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Entry date: 11-13-2023 – The Thimble of Fear – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Happy Monday. It is the beginning of the middle of November, and I have a full week of molding young brains ahead of me. Next week is basically a wash, so this is the week to get some stuff done. It’s time.

There is a thimble of fear, though, ruminating in the back of my brain. It’s not quite to the brim, so it’s just a little thing, but it’s there. Thimbles are tiny, which is a plus, but I can’t help but wonder about it.

I think the source of the fear is just wondering which version of the students are going to show up between now and the Christmas break. We don’t call it that anymore, the “Christmas” break, but it is what it is. We have four regular weeks left and a short one before being off for 17 glorious days and I feel like I have a handful of kids who have already checked out.

I’ve checked out a bit, too. I’m tired. If I’m tired, they must be tired of me because when I get tired, I get grouchy. This is not a recipe for happy kids. So, the thimble of fear is more of a thimble that needs to be filled with some enthusiasm. Some coffee, maybe. It’s been sounding better and better lately.


We had a nice Sunday. I was in bed at 7:30ish, last night, and that was great. We had a good walk this morning, too, and now I’m ready for my day. A nice warm shower awaits and then it is off to the fun factory.

I’m trying to get upset this morning about seeing that the Suns lost another game, but I find that I just don’t care. It makes me a little sad, too, because the Suns have been the last team that I have any passion for in fifty years or so of being a sports fan.

I thought I was going to be way more distressed about not being able to watch every game but I haven’t really felt like I’ve been missing out. I wonder why our brains do that? Maybe I should say, “why my brain does that,” but I’m sure I’m not alone here.

All my life, I’ve had another thimble of fear that if I let go of things (or people) that I thought were important to me, I would crumble. Losing things or shedding things or outgrowing them…those all have been things I’ve tried to avoid. I like to hold on as long as I can.

Hindsight has almost always shown me how wrong it has been to do business this way, but I still have those thoughts, those little thimbles of fear, that kept me holding onto parts of my life. At this moment, on a Monday morning, it seems so irrational to let things and ideas and the fear of losing something have such control.

Let it go, I think, is the way to go. Be the water, not the rock. Let life flow and be and do and then, maybe only then, can I truly create the life I want, need, deserve, etc.

As of now, my to do list is this:

Be happy.

Love everyone.

Work hard.

Make stuff better.


I can be happy. I can be happy with or without worrying about the Suns, for example. I can be happy knowing that the product they are offering now is not one I want to rearrange my life for and that’s okay. I can also be happy knowing that I am in charge of my own happiness. The external stuff is just noise.

I can love everyone. I don’t have to like them or be best friends with everyone, but I can be loving. It’s the best policy.

Working hard allows you to relax hard, too. Working hard is, in my opinion, the best way to create the necessary slack. Ask Bob Dobbs.

Making better stuff is always the goal.

What’s on your list today? Whatever it is, don't let little thimbles of fear get in your way. Just step right over (or on) them and keep going.

See you tomorrow.

The one and only Eugene Robinson.

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