If I Had Enough Words

If I had enough time, I probably would have been able to post last night. (I’m really sorry about that.)

And if I had enough words, I probably would be able to write for the next month.

But unfortunately, I am short on both.

Which is why I won’t be posting for the month of November. (Or at least, very sparingly.)

You see, it’s always been my dream to write a novel. And this year, I’m going to take another stab at it by participating in National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo). Unfortunately, I had to choose. And while I cannot say enough about how wonderfully warm and fuzzy my readers make me feel on this blog, it is time that I devoted myself to one pursuit at a time.

Please check back from time to time. I may post when I need a break. And hopefully you’ll be back on December 1st because I will be, too.

(Just because I’m on a hiatus, doesn’t mean you have to be. Remember to go out there and make every day as special as a BaileyDailey day.)


Get Organized

Do you have a junk drawer? A “filing cabinent” in your car? A chain for your glasses so that you don’t lose them?

Let’s be honest: there may be a method to your madness, but getting organized is essential to success.

And heaven knows there’s a million ways to do it.

You can get every color highlighter. Every planner that tells you what the phase of the moon is. Every little Post-It note flag. Every paper and binder clip. Tabs, folders, labels. You can buy it all.

But if you’re anything like me, I bet you know what you’ll say once you’ve got all your stuff organized into more stuff: Okay, I put that in a box but where did I put the box?

And that’s really hard to reconcile. Because you think, if only I could clean up my act, I might be able to not accidentally miss my appointments and/or lose everything in my purse. Or, there’s so much out there that could help me get organized. I just need to find a place for everything and then I could always find it!

I know I’ve been having a lot of trouble with this lately. I’m not, by nature, the most conducive to being organized. And when I get too much on my mind, things start to slip away like fallen leaves down a waterfall. (The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?)

But I’m learning that if you buy 10 different highlighters, all you have is 10 different highlighters. I’m learning that if you buy shelving units for your room, nothing in the world is going to move you to fill them. You have to have your own system, no matter how messy it may be.

Which sort of brings me back to the beginning. You may have a method to your madness. And maybe that’s the only thing that you need. No amount of flair pens is going to change that.

So, get organized. But do it your own way. It’ll stick, like a Post-It, if it’s yours (and getting it into your head will be a lot easier).



I don’t have to tell you that everything in your life requires balance.

Your gym instructor could tell you that. Your waistline could tell you that. Your boss could tell you that. Your doctor could tell you that. Your sorority sisters/fraternity brothers? Well, not so much. (They’d rather party…all the time.) But for the most part, a lot of people are going to tell you “everything in moderation.” That seems to be the best piece of advice anyone can give.

But what does that mean? When you say balance, all I see in my head is a pair of scales. And I picture myself putting a salad in one and an ice cream sandwich in the other, and the whole thing tipping onto its side with the weight of the frozen treat.

I mean, really what does balance look like? And when do you know you’ve achieved it?

Well, I came up with a better metaphor than a pair of rusty scales. Think about balance like daylight and nighttime. For example, if you want to keep your work and social life balanced, focus on your work during the day time. When the sun is shining, that’s when you know that you have to be working. And then when night rolls around, you can play.

Now, remember that this is a metaphor. Just because you’re working at night doesn’t mean you should skip work the next day to even it all out. The point is that you are dedicating a specific amount of time to something with a set stopping point (the sun goes down, it comes back up).

The point is to not get eclipsed by something. That is, you shouldn’t allow the day time to be blocked out by the moving moon. Or, in other words, don’t get carried away by one thing in your life.

And really, that’s easier said than done. Because some things just call for our attention. Some things completely take over. Some things block us entirely from seeing what we need to see.

But if you at least attempt to separate your time equally enough, you may not be waiting to do the things you really want to do once every blue moon.



I know what women want.

And you know what?

I know what men want too.

In fact, I know what all humans want. They want attention. And now that I’ve got yours, let’s continue…

Now, I know that attention gets a bad rap. Mostly, because everyone thinks that attention is bad (duh). Because how often have you heard: oh, he/she is just doing that for attention. And when you read that in your head, it came out negatively, right?

But it isn’t wrong to want attention. In fact, everyone needs some degree of it. It’s what makes us feel heard and feel like we matter.

I mean, why else is everyone’s dream to be famous? It’s not because movie stars make a lot of money, live a lavish lifestyle, or contribute something great to an art form. It’s because celebrities demand society’s attention. Whether we want to give it to them or not. (Kardashian sisters, your table is ready).

So, okay. You’re thinking, attention may need some…attention. And maybe I need some too. But why does that matter?

Because what is the one thing that we are totally short on these days (thanks to stupid smart phones and abundant advertising)? Yup, you guessed it. Attention.

And what happens when humans thrive on attention but aren’t able to deal it out or get it from anyone? We become unhappy. We have so much stuff vying for our attention that we have nothing left over. Which just continues to frustrate and anger the people around us. Really, the world’s ill isn’t that there’s too much to do; it’s that we aren’t allowed to focus on any one thing for very long.

So, what we all need to do is take some attention off of everything else and put it on ourselves. On our friends and family in front of us instead of the virtual ones on our phone. Maybe then our attention span will stop shrinking to the dimensions of a couple of bored high school students waiting for the final bell. And in the end, maybe we’ll get the attention we all deserve in return. The attention we paid, in full.


Electric Shock Therapy

Everybody knows this scenario: a mouse is inserted into a maze. He/she has two choices–go and get the cheese, unharmed. Or go down another path and get shocked. We also all know how this ends: for some reason, the mouse continually gets shocked until he/she is tired of seeing blue and tries another way. It’s a pervasive example in our society for attempting to unlearn instinctual behaviors.

And in a really sadistic way, it’s sort of funny. We all say, What, is that mouse stupid? Definitely doesn’t have a head for business like his cousin, Mickey. 

Yet, if we imply that the mouse is stupid, then we have to admit that we are too, now don’t we?

What do I mean? Well, have you ever had a craving? For food? For an experience? That’s fine. You scratch that itch in one way or another. But what if what you’re craving is inherently bad for you? Craving for a cigarette? Craving to see someone who you have a toxic relationship with? What then?

I suppose you may think that you just need more will power. Or maybe you just need negative reinforcement. (Hey, Oprah, have you thought about giving someone an electric shock every time he/she opens the refrigerator after midnight on Weight Watchers?)

But I bet you’ve tried that, too, haven’t you? (Not the electric shock thing.) You’ve given yourself the equivalent of electric shock therapy. Mentally beaten yourself up. Gone completely cold turkey. Let it go little by little. But you still do that thing.

Take me, for example. I have a food allergy. What happens to me when I eat the foods that affect me is simple and straightforward: it makes me horribly sick. Do I continually eat foods that make me horribly sick, through the idiot property? I not only do, I binge eat these foods.

So, what happens when you’re the mouse? What happens when you keep electrocuting yourself in the hopes for a different result? Does that mean you are stupid?

No. I think we need to start looking at habits not as a lack of knowledge but as a lack of wanting to change. You may know what will help you to lead a better life (so you’re not stupid), but you don’t really want to acknowledge it just yet. You don’t know how to get there.

And shocking yourself really won’t help. But being kind to yourself and trying to find out what you really need will. In the end, you should kick a habit. Not yourself.


I Sat at the Back of the Train

I’m back! I think I’ve done all the brain charging I needed to do, and I’m ready to start writing again. (And really, when I don’t write, I do a lot of thinking, which is totally problematic for everyone, but especially for me.)

Do you know where else I do a lot of thinking? On my commute. I ride a train to and from work, and while it is great to not be stuck in traffic, like I said, it leaves a lot time for me to contemplate the meaning of life.

Well, sometimes.

Because usually I’m reading, or listening to music, or otherwise occupying my attention on my train ride. Completely tuned out. Just like every other passenger on the train in the 21st century. If it weren’t for the overhead announcement that barked out the station every time we stopped, I’d probably still be on that train, never looking up, never noticing where I was, just riding forever.

Until today.

I got on the last car. This is a little trick of daily commuters: everyone comes down onto the platform and stops about in the middle of where the train will be. This makes that car pretty crowded. But if you walk down a little further on either side, you’re more likely to get a seat. (Who says blogging isn’t informative?)

Anyway, I grabbed a seat, facing backward. This is usually a problem for my sensitive stomach that is soy and dairy (and maybe even gluten) intolerant. The rolling of the wheels translates to my stomach roiling and me feeling very sick. But, not today. And so I went about my daily routine, feeling every bump and turn, letting the landscape slip past, reading my book without the conspicuous presence of nausea.

And in between turning the pages, I looked up.

I saw the tracks flowing away, and the burnt sky of a rising sun through a perfectly framed back window. It was breathtakingly beautiful, seeing the horizon and watching everything just pass me by. The sun came up over the Earth, and I was traveling across it in this strange, wonderful parallelism.

And I thought to myself, in that poignant way that we do when we see something unique and want to give it meaning, that it’s okay to look back sometimes. It’s okay to think about what has been. Because the past can be really beautiful. To see where you’ve come from and to understand that it’s made you who you are is truly a great lesson in life. But that doesn’t mean it will always be pretty to look at. The past can be painful or ugly, too. I simply happened to look out at the right moment and impressed upon it my own experience at that moment.

So, in essence, you shouldn’t spend too much time waiting for the next station or watching the tracks slip away, although it can sustain you for awhile. You should be reading a book or listening to music, living your life, just being in the present. And maybe, looking up every once in awhile.