Museum Wisdom


Yesterday I took my grandson to a new museum. It was one of those crazy, Chicago-style windy days that would blow him off his bike, so even though we both have spring fever, being inside was the smart choice.


Some friends here who’ve already spent winters in every possible museum or bouncy house told me this SciTech Museum might be a little advanced for a four-year old, but of course I smiled, knowing that “MY grandson” was exceptionally bright and it would be just fine. So off we went, steering my car back onto the road, fighting hurricane-force winds.


After taking our jackets off, and my pulling out a small rake to restore my hair to something other than a the “Back to the  Future” look, he headed straight for the chase car on the first level. Yep, they really do chase tornadoes out here in the Midwest.


Then I spotted the large pool-like table with two holes and a ball about the size of a tennis ball resting in one of the holes. Instructions asked, “Which hole will the ball roll into?  “Me first!”, he said as he dropped the ball into the bowl of the table. Seemed pretty obvious to his 4-year old mind and pretty obvious to me (my age shall remain with me) which hole the ball would drop into. As it rolled down and around the curved terrain, it looked as if it were going to settle right into the logical  hole. Our mouths dropped open as it then moved back up a few inches, toward the second hole. Surely, that’s where it would end up. No dice! In and out and back to hole number 1, where it finally found some peace. Wow! He’s four, and wonder was enough to make him happy. Not Grammie. She just had to make sense out of it. It was “supposed to” land where I thought it would. There was some part of me that felt a little out of control, wanting the outcome to match what I thought I knew to be true.


We moved on to watch a machine that replicated a tornado, a skeleton that talked, and trying to dodge 85 kids there on a field trip. My mind was still thinking about that table. It didn’t make sense.


So often we go through our lives thinking things will end up a certain way, that people will behave in just the way we think they should. That our bodies will always act and be the way we want them to be. That our friends and partners will be who we want them to be. That life should be what we were led to believe… ordered, predictable and understandable, if we just put our minds to it.


It’s taken most of my life to finally get it. Life, bodies, relationships, plans, goals, expectations are completely unpredictable. Our need to control, to be perfect, and to hope beyond hope that we will avoid pain, disappointment, sadness and heartbreak if we just do the “right thing”. That success will come, money will remain in our retirement accounts, and we will be happy if we only work hard. It only takes living long enough, watching those myths dissolve and finally knowing that life is, as the Buddhists have been saying for thousands of years, unpredictable and filled with mystery.


We headed out of the first floor exhibits a few hours later. Walking by that curvy bowl of a table, I couldn’t resist picking up that ball and dropping it into the bowl again . As I let it go, I saw the title of that exhibit…”CHAOS”.  Yep, that’s life. Make the best of every moment and enjoy the ride!

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

Big Red Chair

Is it a Turning Point for Men and Women?


This morning will be an opportunity for generations, both old and new, to see some truth about some men and a courageous woman and the struggle to find ourselves and our “rightful” place in the world in which we all live We’ve been evolving since the dawn of civilization, and today thanks to technology, we can witness a fork in the road that will allow us to see where we’ve been and where we now must go.


No matter your politics, what I hope you watch today is just how powerful our ego and our primitive brains are in our daily lives. It might help to see that Senate committee as if you are watching Planet of the Apes.


What is at stake today is fear and the loss of power that has protected men forever. When the fearful are IN power, their grip is like a choke-hold and the question within the fear is “What will I be if I lose my power?” Anihilation is what many of these older men fear. Who WILL they be when they have to share both power and responsibility for their past actions? Who were the teachers of these men? Why did they need to believe that absolute power and control was the only way to stay alive? Are they really the bad guys in any of this or were they set up with an impossible task…to take care of everything, including killing anybody that might harm their families? And does any of this matter now when we see the destruction that has occurred while they’ve worn this warrior mantel?


Today you will see the destruction this ego and power and fear has done to one woman. The “boys will be boys” belief that our culture espoused for decades. A hall pass, get out of jail free card that young men have been given in their sexual lives, destroying the lives of children, teens and adult women who are forever changed by violence against them.


To many of these men, power remains more important than any girl or woman, more important than their own integrity. Control over everything, including women’s bodies, their right to choose when they want children will be wrapped up in their final votes.


We can only hope and pray that some moral progress has been made since Joe Biden prematurely gaveled the Thomas hearing to a close and sacrificed the life on Anita Hill in exchange for power. Integrity is a non-negotiable in all of us. When we violate it, our wonderful soul just won’t stand for it. If those on the committee, both men and women choose power over fairness and justice, their souls won’t let them forget it. Problem is, the victim has spent her whole life unable to forget it.


So, I pray today for a surprise. A wonderful miraculous surprise that will show us the power of truth, love, justice and our compass that we call integrity. We don’t know the truth. Only those involved may claim that. But, we do know that the search for truth is essential, and this committee has not given these women the time of day, nor the time to hear the evidence that just MIGHT give them enough truth so that they can do what is right. If they can find the courage to risk their office, believe that voters will  support  them and their decisions to seek the truth, we will have changed the course of history, and one in every four women in this country who has been the victim of sexual abuse can breathe a little easier tomorrow.

What’s It REALLY About…Loving After 60?



Those of us who are thrown/cast/sentenced to being back out in the land of dating and mating after 60 often want many of the same things. Who doesn’t want someone that looks younger than their age, sexy and passionate, adventurous, kind, romantic and of course “has no baggage”? Just like when we were teenagers, truth be known, we want pretty much the same qualities PLUS the wisdom and experience 60 plus years brings. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the movie version of romance right to the last day of my sweet life. But, here’s something none of us wants…


We phrase it differently because to even think it makes us feel like a heel. Some say, “I don’t want someone I have to push in a wheelchair.” We think someone younger, even by 3-4 years, will mean we can travel together, build that vacation home that is still on our bucket list or just give us more time than someone our own age, or a year older. We bargain with time and in the process, deny what none of us wants to face as older adults who so want to love again.


Denial can be a wonderful thing. All of us use it in our lives in one way or another. That first look in the mirror in the morning says, “OMG! Who the hell is that?” The minute we look away, our heart and soul resets itself to age 35. Off we go into the day, the same person we once were. Everybody else looks “their” age. We notice someone on the bus with a walker and think, “Poor thing!” but every cell in us is 35 and will be that way forever. Thank Mother Nature for that denial. It does keep us living our lives, staying curious and on the dance floor for salsa lessons.


There is, however a downside. The illusion that perfect or almost perfect health will always be there for us. Illness may happen to others, but not to us. We think age is always the determining factor in when our health issues might occur or grow larger and more serious. And the big onethat our hearts won’t shatter when we lose someone we love. You see, all that bargaining we do is really our fear of losing the love and the lover we so desperately seek.


Nothing guarantees us one more moment of life or great health. Authors who write the books about running, eating the world’s healthiest diet, meditating your way to long life died well before 75, and still we think we will live forever.


So, how do we open our hearts to love as we age? Do we want it badly enough to push past the denial, open our hearts to each other knowing that life is a precious second at the time no matter what age we are? Do we go on our journey willing to do whatever it takes to find love knowing that also means “for better or worse”? Most importantly, is love worth the certainty that we will eventually feel the pain of loss?


 Love is our choice now. We no longer have to find a partner to have a family or work so hard to send our kids to college  Now it’s about us and living life our way. Today it’about tenderness, sweetness, willingness to be there to make life better than it might be alone. There’s such freedom now to truly choose love. Yes, it has a cost… and it’s a precious opportunity for happiness.  How will you choose to see it? Why not go forward, eyes wide open, take the plunge and enjoy every sweet second of it? 

Are you ready to find the next love of your life? Unsure where to begin or not having much luck in your search? 

I’d love to be your guide.

Give me a call at 510-817-4242 to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session

Maybe you’ll be sharing the holidays with someone special by starting your journey to love today!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair






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