Despite the fact that everyone is wading through these “new normal” times together, we all probably feel quite a lot of anxiety about what the future looks like. Over the past few weeks we’ve been processing all that’s going on around us in the world. And we’re definitely feeling the 5 to 7 stages of grief in ourselves and everyone around us- shock and denial, sadness, anger, bargaining and depression. Like everyone else, we’re bouncing around between stages and gradually moving towards acceptance as we deal with our guests’ and our own disappointment at having to reschedule their plans for weddings and various vacations and other events in our suites. How long this will go on is anyone’s guess. How do we get through it? How do we make this new state of affairs feel more emotionally acceptable? And even pleasant?
Living in the Moment
We’ve come up with a silly saying around here lately that seems to help a little:
There’s a Jubilee happening every day. You just have to look for it!
We’re still working on improving our landscaping. We’re loving the edible flowers and herbs in our new straw bale garden. The birds and butterflies appear to really love the new sanctuaries we’ve created just for them. We do have a few long term guests. It’s beautiful here in South Alabama with pleasant temperatures and just the right amount of rain. Our nightly sunsets are still one of our favorite things about living here right on Mobile Bay. We all have so many blessings and one of ours is that we’re finding the time to catch our breath, to rest from our labors for the first time in a long time, and to feel gratitude. There’s a few of our Jubilees! What are yours?
Looking for Joy
For us it’s about slowing down and living in the present. Looking for the small joyful bits of life in the moment — not when we look way ahead or way back to compare this time with other days we’ve either lived or planned. This time is unique in most of our lives. And for now, it’s stretching out in front of us with no finish line and with little to nothing we can do about it.
Tonight Jim and I were sitting outside having our own sunset party and discussing this frame of mind. When was the last time you had so much enforced time to yourself? In your own home? So strange there isn’t even a word for it. And perhaps not to be wasted.
Why Not Enjoy It?
Take a deep breath. Then a few more… Relax a little… For a few minutes, walk outside. Absorb the sound of your own life all around you. Listen to the tiny subtle sounds of birds and insects, trees and water. And then start looking for the Jubilee in that moment… Take another breath. Feel.
A friend sent us this poem which perfectly describes how we at Jubilee Suites are imperfectly trying to live right now:
by Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Jim and I are looking for a way to help out the community of Fairhope, which has been so welcoming to us for the past 2 years since we moved here and began Jubilee Suites. Does anyone locally have an idea for a need in the Fairhope community that we, as bed and breakfast innkeepers and friends, can help with? If so, please Message us on our Jubilee Suites Facebook page or email us here. It’s our turn to give back.
Dana and Jim Maloney