.

    • SP says...

      This is beautiful.

    • Chrissie says...

      Your cat waits for you! That makes me cry!!

    • Corrie says...

      Catherine, I love this! I have an intense almost-four-year-old. Alas, our ancient cat passed away right after our kiddo was born. But that moment when I sink into bed after the kiddo FINALLY falls asleep… what bliss! It’s like my bed is the best bed of all time. Hugs to you, Pearl, and your kiddo.

  88. Maria says...

    Ohhh, I’ve thought about something like this these past few days! I moved recently, to a completely new place in another part of the country where I had nothing and no one, it was only in order to finish my studies. Anyway, the first two weeks I’ve felt quite… “out of it”, like… I landed in a reality that was not my own. I’ve struggled with finding foot hold, with feeling like myself, if that makes sense. And then one morning while I was drinking coffee I just put on a cd (yes, I still use those!) for the first time since moving here and immediately I was transported to that place of safety, of “home”… to a place inside me that was familiar and safe and perfectly calm. So music, and that cd in particular, is that kind of anchor to me. I’ve listened to it countless times in recent years, so with time it’s become special and meaningful to me. (If anyone wonders, it is “Yo-Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone”, very very lovely.)

    • Corrie says...

      I love Yo Yo Ma. And Ennio Morricone! I’m going to check this out. Thank you.

    • Kate the Great says...

      *gasp* A kindred spirit who also listens to CDs and who still has a collection! Hello!

  89. Claire says...

    Morning and evening prayer has been an incredible anchor for me. In the morning, I set out my plans for the day, and in the evening I discuss with Deity how things went. It is a really special moment when I can reach outside myself and connect with Someone greater.

  90. Erika says...

    Agreed. It’s like a quick phone call with someone who actually cares to understand.

  91. Agathe says...

    Be careful with the “yardinals”. At the beginning of all this back in March, my husband and I took the exact same walk every morning and had made friends with a squirrel who had a slimmer and browner tail than other squirrels. Every day we stopped by his tree, said hello. Sometimes he would look back at us intently, and other times he would just jump joyfully from tree to tree. We never named him because we suck at finding fun names, that’s the kind of intimate relationship we had with him. I would mention him to my colleagues several times a week, going on and on about how acrobatic he had been or how sweetly he had looked into our eyes on that particular day. Sometimes he would miss our appointment, but he’d always be back the next morning so we’d forgive him, until one day he never come back. We are still heartbroken. We have since then focused our affection on an old pine tree, and sure, we’ve had some real scares with the recent storm, but he should make it through the pandemic. Just offering food for thoughts here…. ;)

    • Capucine says...

      Watch for him as autumn arrives. The squirrels in our neighborhood vanish at the end of spring and come back en masse in fall.

      We had a mama fox and her three kids inhabiting our yard all spring. Beat the heck out of Zoom. I wonder if their seasonal cycle will include a return to spring grounds? Staying tuned over here!

  92. Mary in Ohio says...

    I’ve gotten to know the neighborhood kids this summer of staying home. I love to listen to them make up games and fool around on their bikes. Sometimes in the afternoon if they see me out on the front porch they might come up to visit. One likes to pretend to read to me (she can’t quite read) and one just tells breathless crazy stories. The other day, one lonely kid was riding his bike up and down singing, “this is your opportunity to plaaay with meee!”

    • Amy says...

      Oh Mary, the lonely kid! I am cracking up!

    • Julie says...

      Incredible.

  93. Lynn says...

    I think a tiny anchor in my near future will be cocktail hour. I can’t do this so easily now due to breastfeeding, but damn if loosening up at 5 pm doesn’t make a lot of sense. Due to the pandemic (that didn’t have to be this way) and my stage of life, I’m just drifting at sea, treading water and floating when I can.

    • Rachel says...

      Sending you love Lynn. Breastfeeding times are generally floaty drifty misty days even without a pandemic. Enjoy the snuggles with your little one in this phase. It does change. xx

  94. Not every night like Caroline, but my wife often hears me say “I can’t wait for tomorrow morning!” when it’s only 8pm. Fresh coffee! The newspaper!! Warm oatmeal!!! I love every bit of it. I’m grateful I learned a year ago how important a slow morning is for me. It’s been my anchor since.

  95. Kara says...

    Although we’re huge advocates of no-technology family dinners around the table several times a week (especially recently given that we’re all home together 24/7) we eat in the living room, using the coffee table and a couple vintage TV trays as tables, and watch The Andy Griffith Show. Despite my family’s eye rolls I pause the show plenty to provide sometimes-lengthy critique (most often related to feminism) but with everything going on I think we’ve all found comfort in Mayberry’s “big” problems that are easily resolved by each episode’s end. Having such a soft spot for Opie as a family has been an unexpected but not unwelcome weekly anchor.

  96. J says...

    I’m a high school English teacher, and soon I will start teaching both online and in person. I’m incredibly worried since I’ve historically worked hours and hours of overtime, and now I’m required to come up with a separate online curriculum on top of everything else. I know that I’ll need these tiny anchors more than ever this year, and what keeps me going are the funny comments from my students, my colleagues’ willingness to listen, and my family’s forbearance. Also helpful are kind parents. :)

    • B says...

      You are a hero. I see your work and that of all teachers, especially now, and I thank you. Your face mask first, etc. etc. Take care.

  97. Nicole Underhill says...

    I spend the first few minutes of my day saying hello and good morning to my two cats, Arnold and Leo. They have been such a boon during this pandemic. This allows me to focus on something other than my screen first thing and have a few moments of quiet in bed before fully awakening. It’s a nice way to set the tone for the day.

    • Heather says...

      When I open the bedroom door, all mine cats fall through in a heap, meowing for breakfast. They light up my mornings and entertain in the evenings. I don’t drink coffee until I get to work. But it is made with care and intention. starts my day.

  98. Christina M. says...

    I cross a bridge on my morning commute where I often see the sun rise. It’s a good reminder to thank the universe everyday and take a deep breath before the day starts. I never thought of this as an anchor, what a great term for it! I’m going to look for more.

  99. Elizabeth says...

    Many years ago I traveled for my job and always took my red coffee cup with me. No matter where I was or what the motel was like I had my red coffee cup. Some where along the many moves it was lost. The other day as I was shopping the local thrift store I found myself looking for a red coffee cup.

  100. Katie S. says...

    I’ve stolen my little anchor from a girl that lived across from me in my college dorm. She was kind of a wild child, and she always said ‘The only thing keeping me going right now is knowing I can take a nap later’. I still say this to myself, even though I rarely ever nap! It’s especially helpful when you are having trouble waking up in the morning.

    I also love my walk to the coffee shop around the corner each morning after my work meetings. Just me, the sunshine, and the knowledge that I have twenty minutes before I have to start working again, lol .

    • Kate the Great says...

      That wild child dormmate could have been me. I often say stuff like that, and for part of college, I had an early morning job of cleaning the theatre that had me at work at 5:30a.

    • patricia blaettler says...

      NAPS!

  101. Alissa says...

    When the pandemic hit, I tried to reinvigorate my morning exercise routine. Soon I realized my kids were missing connection with others, so I asked them to join me. My oldest son runs/walks with me in the mornings at 6:00 a.m. and my youngest and I started a morning bike ride tradition. We discovered some turtles that live in a creek that runs under a road nearby. Somehow, that 10-min bike ride to see the turtles each morning has become my favorite routine. In all this chaos and anxiety, it helps keep me sane and the thought of him riding each morning, chatting along, often still in his pj’s, makes me smile.

    • Alice says...

      This may be a totally different place but this just makes me think of David Sedaris and the turtles near his holiday home… hahaha

  102. Hali says...

    Can an anchor be someone’s face? I swear my husband’s face is my 2020 anchor. The shape of it is insanely comforting. Sometimes oily, sometimes scruffy, in the morning with sleepy dust in the corners of his eyes… his face alone is a balm to me. We’ve both become involved in the BLM movement, he spends all his spare time involved in Covid Act Now when he’s not cramming medical knowledge into his brain for a board exam coming up, and I’m pregnant, uncomfortable, and anxious constantly. Weeks can pass feeling like we’re in an isolated dystopia nightmare. But in the morning when he’s still sleeping his eyelids look like little smiles. Or in the evening when I come home from my office, he’s always crouched in the corner at his desk but stands up to stretch and shuffle towards me to kiss hello… man, I just look forward to seeing that face so much. Quarantine has taken a very odd toll on intimacy and romance in our relationship, for sure… but I don’t think I’ve ever loved or needed him (or his face) more!

    • Yulia says...

      I really loved this. What an intimate look into your love for your husband. Thank you for the reminder that these small things about love can be anchors. <3

    • Sarz says...

      This “anchor” made me swoon. Couples that come outta quarantine as strong as ever? That’s romantic! I wonder if you’ll consider showing him what you wrote.
      (And congratulations!)

    • Talia says...

      This is beautiful! As I go through a very difficult divorce, it brings me immense joy to read of your happiness and love. Truly inspiring! Blessings to you on the birth of your baby. How lucky that he/she be born into such a loving family!

  103. Katherine says...

    -Days where I don’t have early conference calls and can take my dog for a long morning walk in Central Park listening to The Daily
    -I listen to podcasts when I run and I look forward to my runs even more when I know the guest is someone I am already a big fan of
    -Making lunch and dinner – I barely have a kitchen (sink + oven + fridge in my front hall / no counter or workspace), so have never really cooked that much while living in NYC. The pandemic has forced me to figure out how to make it work and I’ve been surprised by how much I enjoy it and looked forward to preparing these (mostly very simple) meals each day
    -Talking to one or both of my parents nearly every day!

  104. Felicia P. says...

    Moving back into my parents house a few months ago, I feel like I needed to re-set up my tiny anchors I had in my own apartment. At first, I was frustrated that I couldn’t do things exactly how I was used to doing them. It took a few reminders to myself to cherish this new time with my parents where their tiny anchors and my tiny anchors chains get tangled . . . in a good way. Like how we silently all 3 dance around the kitchen each morning doing our own thing together: my mom frothing warm milk for her coffee, my dad making the same breakfast he has made every single day of my 29 year existence, and me waiting for the kettle to sing for my ginger tea with honey. I also still giggle when the unofficial, official chair swap happens. My dad leaves the kitchen for the morning, my mom switches to his chair, and I take her chair. Lifetime reserved morning seats are in effect still, people.

    • Justina says...

      This is so sweet!

  105. Amanda says...

    I’m a tea person. Well, a tea and wine person. And even after a glass or, ahem, two in the evening, I’m already looking forward to my first cup of tea – brought to me in bed by my husband, who makes excellent tea. Just thinking about it (wine glass in hand) makes me smile and feel hopeful about tomorrow. Raising a glass or cup to everyone and sending xxx

  106. Calla says...

    Whenever I stop working for the day and transition into evening activities I usually put on some upbeat music (I can’t work while listening to most music). It’s amazing how much it lifts my mood and firmly shuts the door on the workday. Lately it’s been “Ain’t Got No – I Got Life” by Nina Simone

  107. Abby says...

    It’s early afternoon for me right now and I already can’t wait until my morning coffee tomorrow! I love the term small anchor— it captures these small moments in the world perfectly.

    • Heather says...

      I am so happy my adult child is home for a spell.. I treasure hearing her in the mornings getting ready and her laughter while she’s gaming with friends. you’re morning routine with the chair swap. so sweet.

  108. Sadie says...

    I have never liked routine but working from home has truly shown how chaotic I am.

    • B says...

      Dude, this. I have always felt like I *almost* thrived on not having a set routine each day. Pandemic has made that unmoored, chaotic feeling seem more permanent and less intentional, somehow.

  109. Rashmi says...

    I am afraid I have none of these little anchors to hold me firm right now in these bleak times of the mind. I am lonely in a new country, with no job for the last 8 months, and a marriage that seems to have been a mistake i made 11 years ago. I am barely staying afloat.

    • Yulia says...

      I’m sorry, Rashmi. I’m thinking of you as you make your way through this difficult time. Sometimes something as simple as closing your eyes and taking a long, soft breath in and then letting it out can be an anchor. It doesn’t fix anything, but it’s a reminder that you are alive in this present moment in your precious life. Wishing you well. <3

    • Amanda says...

      O no! Poor you. Please hang in there. Even if it’s something as small as sunshine on your face. Sending you a hug and wishing you all the best xxx

    • JoyL says...

      Oh Rashmi, sending hugs and love to you!

    • Elizabeth says...

      You are not alone! I have just asked my husband for a separation. The pandemic has brought questions and clarity to many things. Stay strong and just breathe. This too shall pass.

    • Ginny says...

      sending you love, Rashmi. This community is an anchor for me – I know I can always come here to find people like you, sharing their hearts. Praying for a new friend to find you and prop you up.

    • Kate the Great says...

      Oh, Rashmi– what a dismal time. Know that we’re on the sidelines of your game of life, pumping our fists and jumping up and down and screaming your name. Even when you feel like you’re just standing still or not doing anything toward winning– we’re still cheering for you.

    • Rebecca says...

      Rashmi, I wish we could help in person. Please know we are with you here. I hope you find relief and connection and hopefulness soon. Sending a hug.

    • Emily says...

      Sending love and light to you right now. I hope the place you are in can somehow begin to reveal itself as home and you find your way.

    • Rebecca Tsui says...

      You are not alone <3 Thinking of you and sending light and good vibes your vibe. hope things will get better soon.

  110. Tiffany says...

    Showering! So standard, so banal, But it’s like my own personal isolation tank. No husband, no kids, no to-do list…. just me, scolding hot water and my stupidly expensive shampoo.

  111. Camille says...

    My husband makes me coffee every morning and delivers it to me when I’m still in bed. He’s been doing it since we had kids (so 8 years now!). I look forward to it every night when we go to bed, and he always jokes, “thanks for making me coffee in the morning”

    • Agnès says...

      that’s wonderful.

  112. b says...

    I love the concept of tiny anchors. Two of mine: living in California and knowing my work day usually ends around 3 p.m. PST (perk of working for an NYC-based company) and going to bed before 8:00 p.m. to read for 30-45 minutes before going to sleep. The 5:00 a.m. wakes are NOT a perk of working for an NYC-based company. I would give up many things for just two more hours of sleep.

  113. LS says...

    I am confident that I am not alone in saying that Cup of Jo is one my anchors. For 10 (!!) years, I have used this blog as an excuse for a break throughout the day. Regardless of the topic, I know I can count on 5-15 minutes of “me time” and a chance to catch my breath.

  114. kelley says...

    Oh wow, this makes so much sense to me! I’ve been thinking about the same thing lately and know exactly what you mean! I look forward to dance parties with my little kids in the afternoon, yoga time, walks by myself, that moment after their bedtime when I can climb into bed and enjoy the silence, and my beloved first cup of coffee in the morning. I’ve been thinking of them as slices of happiness and contentment amid the chaos of the pandemic and election buildup and upcoming back to school dread.

  115. Becka says...

    My tiny anchor is putting “soft pants” (that some might also call “pajamas”) on when I get home. The other day when I arrived home from work, my husband asked me – I actually don’t remember what exactly he asked, something that required brain power which I don’t have at the end of the day, so I said “nope” and then he asked “do you want to put your soft pants on?” and I said “yep” and he said “I knew I could get a yes out of you somehow”.

    • Clare says...

      hahah my boyfriend demanded I put on “cozy pants” the other day when I was cranky and it worked like a charm :)

    • Emily says...

      I think the same thing about my coffee! But I also have two other anchors – knitting and playing tennis. When I can carve out time to focus on only one thing, my brain feels relaxed.

  116. Steph says...

    After my runs I spend 15-20 minutes watering the garden with the hose. I could set up sprinklers to water the areas I want and just turn on the faucet, but I enjoy staring at the water, smelling the wet plants, slowly cooling down after working out.

    • Calla says...

      Yes! So relaxing

    • Mutaleni says...

      This is lovey

  117. Kate says...

    Often when I finish my coffee in the morning I think “I can’t wait to go to bed so I can wake up and have coffee!” My other anchor is reading before bed. I learned long ago it’s counterproductive for me to work or study later than 9-ish, so I close up my computer, get ready for bed, and read for as long as I can keep my eyes open!

  118. Rusty says...

    Feeding the wild Magpies by hand is an almighty anchor to the natural world as life is tumultuous and chaotic, frightening and so very unpredictable, especially this year. Nature doesn’t know that anything’s different. It carries on in an abundant, joyful, blissful ignorance, that grounds me to my core.

    As I walk my scruffy dawg around the neighbourhood each day, they track us and arrive in our tree just as we come through the gate. I get the dawg inside and they land, ready for their snacks. Grounding anchors…a tribe of Australian Magpies.
    And yes, I’ve given them names. They live for @ 25 years and I’ve been friends with two ofthem for 18+, Hooky and Skitty.

    They have facial recognition and I know the sound of five of their individual voices from inside the house!
    Amazing, grace, blessed.

    • Milou says...

      I love this!!

    • Lucy says...

      Rusty – you have just written out a dream of mine. I am so envious of your relationship with the birds!!

    • Kate the Great says...

      How beautiful, Rusty. You rock.

    • Corrie says...

      Yes, this exactly: “Nature doesn’t know that anything’s different. It carries on in an abundant, joyful, blissful ignorance, that grounds me to my core.”

      I have been so blissfully grounded by watching nature go on with–or without–us listening to the cheerful chickadee and the wind in the trees.

  119. Jill says...

    lol my husband has muesli every morning for breakfast and he often says before bed – ‘I can’t wait til I can have some muesli in the morning!’ It’s such an endearing and weird thing to be so fixated on. It made me laugh at how similar it is to your coffee mantra. I don’t think he’d self-describe his muesli ritual as a tiny anchor, but of course it is. Also the man just *really* likes his muesli :D

  120. Mallory says...

    I love this! My anchors are my early morning walk with a cotton candy-colored sky and cool air, chopping vegetables and teaching my cats to high five (for real!).

    • Alison says...

      Rashmi, I hope that things will be better for you before too long.
      That you meet a friend. And find meaningful work. That you will begin to make connectIons within your new community. In the midst of a storm it’s sometimes hard to remember that the sun will come out again.
      Thinking of you.

  121. kelly says...

    I’ve always felt this way about my morning coffee. Along with the silence of the morning and knowing it’s a new day, that cup of coffee really is something special!

  122. LS says...

    Mine is taking my dog on a long walk in the early mornings. I love having this time to explore and bond with her, and it also sets the tone for the day having already been up and out accomplishing something. It’s so good for both of us.

  123. Jenny T. says...

    We are hosting a kindergarten pod in our home. From 10-2, our house literally shakes with all the jumping up and down and giggling.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love that!

  124. Anais says...

    Watering my plants early in the morning. It usually takes me less than 10 minutes – I have a very small yard – but there’s something lovely about caring for each and every plant, however briefly, that brings me peace.

    • Calla says...

      Yes same here! I usually go out and tend to then in the afternoon when I am feeling antsy. Very calming to clear out the debris, weed and water

  125. KA says...

    lovely and lovely to remember that the word anchor comes from the Latin ancora: hope.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      really beautiful, KA. xo

    • Jenny T. says...

      In Italian ancora means yet or again, which also feels apt.

      I have to cook dinner again?? We’re not done with this thing yet??

    • Corrie says...

      Ka and Jenny T: Oooh, you may have picked my new 2020 slogan. Hope/Anchor/Yet Again!

  126. Julie says...

    -When the clock hits 5:00 and I can start prepping dinner. Chopping vegetables relieves my anxiety.
    -The constant sound of cicadas from my office/spare bedroom.
    -Hearing my next door neighbor’s pit bull start barking, which means the mail carrier is about to show up on my stoop.
    -My Friday trip to the grocery store. Even though being around strangers is still scary, getting in my car, grabbing a cart, putting on my mask, and picking out produce makes me feel normal.
    -Pouring a glass of wine on Friday nights with my husband and figuring out our entertainment.

  127. Renie says...

    I love this concept of the tiny anchor! It sounds so much better than the words ritual or routine. My tiny anchors would be my daily 6:30 am 2-mile runs, the big kiss I give my toddler every morning when she wakes up, and the bowl of ice cream my husband hands me every night after we put our kiddo to bed. When I’m having a particularly rough day, he knows to give me two scoops :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are beautiful!

  128. Many small anchors keep me from feeling adrift: good morning/night texts with my boyfriend who specializes in witty nicknames. Snippets of whatever book I’m into snurkled between teaching hours and meetings. A pre-sunrise Dunkin’ Donuts sweet tea, which I made the mistake of looking up nutritional content for once. And, like many others here…reading Cup of Jo. :)

  129. Jasmine says...

    Podcast walks! It helps enrich my brain and gets me moving out of my WFH chair. Sometimes, if my mind is too distracted, I’ll pause the podcast and listen to the sounds around me (which has equally calming effects!). Intuitive service to the mind.

  130. Britt says...

    Coffee is also one of my anchors. Every morning, I get up, grind the coffee beans and begin the methodical process of brewing a cup to my specification. While my coffee is brewing and while I drink my first cup, I take half an hour or so before I begin working to read the news and blogs like Cup of Jo, as well as read emails (besides working, I’m also attending grad school full time) and practice Duo Lingo.

    I scatter other little anchors throughout the day – preparing lunch at lunchtime since I’m working remotely, my afternoon run/surf/tennis session, and a cup of tea in the evenings that signals to my body to wind down for the night.

    • Rashmi says...

      I am afraid I have none of these little anchors to hold me firm right now in these bleak times of the mind. I am lonely in a new country, with no job for the last 8 months, and a marriage that seems to have been a mistake i made 11 years ago. I am barely staying afloat.

    • Calla says...

      Rashmi, I’m so sorry to hear that, that sounds really difficult!

    • Lori says...

      Rashmi – sending you all the positive thoughts today. Just take a tiny step forward – take a walk, call a friend, buy a flower for yourself (or give it to a stranger), bake something. Tomorrow is a new day. Things will get better.

    • Jill says...

      Rashmi, you are going through a lot, it seems. I’ll be thinking of you today in the best way possible.
      Find a few anchors maybe?

    • susana528 says...

      would very much like to reply to Rashmi, who could surely use some support.

    • Maria says...

      Rashmi, take care <3 I hope you will find your anchor(s) soon! All the best to you!

    • Megan says...

      Oh Rashmi, hang in there! Texts with friends? Any chance you have an e-reader and can access e-books/library? Remote book club/podcast club? I can’t imagine how isolated you must feel. Hugs.

    • Megan says...

      Rashmi, I don’t know how to reply directly to your comment, but I’m sorry, that sounds so hard. Maybe you can make a daily ritual for yourself? Going for a walk? Reading a favorite book (or this blog) with a cup of tea?

    • Britt says...

      Rashmi, that sounds incredibly difficult. Sending you positive thoughts. I hope that you find some anchors that uplift or ground you, connecting you to the moment and bringing peace and stillness <3.

  131. Mel says...

    This resonates so much with my morning coffee time. It’s just me and my cat, she eats her first treat of the day next to me with eyes half closed and I get my first sip of coffee. Everything from these 10 mins, the smells, the sounds just make me feel so calm and at peace with the whole world.

  132. Amy says...

    Wow – I love this concept. My anchors would be the feeling of my husband’s feet under the covers, the sound of my breath and cadence of my steps
    during a pre-dawn run, and the scent of my children in the morning. That last one may sound nuts, but I swear they smell sweeter after a good night’s sleep.

  133. Ker says...

    This quote about focusing on the present really resonated. Yesterday I was biking somewhere and it was a perfect evening (late summer in Toronto) and the ride was a gentle downward slope the whole way. I was sailing along. Biking heaven. But all I could think of what how hard the uphill ride back home would be. Then I stopped myself and thought, what if I just enjoy this perfect ride without worrying about the uphill in the future? The ride home won’t be any easier because I’m worrying about it now, and all this worry is stealing my enjoyment of this moment. It was quite a striking thought. I finally just lived in the moment and had such a good time. (And, the ride home was totally fine too!; that gentle uphill wasn’t too difficult after all.) I hope I can apply this thinking to many other areas in life.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this is so beautiful, Ker.

    • Kay says...

      In our house, we watch a ton of Daniel Tiger (I have a 16 month old). Sage advice from a Daniel Tiger song from yesterday’s episode “Enjoy the wow that’s happening now”.

    • Rachael says...

      I’m from London, On and was out yesterday evening, for a walk with my dog, enjoying that same perfect evening :) wasn’t it lovely?

  134. Mariela Biber says...

    This is exactly how I feel about my coffee. It’s all about the experience…the moment. It’s like a hug. lol.

  135. Ashley says...

    This is such a sweet idea! I think one of my anchors is saying good night to my husband – it’s always a quick peck and “I love you” but I never go to sleep without it!

    I’m going to try to create more anchors – thank you!

  136. Bess says...

    A tribute to your daily cup of joe on cup of jo :)

  137. Katie says...

    I’ve been running early in the morning almost every day since the quarantine started, and every day I see the same people. I don’t know them and they don’t know me, but I know exactly where on my route I’ll see them and I look forward to my “good mornings” with them. When I went out of town for a week earlier this summer, I wondered if they missed me. :)

    • Julie says...

      I love that!

    • H says...

      Hi Katie,

      If you haven’t read this article of Caroline’s on here, I highly recommend it; I think from your comment that you would greatly enjoy it (along with the comment thread. Per usual, the comment thread a cupofjo is Internet Gold!)

      https://cupofjo.com/2019/03/strangers-you-see-everywhere/

    • B says...

      I see the same 5-6 people on my early morning pandemic hikes, and I also wondered whether they missed me when I was away for a few days! It calms me to see and smile at them, share a “good morning.”

  138. Alyssa says...

    One of my tiny anchors is checking the mail. I LOVE the mail and working from home now, I love being able to go check it every day when I hear the truck coming down the street.

    • Same here!! Mail is the the best part of the day.
      And coffee.

  139. Ashley V Beine says...

    This is such a sweet idea! I think one of my anchors is saying good night to my husband – it’s always a quick peck and “I love you” but I never go to sleep without it!

    I’m going to try to create more anchors – thank you!

  140. I echo your daily coffee moment —- I feel the same and I enjoy the ritual of setting my coffee pot to automatically brew each evening before I go to bed aware that a happy treat meets me coming the morning.

    I also draw comfort from identifying a few happy daily blessings – the birds in my backyard, the new leaves emerging on my houseplants, catching the light in the golden hour….all of the small ways that life can be lovely, even in these uncertain times.

  141. Zita says...

    Oh i agree with every word. The morning coffe is one of the best moments in my days right now. My daughter come to our bed and I make cacao for her and coffee for us and have it together and lay in the bed for 10-20 more mins. Sooo sweet and brings back my childhood memories, cos had the same tradition for ages:)

  142. Joy B says...

    I want to say that my tiny anchor is the moment I roll out my yoga mat, but I think it’s actually the moment right before dinner, when I pour a cold glass of white wine.

  143. Kelli says...

    Ever since I saw the lovely Grace Farris cartoon about finding moments to stop and say to yourself, “if this isn’t lovely, I don’t know what is!” I try to do that once or twice a day. It reminds me that even in the middle of all of THIS, we can still pause to appreciate a beautiful moment or two.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!

    • Christina M says...

      I’ve been doing the same thing! I have the quote framed at home, and I’m going to buy one for my office!

  144. celeste says...

    Children’s hugs and positive statements. Petting the dog when I wake up at night worrying about the world. Red lipstick.

  145. Katherine says...

    Reading Cup of Jo! Coffee. Carving out time to read.
    Also ‘yardinal’ made me smile :)

  146. Lauren says...

    Feeding my dog has been an anchor point since quarantine began. She has megaesophagus, a disease that requires she eat upright in a little chair (google Bailey Chair for the full visual). When my husband and I first got her from the shelter almost a year ago, we were worried that it would be too much for us, a working couple with busy schedules. But now, with so much unstructured time, holding her bowl in my hands as I watch her chow down on her *super gross-smelling* wet food is my moment of gratitude twice a day. It slows me down to focus on the moment: the softness of her floofy head, what it means to take care of others, how lucky we got with this dog, our family, our lives. You never know what’s going to turn into a perfect moment.

    • SGH says...

      Lauren, this made me tear up! I completely agree with you. Our special needs senior dog just passed and I remember thinking when we got her – would it be too much? Little did I know that she would become the light of our lives. She gave our days structure and happiness. Give your dog a lil hug from me!

    • jane says...

      The smell is (only) one reason I began making extra dinner for the dog – they can eat what we eat as long as it’s healthy – and they are much better off. Plus he was totally a member of the family – why should he get processed food when we don’t eat like that ourselves? I did also add doggie vitamins to be sure he was covered nutritionally. But he also had a bowl of healthy dry dog food (Solid Gold brand) for daytime if he wanted it.

  147. Sarah S. says...

    My weekly zumba class, the few precious minutes in the evening that my 9-year-old wants to snuggle before bed, my afternoon car ride from work when I can listen to MY music (as loud as I want,) and red wine…alllll the red wine. ;)

  148. As I’ve mentioned before, I live on a sailboat. My husband and I sailed from San Francisco to Mexico, and we spent this past winter in a lovely little town where lots of sailors pass through. I was teaching yoga three mornings a week, outdoors, and free-ish; I just left a little pitcher out and folks could leave something if they wanted. It was a sweet little gathering.

    When quarantine began, it felt awful to suddenly have this ripped away just when folks really needed support! Sailors in ports tend to have a morning radio meeting; the net is held by our VHF ship’s radios and it’s like a cross between the local news, Craigslist, and a chat room. I asked the community leaders who run the net if I might lead a little meditation after the net, to offer some comfort while we were all suddenly stuck in our tiny homes for the next couple of weeks. Just for 10-15 minutes.

    We’re just about at half a year of this now. I’m always surprised to find out how many people are listening in my little village! It’s such a humbling joy and honor to keep showing up in this way. It feels so good to be of service, and to gather together and sit. To BE together when we cannot get together. It anchors me profoundly, this small service.

    • Jill says...

      Wow. Dahlia, you are inspiring. Have a beautiful day.

    • Rachael says...

      I think you’re the kind of person that Mr Rogers meant when he said “look for the helpers” in a hard situation :)

    • Savannah says...

      We have one anchor a day for my four year old: Monday she goes to grandma’s while we work, Tuesday is zoom with her best friend, Wednesday is hang out (aka clean the house with mama but don’t tell her it’s not a treat), Thursday is dinner with grandma, Friday is movie night (family member of the week gets to choose), Saturday we watch an episode of Secrets of the Zoo and get veg from the farmers market, and Sunday we go to drive in church.

      It’s not much but the routine has made it so special and she gets excited! So much of covid is challenging but the slow repetitive pace of life has been good for my kids.