Happy Holidays…Inspiration


I say that with some hesitancy at first, but then I realize that happiness can be obtained in many ways. That’s good news!


This holiday I am sitting here in my apartment in a town and state that some days feels like a foreign country. It’s nothing like any place I’ve ever lived and I’ve been working really hard for about 6 months trying to understand what’s what. I’m not sure what I expected, but “this” seems different than what I thought it would be like.


I’m in the 50% of people who are finding the holidays a little difficult this year. Yes, 50% of us are not writing those Christmas letters, sending cards or able to do shopping that requires more than hitting the “Go to Cart” button. There are lots of reasons…Here are some my friends and I are experiencing this year:

  1. Over a year’s worth of politics that have us swinging between doomsday and Toon-Town
  2. Financial markets that look like leeches, slowly sucking our expectations away
  3. Being alone, by choice or chance, and feeling isolated
  4. Not being near our families (of birth) and missing them
  5. Loss of people we love(d) happened right in this season
  6. Moving or have moved this year and saying good-bye to people we love
  7. The exhaustion of caring for aging parents, and all the feelings we have
  8. Being near our families (of birth) and not missing them
  9. Our friends are gone over the holidays, or perhaps forever
  10. We just can’t do one more “orphan” dinner with friends
  11. Our health is really challenging this year
  12. Our expectations that it should be different
  13. Our expectations that we shouldn’t feel this way

Any of these sound familiar?  Of course! I’m changing that statistic to 99%! A professor of mine in grad school gave me permission to make up a statistic when I need to.


If we can just accept that no holiday comes and goes without ups and downs, sadness and joy, perspective and complete loss of it, and wishing on a star to feel better than we do is SO NORMAL. And, even better, if we could share what we feel with each other so that we KNOW we aren’t alone, we’d really feel quite OK about this season of moving from dark to light. Did you know the whole season is about that? And better yet, just think about this...when you go into a dark tunnel, halfway, you are in the light again. Remember, you are loved by so many and they love the gifts you bring to their lives. Start with this, and then just allow yourself to feel it all!


Are you tired of being alone and ready to share this next chapter of your amazing life with that special someone? Sunsets are more beautiful, wine tastes better and the New Year will be lighter and brighter with more love in your life! 

Call me or email me so we can talk about making your dreams come true!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbbigredchair.love



Granddaughter Wisdom



She’s just turned five and  is the less outgoing of the twins. Katie reminds me of myself in lots of ways. She’s athletic, prefers jeans to dresses, and has so many stories in her imaginative little head that at days end, she’s traveled the universe.


Last weekend, lucky me spent the afternoon with both the girls and their sweet Papa. We began with our ritual…tea with Grammie using real china cups and I might add, some pretty primo tea. I wanna raise ’em right! Then, a little artwork before we headed down to the nearby neighborhood field for our very first family baseball game. And, as luck would have it, we had the whole field to ourselves! It didn’t take but a few misses before both the girls got that baseball hitting “bug”. The feel of smacking a tennis ball with an over-sized bat was addictive, so their Papa and I got plenty of exercise in the outfield, and they were hoarse from screaming with joy. It was Heaven for this Grammie.


After some hot chocolate and dancing to a street band near where I live, we headed back home. Kate hadn’t put the bat down and had created stories for its use, appointing herself the “owner” of that bat. Sarah lagged behind, her little lower lip now telling me something was up. Falling back to be with her, I asked her about the lip and she said, “I’m sad because I don’t want to go home.” By the time we opened my front door, Kate too had alligator tears just waiting to roll down her face.


“I’m gonna miss you, Grammie”, she volunteered. Almost crying myself, I squatted beside both of them. “Grammie is going to miss you too.”
“Do you love me, Grammie?” Katie asked me and caught me quite by surprise.  Almost choking from my heart breaking, I said, “Of course I do. More than the moon”. Then, this little 5 year old said something that sums up real love…”I know. When you really love somebody, you really miss them when they’re gone.” Holding back tears, I shook my head, knowing the wisdom and the pain she felt.


Part of loving is the inevitability of losing it at some point in the journey. And, whether it’s our grandchildren, our life partner or even when we are thinking about loving again after we’ve lost someone through death or divorce…we must embrace the bittersweet with the ecstasy of loving.


If you’re ready to risk loving again, I would love to walk beside you and guide you to that special someone with whom you can share this amazing chapter of your life.

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair

donna@donnasbigredchair.love   510-817-4242








Got a Problem With Urgency???

woman in fear



I’m not talking about the kind the drug companies are more than happy to offer you drugs to fix. It’s that urge to talk when the man in your life, or who used to be in your life wants exactly the opposite.

As women, we really need connection. When it isn’t there, we can feel like a fish out of water. If only we could talk to him, he would “get it” and things would be better. Alas, one of life’s little jokes is that men, when faced with emotion, indecision, confusion or just uncomfortable with their feelings or our feelings, want to be alone. It’s that “man cave” kind of place where they want to go breathe, turn on a football game, run 6 miles…anything but talk to us. What was nature thinking???? In defense of women, we now know it’s a brain thing that partially explains our anxiety about “too much time passing”. Recent research says that we need oxytocin to rejuvenate and feel calm. Contact and connection is a greater need for women and when we don’t get it, that oxy drops big time and we feel anxious. So, guys…it’s not because we’re needy or can’t take care of ourselves. It’s that we need that contact from you. So, somewhere in the middle…your need for space to regenerate and our need for contact to feel calm and safe is where you want to aim.

What can we do when the urgency to communicate pushes us to the brink? Anything but hit the SEND button. Yes, write it all down on a legal pad, all the things you want and need to say to him. Don’t censor it, don’t judge it and by all means, use every single expletive you can conjure up. Cry, scream, call a girlfriend, make an appointment with your counselor or coach. Just don’t speak to him right now.

When is the right time to talk to him? Why not have a conversation with him and find out where that middle ground is located for both of you? These kinds of exchanges head bigger conflicts off at the pass. Find a good time when you’re not feeling stressed or defensive. Then begin with, “Let’s figure out what works for us about this need to connect…”

If the relationship is new, or you’ve only been dating for awhile, it’s an opportunity to see how you both handle emotions, discomfort and communication. If that’s high on your list of qualities that matter to you, pay attention to how you get to agreement, or not.

Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert, Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”
Donna’s Big Red Chair
donna@donnasbigredchair.love  510-817-4242
Tired of watching those sunsets alone? Ready to do whatever it takes to find that special someone with whom to share this next chapter of your amazing life?

Give me a call or send me an email and we’ll do a

Complimentary Session!

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