Holidays

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

www.donnasbigredchair.love

 

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

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