When my husband retired and we moved to Georgia – after 40 years in the Chicago area and 18 years in Minnesota, with a few other locations in between – we often said that we’d go back to visit family and friends up north, but never in the winter. That was before our son and daughter-in-law had a baby – our first grandchild – in the middle of January, in Minnesota. We were only joking, of course – well, half-joking – when we talked about never going back during the cold weather, but we have to laugh now when we think of how quickly and easily we changed our minds.

That’s often the case, isn’t it? We may have something that we want or that we believe in very strongly, but a new situation or new information comes in, and it changes everything.

I can remember putting our “Wish List” together when my husband and I were getting ready to buy our first house many years ago. Making a list of things we wanted, things we needed, things that would be really nice to have, and things we couldn’t live without, was a useful and enjoyable exercise, but it flew right out the window once we started actually looking at houses, and saw what different features were available, not to mention what they cost. And we found we were able to survive quite nicely without things that we had originally thought were absolutely essential.

Often, our values and priorities change when we – or one of our loved ones – go through a crisis of some sort, whether it is medical, marital, or professional. In the twinkling of an eye, things that once seemed vitally important cease to matter. And things we never gave much thought to suddenly become the focus of all our attention.

The lesson in all of this is the importance of being flexible. Being willing to change our minds, or our plans, when necessary. Or simply when there’s a good reason to do so.

And our granddaughter is certainly a good reason to change our minds about visiting Minnesota in the winter – even one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record. So we’re dragging our winter clothes and coats out of storage, bundling up, and heading to the frozen tundra that we used to call home. We’re not looking forward to the cold, the snow, or the ice, but none of that matters to us anymore. Once we see our granddaughter, I know our hearts will melt.

February 22, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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