We have been drifting these past two weeks. Why? Because we believed we were too busy to set our anchors in each new place and we lost our sense of direction.
At home, we knew the things that anchored us – family dinner, a walk in the woods, a fire in the fireplace. Everyone has their anchors – those things that ground and orient us wherever we are.
What happens sometimes on this journey is things become so foreign all of the sudden that we forget to drop anchor as we struggle to orient ourselves in a new country with new customs and a foreign language. What we need to be doing is the opposite – anchor first, then get oriented.
We traveled through four countries on Monday and we were thoroughly confused by the time we reached our destination near Antwerp, Belgium. We felt that old pull to scatter and find food and banking but we stopped intentionally to ask, what are our anchors? Coffee time and exercise in the morning, walks in the evening, reading before bed, and meals together. We need to focus on these things before we go site seeing, looking for Wifi, or peeling off in a million directions.
Once we set our anchor as a family, everyone was much calmer heading off to acclimate in his or her own way. The result was that by stopping, we actually grounded ourselves much more quickly and with more ease.
The amazing thing was that the kids started to suggest things that feel grounding to them after our conversation. Max wanted to reinstate family movie night. Henry wanted to cook one meal a week with me like he did at home and Bianca wanted to bake on Sunday’s together. As we steady our sea legs beneath us, what matters most comes to the surface.