Dr. Marry and Me,  Personal Writing

Gratitude goes a long way

I woke up this morning in a bit of a funk. My Personal Systems Disruption weekend retreat is not selling the way I want it to. Daily Dose of Dr Marry & DD is growing its audience so s-l-o-w-l-y. I needed to put together the Daily Dose weekly email, which also has a baby audience. I’m feeling overwhelmed by not one, but now two additional Facebook pages to manage besides my own personal one. Our Daily Dose swag came in earlier this week, and we must get thank you notes sent to our past Daily Dose guests and others who commented on the 100th episode we filmed last week. It’s a lot to juggle in addition to that full-time job, which has in no way diminished in time commitment or challenges to my creativity, leadership and charge to steer the arts ship in the “right” direction through the intense and seemingly never-ending fog of COVID.

Would now be a good time to insert the world’s tiniest violin playing a slow, pitiful song to commemorate my truly terrible lot in life?

Yes. Yes it would.

This pretty much sums up how I felt.

I’m rereading You Are a Badass for approximately the 300th time, mostly because the library is closed and I haven’t yet figured out how to do curbside order and pickup. Even writing the first paragraph has me in a swirling pool of anxiety because Jen Sincero spends a good 40% of the book saying things like, “Don’t question your dream, doubt it or get down about how slowly things are moving because that will jinx it, and you’ll never, ever succeed!”

She spends another 40% of the book saying things like:

Your job is to do everything you can to manifest [your dream] and have unshakable faith that the Universe is moving it toward you in perfect timing. (222)


When you make a no-nonsense decision, you sign up fully and keep moving toward your goal, regardless of what’s flung in your path. And stuff will most definitely get flung, which is why making the decision is so crucial—this s**t is not for sissies. The moment it gets hard or expensive or puts you at risk of looking like a moron, if you haven’t made the decision, you’ll quit. (192)

The other 20% of the book is filler about how preposterous she was for an embarrassingly long time in her life about money and manifestations of what she truly wanted and alcohol and swear words…blah, blah, blah…

I woke up trapped between wondering why I’m spending such an inordinate amount of time on these “side gigs” that don’t seem to be getting me anywhere and hoping against hope that the Universe is busy paying attention to someone (anyone!) else and doesn’t catch my doubts and despair so that I don’t get smited (smote?) for questioning its pace or interest in my dream. Ugh!

So I wrote the newsletter and sent that out. And then I begrudgingly got out all the materials needed to write the thank you notes: the names and addresses of those who had commented and who have been guests on our show, our wedding thank you notes that we are turning backwards to use (for Heaven’s sakes—they’ve been sitting in a drawer for 12+ years—why not repurpose in this way? Plus, these are thank you notes from the two of us, so using them isn’t completely out of line.), stamps and fun Daily Dose stickers and coasters. And I sat down to write.

Then the strangest thing happened: somewhere relatively early in the 20+ notes, my mood lifted, and I began to feel gratitude for this work—both the handwriting and the larger Daily Dose concept. As I wrote, I was reminded of each of these people, some who have shared incredibly painful and honest stories of how they got sober, some who set their alarms early to hear our conversations every day. Some who write regularly and some who hardly ever comment but who have let me know in other ways that these conversations matter to them. Many who have been incredible supports for Dr Marry and/or me in these nearly 4 years of our sobriety journey. And so interesting, albeit totally unrelated, many (and I mean nearly all) who are also supporters in one way or another of The Arts Partnership.

By the time I brought this pile of notecards down to Dr Marry for him to add notes and sign, I was feeling entirely opposite of the way I woke up. Well, not entirely: I mean, I still want my retreat to sell out and I still want all the versions of Daily Dose to grow audiences, but I finished up those notecards and I felt…full. This morning, I felt empty, and now I feel brimming with possibility, appreciation for all these people and pleasure that Dr Marry continues to play along with me on this journey. I’m proud of the work we are doing. Gosh, I hope the Universe is paying attention right now.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.


  • Laetitia


    I loved everything about this newsletter. Even the little sad violin music was very soothing.
    I listened to it while folding laundry (almost 5 minutes) before continuing with the rest of the content.
    So much about doing too much/ being overwhelemed resonated with me. Kudos for listening to yourself
    and acknowledging it.

    I also loved you sharing what your friends are reading.
    I still hop to catch up in person before the end of the year.

    Lots of love,


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