Inspiration

Valentine’s Day Can Be a Bear!

 

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, a holiday of anticipating and waiting to see if and how much you are loved, and when we are not in a relationship, Hallmark tells us that we are 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 is in my bones, this message about February 14 and I am 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!

 

Are you a hopeful romantic, tired of watching those sunsets alone and ready to do the work to find YOUR VALENTINE? You can do it, and I will show you how? 

You’re only 90 Days to Love...so let’s talk about beginning that journey NOW!

 

Donna Bailey, MS
Donna’s Big Red Chair
510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love
www.donnasbigredchair.love

 

Big Red Chair

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

 

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