The snow is deep and my snowshoes sink below where I can see them. My dog, Chocolat, holds her stick up bravely, bending her head upward, and still the stick’s end is hitting the side of the snowbank! Mostly she trots behind me letting me break the trail, but when finally she has enough of that, she speeds ahead. I am grateful for her breaking tracks! We have a partnership: each giving and protecting and sharing responsibilities.
I often hold forth about relationships and your profession — Innkeeping — but partnerships are difficult balances to maintain. We all are competent, we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses, and we are loath to have them exposed. In Innkeeping we are like “actors on a stage”: there are the guests, and then there is the staff, and there is little time for evaluating our behavior or letting off steam.
Often, when we come from the corporate world, we were in charge! Notice I stated “we.” As a couple, we love each other, respect each other, and hold dear our commitment. As entrepreneurs and risk-takers, Innkeepers are a breed of their own. We begin at the beginning with the dream of being successful, and then we progress to the routine of our everyday activities: details, details, and all of the mundane that provides your guests with a unique experience and exceptional service.
So, who is in charge? You both are! As you develop your Innkeepers’ perspective, you will define and redefine “your” best contributions and his/her best attributes. You must negotiate with deep respect for what you are best qualified. But it takes guts to assert and honor what you know are your skills and abilities. And no, you do not need to be the one to rescue when tasks fall behind; there’s no need to build up resentments. But instead, take the time and look honestly at what lies deeply embedded in your anger or resentment.
Talk to each other—get outside help if that is needed—to clarify issues that you can’t resolve alone with each other.
As we age, there will be issues; the progression to alcoholism is never pretty, nor wanted by either of you. Other health issues are all part of our progression in aging. Talk to each other, embrace what is, that you can’t change, and most of all remember: for Better or Worse, let Innkeeping make your life full of new adventures and give you gratefulness for your abilities and your success. All my best to all of you for the year