What the Heck Happened to my Lake??


As many of you know, I am in the middle of a huge change in my life. In April I left my tiny cocoon of a home…my tree house by the Bay, not knowing what was next. Though the brave little warrior me said it was an adventure, the little girl has been fighting the dragons of fear and panic most every day. Hey, I do this kind of thing for work, shepherding people through their lives and all the changes that breathing in this world requires. I knew it would be hard, and yet I couldn’t have imagined the deeper feelings that I have experienced in not having a home. There are days when my “toolbox” of strategies is empty and it’s then I do what I hope you do when faced with big changes in your life. I cry, then I pick up the phone and say, “Help!”. Thank God, those amazing people who’ve loved me in better times, I find, are still right there for me.


Walking is my “go-to” joy in life. I write most of my blogs when I walk, sort my monkey-mind crazies, feel the beauty of the world, and sometimes cry from it’s ugliness. Seems the times are showing us a lot of ugliness.


Yesterday morning I headed out to a lake in San Francisco where  I used to walk every day when I first moved to the City in 2011. The wildlife was amazing then…Red Wing Blackbirds were abundant and almost over the top with song, and I could wade through the reeds and watch the ducks in their sanctuary. I couldn’t wait to get there to those old familiar places and sit and have a cup of tea.


I parked next to a friendly couple, locked my handbag in the trunk, grabbed my tea and my phone (for the camera) and with such anticipation began the walk down the hill to the lake. Where was it? Where was the path through the rushes?  It was now overgrown. I couldn’t even see the lake. The ducks were gone, no sounds of Red Wings. And then it hit me. I hadn’t been to that lake in almost 6 years! The rushes had grown. The paths had disappeared. THINGS HAD CHANGED! What’s with that!????? I wanted it to be just like I left it. I loved it that way. Disappointed and struggling to find any beauty out there at all, I kept walking, but I wasn’t happy. Things weren’t the same any more.


Life is by its very nature in change and flux. If you don’t believe it, look at how old John McCain looks, or John Kerry and how fast it seems to have happened.  When I got back to my car, that same nice couple parked next to me were standing by their car, window smashed…someone had broken into their car. They never expected that, and their life was changed. We can’t escape change even though our sweet little lizard brains want more than anything for things to always stay the same. The lizard will lose every time.


Maybe today both you and I can open up to the adventure idea again. Look forward to what’s around the corner. Be ready for anything, but expect goodness. That’s what I’m hoping for this morning. And by the way, I’ll take any wisdom and encouragement you have to offer!


If you’re tired of watching sunsets alone and want that to change, just call me or email me so we can talk about how you can create a change in the kind of love you can find.

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair


Why Can’t We Just DO IT?


All of us have dreams…things we want to do before we pass on. For some it’s traveling in an RV across country and some of want to live “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Getting a hole-in-one,  learning to tango, writing a book, picking up a violin again. Dreams are the things that touch our souls and create a longing that never goes away. Like a petulant child tapping on our shoulder they are relentless,  asking “When? When? When?”


I was talking with a friend today who is longing to leave a job he’s been doing for 30 years. He is weary of it.  You see he wants to put the time and energy, and a little piece of his heart into a new endeavor that will help people better understand and prepare for life after 55, what caring for aging parents really means. He wanted to know how to find time for his lifelong dream when there are “better things to do”(things you HAVE to do).


He asked me what gets in the way?… what lies between the longing and the doing? I didn’t have to think about it long because I know what is getting in my way. Fear and those obnoxious but very convincing monkeys that must have by now grayed and aged just like me. The fear seems obvious…

“What if it doesn’t work?” “What if nobody reads it?” “What if I make a fool of myself?” It’s the monkeys on my back however that have been with me for so long that they’ve become my best friends. Their messages are more insidious…

“You aren’t really a writer. Just look at Anne Lamont. Now SHE’s a writer.”  “You need to be thinking about more important things.” “Who do you think YOU are?” Ahhhhh, yes indeed. Hard as hell to shake those. 


How do we finally get to the place where we say “to hell with it” and get beyond just thinking about it, making a plan, reading more books about someone else who’s lived our dream and done it well? I told my friend the monkeys were never leaving. That we had to get angry enough, tired enough of pushing the dreams away, and see the truth…We’ve no time left to waste. Who wants to be on a deathbed asking “Why didn’t I do it?” When we finally realize the truth, we’ll find the courage that was always there and we’ll  grab a new vine, letting go of the one we’ve stubbornly held on to out of fear.  Whooping it up, we’ll swing out over that scary ravine toward what matters most in our sweet short life…our dreams. 


So today, I urge you to stop thinking about your dreams. Instead, take hold of that vine and swing out!!! One day when you are old and perhaps at the end of this life, you’ll have a peaceful smile on your face and no regrets.What a way to go!!


If you dream of finding love again, and are ready to ditch your monkeys and step toward that vine that will lead you to finding love, I am there to hold your hand.
Give me a call today or email me for a Complimentary Session to Finding Love in 90 Days

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair


Texting, Emailing and God-Forbid, Phone Calls…When, Where and Why???

communication devices



I am a communication junkie. OK, I admit it. I love connecting and when I connect, it makes my day and my life richer. It’s a smorgasbord of choice! I can email, text, add those little emojis, develop my own avatar, FaceTime, Skype, and oh yeah…phone someone. I think my readers are all old enough to remember phones, right?


So, what form of communication do you love most? And, when you’re in the sticky world of finding love and dating, how is that workin’ for you? We are all on a great big learning curve the size of St. Louis’ arch so, here are a few things I have learned about ways that foster respect and keep the lines open…


  1. Communication is a way we connect with another human being. We all need to feel our time is valued and thus, we are valued. Make time available for that in your life. Respect it and the person with whom you are communicating. Don’t multi task while you are talking, call right before you hit a dead zone (my ex-husband used to do that…hmmm, did you notice the “EX”?), and ask the person you are calling if it is a good time for them so that they can do the same.
  2. Find out the other person’s preferred means of communicating and tell them yours. Find a way to use both means to connect with each other so that both feel heard and happy.
  3. Do not communicate emotional issues via text or email, especially in a new relationship. No social cues, facial expressions or voice changes make it impossible to “read” the other person. And one small word interpreted by your reader can make or break what might have been a great relationship.
  4. Do not break up with someone via text or email, no matter how many “good reasons” you come up with. It’s a cop out.
  5. Learn about the gender differences and the need for communication and connection. They are vital in a good relationship. Women need connection…hear that, guys…it is a chemical, hormonal, primitive need that you must learn to honor if you want your sweetie to be happy. Men need less communication, not more, especially when the subject is emotionally charged. Read up on this one ladies if you ever hope to keep a good thing.

From the day you meet someone you think you might like to date again right on through a 50 year marriage, communication is the number one issue to learn and to honor. It is not for the faint of heart. We are not taught about it, so self-educate!


If you are tired of watching sunsets alone, and ready to find a perfectly imperfect person with whom you can share the next amazing chapter of your life, love is out there.

Want me to show you how to Find Love in 90 Days?

Give me a call or email me to set up a Complimentary Intake Session

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair


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