Self Care

Who Can You Count on These Days??

 

It hit me one day last week. I’d been feeling lonely that day. My head knew why. “For goodness sake, Donna. Who wouldn’t feel lonely today? All your new friends are out of town…all four of them, and your family is spending the day with friends of their own”, my sweet little parent voice reminded me. Then I realized that not only was I lonely, but resentful and a little angry (am I supposed to admit that?), that my son and his family weren’t more sensitive to my needs. They should _____. Complete this sentence with anything that sounds like “poor me” and you have it!

 

I made it through that day and a few days later while in therapy, which is what I call walking, it came to me! “You’ve put all your well-being eggs into one basket and you know what happens when you do that.”

 

Do you know what happens when you do that in your life? Perhaps, you do it in your marriage or partnership with someone you really love, but he/she is always disappointing you when they don’t understand what you want, don’t listen so well that they take away all your pain or have the answer that makes you happy. Aren’t people we love supposed to “care” i.e. “fix what makes us unhappy”? Do we  believe that if they really love us they wouldn’t or would _____. That’s what love is, right? Not to burst your bubble or break you eggs, but in fact, that’s not what love is at all. True love is when we take good care of ourselves, discovering what makes us happy and DOING it. And, it’s  listening to our partners when they are struggling and believing that they will find the answers they seek. There is no greater gift to someone we love than listening, really listening.

 

Beware of where your eggs reside. Your partner should have some of them in their basket for sure. That’s what makes it a relationship. And your own basket should, at all times, hold about 80% of your eggs and 20% of theirs.  Truly, that’s what a healthy relationship looks like.

 

As for my own pity party about my son and his “insensitivity”, he and his wife are some of the sweetest, most sensitive, caring people I know. And, in fairness to my sweet self…I have only been here a year and not knowing a soul last April and through a long winter that was too cold to mingle much, I have needed and leaned on them pretty heavily. I’ve had to put my eggs in their basket while I was filling my own, one friend at a time. They’ve been pretty darned gracious in carrying that heavy basket.

 

Donna Bailey, MS

Life Changing Coaching and Speaking

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242

donna@donnasbigredchair.love

Big Red ChairGetting you from where you are to where you want to be!

 

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

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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