Magic Moments

The Real Meaning of Valentine’s Day


Big Red Chair

I have had the honor and joy of living near all my grandchildren since they were born. Living now where the Polar Express roars through my life is a bit more challenging than alongside the San Francisco Bay, but one thing is the same. The amazing unconditional love between their little hearts and mine.


Reading a library book with my 4 year old grandson yesterday, while working on my animation in trying to do the voices of a cave boy and a wooley mammoth, he laughed, threw his arms around my neck, closed his eyes and without any questions or hesitation simply said, “Grammie, I love you SO much.” I felt as if nothing in the world mattered or was more important than the feeling of warmth that flooded my body and soul. And, that was the truth.


I caught myself, feeling suddenly afraid. I didn’t invite the thought into that place of sheer delight. It came on its own…”What is he going to do when you die?” And, then a voice that said, “Maybe you’d better not love him too deeply. It’s going to hurt.” Ahhhh…there it is. The thing that often keeps us holding back, holding on to the piece of us that we believe we can keep from being hurt by loss of love. We all have it. Our brains are working on their own to keep us safe. And yet, truth is, for so many years, we’ve held back truly loving, perhaps even our sweet selves, for fear that we will lose something and it will hurt.


You know the real regret that I fear now in this life? That I will not notice just how much I do love and am loved and that I am so incredibly lovable. Always have been. Others just made it hard to see. And truth is, you are loved and lovable too, just exactly as you are. It’s how life sets it up. Now, to do whatever it takes to believe it.


How will this little one deal with the loss when I pass? He will be sad, wish I were here, feel sad some more. Mostly, he will remember all the love, the time spent, the books read, the caves explored and those times when one or the other of us suddenly stopped what we were doing, looked each other in the eyes and said, “You know, I love you SO much.” Those memories will be the best legacy I can leave them all.


This Valentine’s Day, I hope you will remember what and who matters in your life. Tell them how you feel. Put it all out there. And, if there are people who aren’t able to love, or love you, have compassion for them, but, find those you can trust with your precious heart and love. Then, just love…beginning with yourself. 


Happy Valentine’s Day to You and All My Love Coming Your Way!


Donna Bailey, MS
Life Changing Coaching
Donna’s Big Red Chair


Big Red Chair

Love at the Farmers’ Market??


It was as if someone turned the spigot on that morning. Love was flowing through me, rusty pipes and all.

I never cease to be amazed…

Saturday morning I made my way down to Batavia’s Farmer’s Market. My first time. And though I’d heard it was a great little market, my expectations weren’t a match for the experience that awaited. Already booths were abundant with organic fruits and veggies, flowers bunched and wrapped in that brown crinkly paper, tied with yellow grosgrain ribbon…the kind your Grandmother used to hold your hair back out of your eyes.


Local honey and stories about bright green and yellow patty pan squash, no longer yellow, but swirls of bright yellow and the deepest forest greens I’ve ever witnessed on a vegetable. Seems the bees were cross-pollinating now (something many of us single folks sometimes have on our minds!). Beets, sweet and the color of strawberries came with a promise that if I tried them and wasn’t happy, the farmer would give me a refund.


Happy chickens that actually walked around all day, cows that didn’t go into the barn ’til sunset. Just like the Midwestern folks I’ve met, seems the food must be happy too. Of course, being a virgin market attendee, I overbought…maybe to have an excuse to invite my son and grandson over for Sunday brunch?


Done now, lugging the bags toward the top of River St., I glanced over to see the most beautiful handmade bread and pastries ever!  Well, the exception is my best friend, Charlotte’s breads whose Grandmother, Ida created and lovingly passed on to her. There they were! So I had to stop, right? Knowing I’d be eating enough gluten to inflame the joints of every soul I knew didn’t deter me one bit. Salivating, I watched him pull the loaf of walnut raisin rye, two almond scones, and a half dozen English muffins. Anxious, diving into my wallet, I saw the sign…“Cash only, please”. I could feel the disappointment flooding over me as I stood with my useless debit card. Then, that sweet guy’s voice stopped the spiral of despair. “Don’t worry about it. Really. Just enjoy it. Next time you come to the Market, pay me then.” I began the offers…“I can find an ATM. Let me just take a croissant. Keep my driver’s license. How about I give you my first-born?” He handed me the bag, smiled and repeated, “Just enjoy it.” 


I walked away feeling a bit teary with joy. There’s no shortage of love even in these days that can feel as if we are living in the darkness of an empty cellar at times. It’s so easy to lose sight of the love all around when we are busy, not feeling well or watching the national news…or when we’re alone, in a new town, out of a relationship with someone we thought was our forever love.


Just for today, take time to be loving to those you meet, recalling all the people in your life who love you to the moon and back. If all else fails, go to the movies and see the documentary about Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”. It’s worth the money and a couple of hours of your life and a box of Kleenex to be reminded of what they say in another of my favorite films, “Love Actually”…“Love really is…all around”. 


If you’d like some help in finding that love of your life, why not call me and see how that can happen?


Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair


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Big Red Chair




Is There Any Good in the World?


If I were to say, “I think the world is nicer these days” you’d probably think, “Poor Donna. She’s really losing it!” Perhaps you’d think, “She’s such an incurable optimist and what a Pollyanna!”. And you’d be right. But I have evidence to support my claim. Here it is…


Last evening a wonderful musician friend of mine had a CD release concert at my favorite venue where the sound is so perfect, I leave the planet after the first chord. On either side of me were two amazing women, a new friend and a woman who I can know will have my back in a pinch every time. What feels better than knowing we are safe in a world that feels very unsafe these days? 


The room was filled with friends of the performers and they were hungry to hear what they knew would be songs so tender, they could close their eyes and remember their mothers’ kisses, a baby’s “gathering the stars from the sky and putting them in a Mason jar”. For just that evening we all swam in the good and the love that remains even when most days we feel only powerless and alone in the hate and evil we see around the world.


It was late. I called an Uber. A young Middle Eastern man was there in 3 minutes! Love that about city living. He got out, opened the door for me and climbed back in the driver’s seat and said, “How was your day, Ma’am?” I told him about the concert and it began…He drives for Uber after his regular job at the car dealership is done. He doesn’t do it for the money. “I do it because I really love people and after a stressful day at my job, this is how I relax.” Apparently, before Uber, he’d come home stressed and just drive around to relax. “Now”, he says,”I get to do the thing I love more than anything…drive, and meet and talk to people until I am ready to go to sleep.” His lullaby is feeling connected to others’ lives and stories. Must work. I slept like a baby, thinking about the sweetness of my Uber driver.


Today, there was more evidence. A young Pakistani man offered me his seat on the bus, I joined the Y and talked about my writing and coaching with a young woman who wanted to know who I was beyond a member. The barista gave me extra whipped cream on my mocha without even being asked. The librarian could have been a stand-up comic and in 10 minutes I knew he was a loving father and not the stern, uncaring stereotype of what a librarian is thought to be.


The day is still young, and I’ve yet to turn on the evening news. I can do it though, knowing what I know to be true. There is so much love in my world, and  in yours too. Just don’t forget to pay attention. 


Are you a hopeless romantic who believes there’s lots of love in the world? Ready to find someone special to share this next amazing chapter of your sweet life? Not sure where to begin the journey?

Call me at 510-817-4242 for a Complimentary Session today and we’ll talk about how to begin.

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair


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