Holidays

Jingle All the Way???

 

Currier and Ives did it to us. Those serene scenes of horse-drawn sleighs filled with perfect families and horses that never pooped. Burned into our hearts, we saw them year after year and like Cinderella trying to squeeze her two sizes too small foot into that glass slipper, we just keep trying to make our holiday fit into that envelope too.

 

Every year I am surprised by it. The complex ups and downs, wishing I had _____, missing what I used to have and most of all, wanting for all the world to feel that idyllic feeling of those “Yuletide carols being sung by a fire”. And all the while, knowing in my head that I can’t have what used to be, forgetting that THIS holiday is a blessing.

 

A colleague recently sent me a story about eating an artichoke. She loved artichokes, craved what she remembered about how that “heart” tasted, dipped in melted butter. Having never cooked one however, she began stripping off all the leaves…no small feat when you are dodging the sharp uncooked leaves. She’s persistent and finally got to that fuzzy center. Plopping it into boiling water, she couldn’t wait to get it into her mouth. Lifting the lid after 25 minutes at a rolling boil, her mouth fell to the floor. It was mushy and she could feel her salivary glands freeze. Then it hit her…you cook the whole thing and the leaves protect that heart center like some amazing dessert that waits for you while you enjoy it one leaf at the time.  Like an artichoke, holidays are the whole thing…the past memories, current life challenges, and all those voices saying how we should do them.

 

 What if we just savor each leaf and try not to get lost in what we think is waiting for us?

 

Some years we are struggling with life. These are the times when holidays can be challenging if we keep staring at those horse-drawn sleighs. The gift that is most important in those years is one of self-love and compassion. The relief of saying, “Yep. This year it’s tough to feel the joy”. Acceptance, kindness, and by all means, being honest with those you love who can give you gifts of listening and support. Never forget, giving is a gift too and loved ones feel the joy of the season even more when they can give to us. So, reach out this season. Giving and receiving…it’s what it’s all about.

 

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love

www.donnasbigredchair.love

 

Big Red Chair

 

Holidays…You Gotta Love “em”, Right?

 

 

 

Yesterday afternoon I gathered with a bunch of women who decided not to go winter alone. We call it the Women’s Wisdom Circle because despite the cesspool filled with messages to the contrary that live in our heads, we all know that we ARE wise indeed.

 

The only challenge is holding on to that belief as it moves from our gut that says, “Yes! That’s the right move!” to what comes out our mouths which can sound not at all like the truth. Imagine the journey from gut to voice…past our grandmother’s voices, the church’s bony finger, the library shelves marked, “Boys” and “Girls”(Yes, that once did happen, at least up in Northern Maine), and mothers who took little blue pills to keep their voices quiet.

 

In that room yesterday there was wisdom galore. Taking a deep breath, I owned my one word we were allowed describing how we really feel about winter…DREAD!. One woman jumped on it, saying “it’s all in how we define it in our minds”, urging us all to be grateful, keep a journal, relish the alone time, go inward. I tried to buy it, but it wasn’t working for me, at least last night. She didn’t know me yet, so how could she know that going inward was not my challenge, and that I had stacks of gratitude journals, and that I AM grateful for so many things in my life? There are times when all the gratitude in the world doesn’t touch how we feel this time of year…both because it’s winter, and for some of us, because we’re alone and want to go outward toward another human being. To find love again and cherish alone time rather than looking for ways to stay awake just to have less of it…that’s what we want. 

 

I recently moved after a rather difficult year back in CA. I wasn’t well most of that year and lost my apartment in a market that only the tech folks can afford. And yes, I was grateful then as now. But, change is just plain hard, even when it’s good. Now, I can begin to feel the good of it as I sled down a hill in my grandson’s backyard almost crying from the joy of it. New friendships are feeling warmer and I’m in the circle most days rather than feeling outside it. And, I’m waking up to the want again. The longing for love and all that it brings to winter’s chill.

 

Turning on my computer to browse faces, scanning the rooms at the art opening, remembering that those bright, sweet men I seek might be at the library. Remembering how much lovelier holidays are when you can share them with someone special makes it well worth the layers of underwear, down coats, ugly hats and sturdy shoes it takes to put one foot in front of the other.

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share this next chapter of your life with someone special? Are you tired of watching sunsets alone? Are you ready to do whatever it takes to find love again?

Begin NOW, and perhaps next year’s holidays will find you dancing!

 

Call me and let me get you started on your90 Days to Love”

510-817-4242  or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love

 

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair

www.donnasbigredchair.love

Big Red Chair

The Holidays Bring Us All Home

sad-man-at-christmas

 

 

Yesterday was a great day. I added just the right ornaments and got rid of those “cold” blue lights that were invented by the devil. An unexpected Christmas card arrived from someone who I have missed having in my life.

Unlike much of the country, it was warm enough to take a long walk with only a sweater and off I went, my Fitbit happily collecting my efforts. There was even a Golden Retriever to hug.

 

I got home, ditched my walking shoes, made myself a cup of “nectar of life” also known as tea, and sat down in my Big Red Chair feelin’ the holiday joy. Within a minute, I was sobbing. Where did that come from?  Hardly able to catch my breath, huge tears streaming down my face, I was suddenly 5 years old and I missed my Mama and my Daddy. Her picture hangs over my chair and I looked up as if to say, “Where are you? I need you.”

 

I’m not surprised by this kind of emotion any more. Sometimes when I am in a grocery store and see someone have to put something back on the shelf because they can’t afford it makes me cry. Listening to Christmas music takes me back to places where I first heard it, or into the homes of all those children whose mothers and fathers are somewhere in the Middle East and won’t see the muted joy on the faces of their child on Christmas morning.

 

Holidays are not a straight line, nor is life or love.  They are messy and complex and yet, truly a gift.  This year, I hope you’ll allow yourself to fully experience the holidays. They remind us of our humanity, and won’t always come in Hallmark cards. The packages in which the spirit of the holidays arrive may not be wrapped in shiny paper. You may feel like crying some of the time, guilty that you have abundance in your life when others don’t, sad that you don’t have a special someone with whom to share them and such joy and contentment, love and appreciation that you feel like you might burst at the seams. That’s what they’re really about. Enjoy the gifts this season will bring you!

 

Are you ready to find that special someone to share the holidays throughout the year? 

Give yourself a gift! Call or email me to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session in the New Year!

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer, Expert

Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair

www.donnasbigredchair.love 

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love 

 

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