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I Try To Purposefully Move My Thoughts in a More Joyful Direction

But, unlike writing, letting go doesn’t come easy.

Robin Finn
Sep 14 · 3 min read

When I sit down to write, I often have no idea what I am going to write about. I don’t know what letters and phrases and whole sentences will fall out of me onto the keyboard. I put my hands on the asdf, jkl; and hope something comes. It always does.

It’s like when someone asks me an open-ended question; I feel obligated to answer. That’s what hands-on-the-keyboard feels like for me. I don’t know what the question is, but I know I will answer.

My 17-year-old son cannot see his friends, or have his senior year in person, or socialize, or play on the varsity soccer team, or work out in the gym, or see his girlfriend, and now, he cannot go mountain biking. Mountain biking has saved his sanity during quarantine. But, now, my beloved California is burning. We have lost so much nature and so many homes and people, too. We have lost people. The air quality index is in the danger zone. My son is asthmatic. There is nothing to do but sit in his room.

Last night, we bought Disney Plus. We decided we would buy it for a month and binge watch the Mandalorian, the Star Wars series everyone has been raving about. I told my son we could buy it for a month and hopefully, by then, the fires will be out and life will have resumed some normalcy and he can go mountain biking again. But, for now, we watch episode after episode of the Mandalorian and I finally got to see baby Yoda. We sat down on the new, green sofa in the TV room and watched the first, second, and third episodes.

It is hard not to mourn mourn mourn everything that is happening in 2020. I think about the people who have lost their lives, and their homes, and their livelihood, and their futures, from all this year has wrought. I try to purposefully move my thoughts in a happier, more joyful, more grateful direction. I want to have mastery over my thinking. But, sometimes, all I can think about is mourning. I try to be okay with that, too. Emotions need to be felt and acknowledged and recognized, and my sad, little self is worthy of my own compassion.

The other night, I had a dream that my mother came to visit me. We talked for two hours and I knew it was two hours but I don’t remember what we talked about. I remember that she was looking through her empty closet at all the empty hangers and I was worried she would be upset that I had given away all of her clothes. But she wasn’t.

She turned to me and said, “I am so glad they emptied the closet and got it ready for me.” If we were in Heaven, then I guess she was about to hang up her velour sweat suits and leopard-print tops. I said, “Mom, sit down on the bed.” Then I threw my arms around her and hugged her and hugged her and hugged her. I was so happy. There was a man in the room and I looked at him and said, “Is this real or is it a dream?” He said, “It’s a dream.” But I wasn’t sure if I believed him.

It’s weird when you’re in a dream and you kind of know you are dreaming but, since you’re in the dream, you’re not sure.

When I woke up, I started to think that I should stop trying to control the direction of my emotions — like letting go of controlling the direction of my fingers as I type. The difference is: with writing, I am at ease with not knowing where I am going. I am okay with letting the words fall out. With my emotions, I like being in control. I don’t like my emotions falling out all over the place. I like to keep them stuffed in the closet. Maybe that’s what my mom was trying to tell me…that it was time for me to empty my closet. Or maybe not.

Sleepless in the San Fernando Valley

By Robin Finn — She’s sweaty.

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Robin Finn

Written by

Writer (NY Times, LA Times), founder (Heart.Soul.Pen.® women’s writing course; The Online Women’s Writing Den™), author (“Restless in L.A.”) www.robinfinn.com

Sleepless in the San Fernando Valley

By Robin Finn — She’s sweaty. She has to pee. She has teenagers. No wonder she can’t sleep.(Photo: Steven Pahel/Unsplash)

Robin Finn

Written by

Writer (NY Times, LA Times), founder (Heart.Soul.Pen.® women’s writing course; The Online Women’s Writing Den™), author (“Restless in L.A.”) www.robinfinn.com

Sleepless in the San Fernando Valley

By Robin Finn — She’s sweaty. She has to pee. She has teenagers. No wonder she can’t sleep.(Photo: Steven Pahel/Unsplash)

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