What is time? Who ever has enough of it?
Some of you are aware that I’m a survivor. I was treated for breast cancer two years ago, and now there’s no evidence of disease. But… did you know that the year before the big C, I ran out of time? My time was up. One minute I was sitting in a meeting, raising my hand to address an issue, and the next minute I was gone. My heart stopped. Sudden cardiac arrest, due to a congenital heart defect. I was out of time. James 4:14b: What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Thanks to the presence of caring colleagues trained in CPR and the availability of an AED, they brought me back before the ambulance arrived. One pacemaker / defibrillator combo later and I’m back in business. So you see, the Lord determined that my time really was not up. Ecclesiastes 3:2a refers to a time to be born and a time to die. It was not my time to die.
Lately, I’ve been very aware of time… or the lack of it. I’ve found myself mentally snowed under with my DCFS work since October. My normal division of hours between “work-work” (DCFS) and innkeeping (fun) has gone by the wayside. I normally spend a number of January hours firming up my B&B marketing plan for the year, and this year I’ve felt the heaviness of not accomplishing all that I desire. Add that to some chemo after effects impairing my mobility, and it’s been a struggle. Due to physical limitations, I was actually wondering how I was going to be able to continue with the Bed & Breakfast.
Things have started coming together and I’ve been doing better managing my time. However, this past week I felt like people were stealing my time, forcing me to spend time after hours addressing issues I didn’t want to have to spend my time on. I’m thankful for friends that are taking the lead so that I stay up to speed on what is happening without being buried in the depths of the drama. I’m thankful for a great pal who made a 5-hour midday getaway feel like a two-week vacation. I’m thankful for a friend to lunch with, to share our burdens. I’m thankful for my B&B assistant who can manage her work time and still have time to spend a few minutes allowing me to unwind each day as we talk through B&B operations and our daily lives.
As an innkeeper, spending time with others is “part of the job.” It’s a part I typically love, but we all know that sometimes it’s hard to put things down to give of our time. So far, the Lord has given me the strength to take those opportunities as they arise, without resentment, and He’s given me many special blessings along the way. We had a multi-day guest from Portage, Wisconsin who came to Jacksonville just to stay in our Bed & Breakfast. And to play daily concerts for me on our baby grand piano. Do I really believe that? Yes. I firmly believe that the Lord led her to drive five hours each way, to stay here for five nights, in part, to minister to me. Another special blessing occurred last week when a friend / professional colleague / past guest stopped in for about an hour to just visit. I knew she was coming and scheduled time. Time to spend with my friend. Time to talk… and to listen. Time to laugh… and time to cry. (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
Scripture says to Christians, Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. (Collossians 4:5) In other words, don’t fritter away your time. That sounds like it would be a good goal for my life as an innkeeper. Of course, I should always be wise in the way I act toward my family and friends, too, but I pray that I’ll always make the most of every opportunity I have with “outsiders.”
This weekend, my time management goal has been to knock down the 835 B&B Emails I came into the weekend with. (I’ll work on the 179 DCFS Emails on Monday.) How is it even possible to be that far behind? I typically catch and reply to the personal emails and delete spam, but I get around 50 B&B Emails a day. I receive newsletters from professional associations, training materials, ads for marketing opportunities, follow up on marketing I’m already doing, blog posts, recipes, and the list goes on, and I just allowed them to stack up. And up. Are they important? Many of them are very important as I work to build my business and improve it over time. However, I was so far behind, the temptation was to hit “delete” and just start all over again. Instead, I’m spending a few hours at a time, taking my time to knock them off. As I went through Emails, I discovered the entry form for an annual B&B recipe contest I wanted to enter, and also an updated cancellation policy from one of the listing services. Both needed attention right away. As for the marketing and training material, I’m saving it in an organized way to revisit… guess when? When I have more time.
For now, the weekend has just about come to a close. Just for the record, the current number is… 252. I’m making progress!
About Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast
Experience a stay in our award-winning Bed & Breakfast located in a magnificently restored 130-year-old mansion in the heart of the historic district. Pampered luxury is our goal, to delight both business and leisure travelers. We offer two upscale guest suites, each with private sitting rooms and private baths. We provide multi-course gourmet breakfasts, 24/7 family-friendly hot and cold beverages and snacks, and cookies and milk at bedtime. Wi-Fi is available throughout our home and each suite has a digital satellite TV and all-season fireplace. We are located just steps away from Illinois College, the Governor Duncan Mansion and Illinois School for the Deaf and our neighborhood is highlighted on one of Jacksonville’s historic walking tours. Escape the standard hotel room and enjoy your own private suite in the finest Jacksonville area lodging.