Who Can You Count on These Days??


It hit me one day last week. I’d been feeling lonely that day. My head knew why. “For goodness sake, Donna. Who wouldn’t feel lonely today? All your new friends are out of town…all four of them, and your family is spending the day with friends of their own”, my sweet little parent voice reminded me. Then I realized that not only was I lonely, but resentful and a little angry (am I supposed to admit that?), that my son and his family weren’t more sensitive to my needs. They should _____. Complete this sentence with anything that sounds like “poor me” and you have it!


I made it through that day and a few days later while in therapy, which is what I call walking, it came to me! “You’ve put all your well-being eggs into one basket and you know what happens when you do that.”


Do you know what happens when you do that in your life? Perhaps, you do it in your marriage or partnership with someone you really love, but he/she is always disappointing you when they don’t understand what you want, don’t listen so well that they take away all your pain or have the answer that makes you happy. Aren’t people we love supposed to “care” i.e. “fix what makes us unhappy”? Do we  believe that if they really love us they wouldn’t or would _____. That’s what love is, right? Not to burst your bubble or break you eggs, but in fact, that’s not what love is at all. True love is when we take good care of ourselves, discovering what makes us happy and DOING it. And, it’s  listening to our partners when they are struggling and believing that they will find the answers they seek. There is no greater gift to someone we love than listening, really listening.


Beware of where your eggs reside. Your partner should have some of them in their basket for sure. That’s what makes it a relationship. And your own basket should, at all times, hold about 80% of your eggs and 20% of theirs.  Truly, that’s what a healthy relationship looks like.


As for my own pity party about my son and his “insensitivity”, he and his wife are some of the sweetest, most sensitive, caring people I know. And, in fairness to my sweet self…I have only been here a year and not knowing a soul last April and through a long winter that was too cold to mingle much, I have needed and leaned on them pretty heavily. I’ve had to put my eggs in their basket while I was filling my own, one friend at a time. They’ve been pretty darned gracious in carrying that heavy basket.


Donna Bailey, MS

Life Changing Coaching and Speaking

Donna’s Big Red Chair



Big Red ChairGetting you from where you are to where you want to be!


I Found the Moon Again



I looked at the full moon last night, realizing how incredibly beautiful she is and wondering why I had missed so many of her wonderful displays over the past year.


I turned off my living room lights, standing by the window looking at every detail of her face, remembering how over the years she’d been my solace during times just like these…periods of painful and exciting transition. And I felt the tears sting as they rolled across my cheeks. How could I have not noticed her these past months?  I apologized to her for my forgetting and my heart opened, quite suddenly feeling such deep compassion for myself. It was a hard year.


Those of you who know me personally probably know how much I believe in the power of love. Not only romantic love, but most importantly, self-love. And for most mortals, it’s a lifelong journey, probably the most urgent one we have while on this earth.  It’s never delivered in a pretty package. Our bodies challenge us, we lose faith, the “unexpected” happens and for some mysterious reason we’re always surprised because somebody told us life was easier than it truly is. Life is a slog uphill much of the time. How do we get to the place in our lives where we find a place of peace and love so that each day, no matter what happens is one for which we are truly grateful?


I’d like to give you the simple answer if there were one. I don’t believe all the books, podcasts or even sermons get us to peace of mind, but I do truly believe that each thing we do, person we meet, challenge we take on despite our fears and less than perfect bodies gets us there. The hero’s journey, as Joseph Campbell called it will mean we must be awake and desperately want joy so much that we’re willing to do the work required, knowing that the road will bumpy and winding.


Big Red Chair




Finding Someone…Almost

drinking coffee

I’m on vacation so I pulled this one from the archives because some things never change…

You can call it an adventure if you want, and of course dating is that. Being a female version of Will Rogers myself, I love meeting new people no matter the reason. And adventure aside, dating is also a stressful slog much of the time.


If you are fortunate, your experiences with online dating yield “A Few Good Men”. The odds increase the clearer you can be about what kind of person is most likely to make you happy. Yes, happy…isn’t that the whole point of relationships? Some would argue that I am a hopeless romantic and as such need to wake up and smell the compost heap. They would argue that relationships are hard work and they would be right. If the ratio of work, especially hard work far outweighs happiness and repeated efforts to shift things that haven’t worked, it is time to seek higher ground.


So here you are enjoying your cup of java with a pretty nice person. Conversation flows, you are glad you got your teeth whitened, and before you know it three hours have passed. Another date? Heck yeah! Soon? Heck yeah!!


Time passes so slowly and you fight the teenage feelings. It is “way too early to feel that way”, you say. Truth time…you think about them a lot and can practically see the hands of the clock moving while you wait for Friday. And here you are again…coffee time number two. It feels hopeful, possible, mutual…and the best part is that the coffee dates can stop, right??  Wrong. You see, one of those bratty little “non-negotiables” comes up in conversation. You try to brush it off, push it under the coffee shop table or worse, begin to doubt yourself and maybe even beat yourself up for “feeling that way”. You want this to work, dammit!


Fast forward…next day… something keeps nagging at you. Maybe too much coffee this morning, or that greasy muffin? You can’t push it down any more. This isn’t going to work! One of those “values” you own cannot be silenced and isn’t shared by your newly found potential partner- in- life. Damn…back to the computer.


You will find your love…just not today. But when you do, you’ll know it, and be so happy you didn’t settle for anyone less than this perfectly imperfect person.

Are you a hopeless romantic that’s tired of watching sunsets alone and ready to do whatever it takes (even that dating slog?) to find someone with whom to share this next amazing chapter of your life?

Call me or email me for a Complimentary Session to see how to begin again.

Donna Bailey, MS

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love

Donna’s Big Red Chair

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



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