Could We Just Skip Valentine’s Day?



Valentine’s Day memories go way back for most of us.



Does anyone remember those packages of flimsy cardboard Valentines that we bought at Walgreens, making sure we had enough for everybody in our classroom? It was such fun cutting with our blunt end scissors, making those heart-shaped pockets that would hold all the “love” and glitter from the Valentines that the other kids would surely give us.  

Did you ever come to school before the BIG DAY and peek into your pocket to see how many were in there? 


This day, touted as the “Day of Love”, is loaded for most of us, both men and women. It is an “either/or” kind of holiday, one of anticipating and waiting to see IF and How Much you’re loved. When we’re not in a relationship, Hallmark tells us that we’re NOT loved…at least this year.


No matter how many ways my brain tells me that this is all a manufactured holiday and that real love is not buried in chocolate or expensive dinners, my heart still aches every single year I find myself “alone” on Valentine’s Day. It’s in my bones, this message about February 14 and I’m angry about that.


What do I recommend to all my readers as a way of coping with this holiday? Find a good friend who loves you even without your make-up, with dirty hair and in your ratty pajamas. If you are a man, celebrate not having to figure women out on this holiday! But, make a plan! Avoid restaurants at all costs and if you enjoy wine, buy yourself a nice bottle and enjoy every drop. No conversation is off-limits, but be sure they contain words of love, acceptance and joy for all the love that IS in your life EVERY YEAR.


Don’t fight the feelings around this holiday. Give advertising and marketing its due for being the King of Brainwashing. And remember, soon it will be over for another 365 days! The holiday, not love!

Alone this year? Leave your message in the Comments Section to share with others what you plan to do for Valentine’s Day!


Do you want to do everything you can so that next year, you’ll have a special someone to share not only Valentine’s Day together, but the fun and exciting next chapter of your amazing life?

I can help you begin today if you’ll call me for a Complimentary Strategy Session at 510-817-4242!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair

Make It a “Yes” Next Time



I’m copping to it…I said “Yes!” just now when the barista asked , “Would you like whipped cream on your mocha?” What the hell. If you’re gonna drink a chocolate bar, what’s a little whipped on it? And yet, how many of us won’t even allow ourselves to have that mocha in the first place, much less anything but fat-free goat’s milk in our decaf.


I have been made aware by some Christmas elf or holiday brainworm how often simply by saying “No” I have limited my life and the joy that’s in it every single day. It happens every time I make declarations made of mental cement like “I can’t write in a coffee shop”. Or see if this one sounds familiar…” I can’t be in a relationship unless_______”, and the “unlesses” are things like, “he wants to live together” or “she spends less time with her girlfriends” or “unless I just meet him/her naturally”.


So, today here I am!  Peet’s Coffee, which by the way in this part of the world probably contains at any one time more people meeting for the first time over coffee than anywhere in Northern California. It’s online dating Nirvana. What better place could there be to write about love, except for my craziness in thinking I can only write where it’s quiet. 


Somehow I was blessed by whatever force brought me to this place, both Peet’s and this awareness of how much happier I’ve been since I started saying “Yes” to most everything. It’s already paying big time benefits!


So, here’s to saying “yes” this year, beginning NOW. Every time you hear yourself thinking “No”, stop yourself. Someone calls to say, “Want to have a glass of wine tonight?” You think…”I’m too tired”. STOP! Go anyway. See what happens. And as for finding love in the coming year, fling those doors wide open and quick! Don’t limit yourself to anything. Try something and maybe even someone you might not have been open to before. Imagine there are thousands of fabulous people out there who will make your heart sing, and at times, make you want to kill them! There ARE thousands of people out there wanting just what you want, or close enough to it. You might spend some time asking where you’d like to be next year during this holiday season or if you’d like to be a bit more naughty than nice this coming year. Santa brings gifts to everyone, you know.


Make saying “YES “to life your only New Year’s resolution and you will be amazed at what can happen!

Email this post to a friend, post it on your Facebook page so that Yes becomes the word of the day!
Are you ready to find someone to share those sunsets and a fabulous bottle of wine? Sick and tired of coming home to only the kisses from your dog? This can be your year if you are ready to say “YES” to love!

Want to know more about how to find that love? Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at to schedule a time for a Complimentary Session with me!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer, 

Expert, Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair



How to Give the Best Present Ever

pup_11_rk0132_01_p“Giving is a difficult and almost contemplative art form that has to be practiced to be done well;to learn to give is almost always the simple, sometimes heartbreaking act of just giving again. To stop giving in any situation is to call an end to relationship. “

-David Whyte, Consolations

Every holiday season I am surprised how often someone with a deep sigh will say, “I have to go shopping and I really dread it, don’t you?” As much as I’d like to make them feel better, I don’t think I do. My answer to them looks something like this…”Actually, no I don’t ever feel the stress during the holidays. I love giving gifts…and I gotta say, I love getting them too.”

I am a Hallmark baby and even living in California, I have some deep-seated magical thinking that it might snow on Christmas Eve. There were many Christmases when my family had little or no money to buy presents, but somehow my parents always pulled it off. There were dolls who walked, Slinkies, diaries, and one Christmas my Daddy bought us “Hugo” and “Hildegard”, two tiny Dachshund puppies. In the neverending uncertainty that was our family, Christmas morning always happened.

The gifts I loved the most didn’t cost much. They were the ones that made me so happy I wanted to cry. I knew the giver really KNEW me, what mattered to me, what made me light up. Being known was the gift. 

I taught my kids the art of giving by refusing to buy the “hot toy of the season”. Year after year I kept my ears and eyes open to what they were excited by, what made their hearts sing and I would buy those things, hide them all year long in my closet or in the barn and when the holiday screech and scream arrived, I knew I could relax and enjoy feeling the love and gratitude that those holidays are meant to be.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The kids weren’t always happy when they didn’t get the “toy of the day” on Christmas morning. I did cheat and tell a relative or two what their dream items were and later at the family gathering, those relatives got the joy of being the good guys. That was their gift! But somehow, those boys learned that the gift was the thought and purposeful knowing, listening all year long for those clues that would lead them to a gift that says, “I know you love this…”

So this year, snow or not, I am relaxed and moving my heart slowly into this holiday season. I hope that you will do the same. Sit in your chair, lie in bed longer than usual while you ponder just what the people in your life truly want from you. Most of them want your presence not your presents. They want to feel that you truly “get them”. That you know them so well…It is the best gift you can give to those you treasure most.

Stay away from the malls if they take more than they give to you. Stay within a budget that helps you stay in the spirit and out of the buyer’s remorse that can kill the intention of gifting faster than anything. Trust me. We all just want that gift to show that we are loved and understood as the beautiful unique fabulous snowflakes that we are. 

If you are alone this holiday season and want to be standing under the mistletoe next year, you can find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life. Ready to do whatever it takes!
Let’s talk! Next year can be the best holiday ever if you start today by calling me at 510-817-4242 to book at Complimentary Strategy Session. Give yourself this gift!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair


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