Can I Change My Answer?

My daughter jumped in the car at the carpool line after school.

“You know how they tell you to never ever change your answer?” she asked me.

“Yeah….”

“Well, I did on my test today. And I’m glad I did. I changed a wrong answer to the right answer.”

Mmmm. So you CAN change your answer? And maybe SHOULD change it?

Well, that’s excellent news, isn’t it!

We are taught not to change our answers. To make a decision and stick with it. No matter what. No matter the cost. I recently got a moving and precious note from one of you about wanting to change your life. Do you know what I say?

Do it.

If you want to, then do it.

I think we have to allow ourselves the freedom to do that. It is okay. Give yourself the freedom to be wrong, to have been wrong. Change that answer. We can’t be so stuck in the decision we made~so attached to having to be RIGHT~having to MAKE it right~that we don’t see that it was the wrong decision. One of my favorite sayings, and I’m sure I’ve told you before, is: If we don’t change directions, we might wind up exactly where we’re headed.

I know, right! If we don’t change directions, just look at where we are headed.

But wait. There are so many possible issues that arise when we consider changing directions. It is so….uncertain.

Ifs. Ands. Buts. Butts. Right? I know.

If onlys. And onlys. But onlys. Only butts.

That is negative thinking.

And negative thinking stinks. Negative thinking is like having concrete blocks for feet. Keeps you stuck.

I used to have to be around someone who is the most negative person I’ve ever encountered. He/she/it would suck me dry. Every sentence out of the mouth would be if only, what if, oh no, but. Butt.

Don’t allow yourself to think that way. Imagine the possibilities!

There are BIG things you may want to change your answer on. (I wish I may, I wish I might…)

There are SMALL things you may want to change your answer on.

You are allowed to change your answer on ALL things. YOU. ARE.

Be a river…

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A river. Flows. Rolls. Moves. Strong. Powerful. Adaptable. Energetic. Ever changing.

There is no easy way to do it. There is no risk free way to do it. You just have to do it. And hey, you might have to change it again. So what. That’s fine.

So if you ever want to change your answer, to hit the “undo” button. First, make up your mind. Then, follow through.

One way to build the courage to CHANGE is to start with little things. Get used to moving forward even when it scares you. That builds up your confidence, acts as a pep rally for your CAN DO spirit.

So, I’ll start. Here’s mine. My little thing I want to change. Well, first let me explain how I came to it, how I realized it.

This morning I spotted a sole deer tip-toeing among the Christmas trees beside my farmhouse. He or she was small. “Where is your family?” I whispered under my breath. “Find your friends,” I quietly urged.

Blue, my dog, heard me whispering and looked up from his nap on the sofa. He saw me looking out the picture window and came running to see what I saw.

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When he spotted the deer, he began barking loudly. The deer turned around and looked at us. Right at us through the window! So close. It hesitated, paused, tried to decide. Should I flee? And then all of a sudden, it did. Like lightning.

Something about that encounter pulled me outside. I love outside. And it has been a long, cold winter. Today it is cloudy, and sprinkling, but not freezing cold. So I did. I headed out. All alone. Well, with my dog, Blue. But I took no other beings who talk.

Alone. That is when I can think. dream. pray. think some more. listen to my soul. listen to the nature.

Soon I heard a familiar honking sound. I looked up. Geese.

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If you look closely, you’ll see another flock of birds in the lower left corner. They were not geese. Their flock flight pattern was chaotic, unlike the pattern of a flock of geese.

Quite some time after they flew over, I heard another honk. I looked up and there was one.

One lone goose.

Honking, honking, honking.

You are late, My Friend. You missed the party. They have formed a group, established the “V” and left.

Two things about the “V” pattern of flying geese.

One is from my Mom. Why is one line of the V of flying geese longer than the other?

Punchline: Because there are more geese on that side. lol.

The other tidbit is from my Daughter. Why do geese fly in a “V”?

Answer: So that all the birds can see the one leading the flock. In the V formation, they are each able to see the leader.

Those were added for your reading pleasure, no other reason.

So back to this lone lonely goose.

It called and called and no one answered. I watched as it flew in one direction. Its honking faded. Yay, it found its flock.

And here it came back again. Honking and flying, all alone. It had not found its flock; it was still searching.

I felt sorry for that little goose, just like I had for the deer. All alone. In the great big world.

I feel like there is safety in numbers for deer and birds, that it is not natural for them to be alone. But I realize that it IS natural for PEOPLE to spend time alone. Natural and necessary.

When I was a little girl I remember my Mom telling me to learn to spend time alone. I had many playmates within easy reach, just down the street, so I was constantly busy with one or more of them. Always going to their houses, or them to mine. That stuck in my head at the time because I remember thinking–why would I want to be alone when I can go across the street and play with a friend? I didn’t get it.

Now? I get it.

Yes, what I do know NOW is that it is healthy for a person to spend some time alone. And they should never (have to) apologize for it. Alone is okay.

So, yes, HOSPITALITY is definitely my word of 2015, but so is SOLITUDE. I need both of these in my life. That’s my little change. I’m changing my word by adding to it.

They are opposites, I think. There is no hospitality in solitude, being alone. But I believe there is value in solitude. For me and my personality, I think it is necessary. I have a need to get away. To be with my thoughts. To be uninterrupted. To walk in the woods alone.

Oh, and by the way. The goose joined a small flock while I was still walking outside. I took a photo with my phone, not sure you can make it out, but there is a group of about 5 or 6 geese over that barn in the distance. So yay.

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Talk to me.

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl (in the Country), Rebekah

Leave a comment 16 Comments

  1. Cindy says:

    Hi there girly! Always enjoy your blog!spring has sprung on our farm in Boise ,Idaho area! Getting excited! Lots of projects! The barn is getting underway! I have always wanted a red wood barn but today I saw a barn that was metal ! I have never liked the look but this one jumped at me! It was white with a dark green roof and green doors with big white XS! Mmmm, stunning! A great green and white cupola! Sooooo now what ? Our farmhouse is new! It is white with a green roof and green trim with cupolas and green XS on the garage doors! We have a huge amount of white vinyl fencing up and down the country lane and all around the property! Out front sits a 20acre alfalfa farm! The horse paddocks will be green panels and gates that will open to the pasture! Ummm! The white and green barn will definitely fit in perfect but my heart is heavy! I have always melted over a red wood barn! HELP Rebecca! Thanks .Cindy

  2. diana henretty says:

    Oh my, so perfect for my morning! Thank you for sharing what you did, as my mom used to say “it just hit the spot”.
    I have found by taking a jar and every day sticking little notes of what is a blessing for that day, it fills so quickly and at the end of the year, sit down and read them out loud to your family! You can peek thru the year, it will put a spark in your life!
    Hugs from the Ozarks, Diana, Noel, MO

  3. Debbie Anderson says:

    This blog hit home with me. My husband will retire in 2 – 3 years and we want to move back closer to our family. But where? It’s a big question looming in front of us and has been scary. This year though, I have decided to embrace it and think of the move as a new adventure. There probably is no right or wrong answer but we need to go with our gut feelings. So I’m starting a list of “wants” for our new place. And down sizing is at the top of the list.

  4. kim says:

    What a beautiful, awesome post. I’m an introvert, and I need, must have alone time. For years I’ve been hearing how it isn’t normal for a person to be alone so much. So I’m not normal. I’m glad the goose found their flock, we all need a flock – but alone is good too. I too an on a journey to recreate my life and step into scary stuff, sometimes I’m good with it and sometimes I get scared. Thank for the encouragement. Best, Kim

  5. Sherry Holmes says:

    What a beautiful post…I really needed to hear it. And I LOVE that you have added to your word for the year. AND…can I tell you what occurred to me as I read your sentence, “There is no hospitality in solitude, being alone. But I believe there is value in solitude.” I thought….just maybe…There is no hospitality WITHOUT solitude….because there IS value in solitude. I feel that way…I love being around my friends…I love the time I spend with them and all that I pour into them and they into me, but I find if I don’t spend time alone, thinking, praying…resting, renewing…I have nothing to give and I can’t receive either. So, maybe hospitality and solitude are not so much opposites as companions who make each other complete. blessings to you, from NE Kansas, Sherry

  6. Brenda says:

    Oh my, alone time. It is hard for me to find in the last nine months. One of our daughters and four grandsons are living with us until they can go out on their own. I try and get up earlier just to do devotions but there are a couple of talkative early risers that even work against that. So….I am not so patiently waiting for the snow to melt so I can do as we all did with you last spring, walk. Not a one of them will be interested in walking in circles around our 10 acres over and over. I will get back in shape along with some daily solitude. It calls my name. PS we cannot let on we are seeing anything special out our windows or the Bug does the same thing, raises a ruckus and scares them off. Blessings from our home in the woods!

  7. Adrienne says:

    My mentor had several good sayings I can still hear though he has left the earthly domain: if you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always been getting. Look for the opportunity in the risk, not the risk in the opportunity. You can’t live on the fence: eventually, you’ll have to pick a side and get off. A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out.

    As you can see, I have much to keep me motivated and I see you’ve found some daily wisdom in your choices. Congratulations!

  8. Nan Roberts says:

    Thanks Rebecca. It’s a privelege to share in your life. Where did all the snow go? I thought you all were in the depths of winter. It’s been spring here for several weeks. We’re very short on rain, and if it doesn’t start raining soon and for three more months, Oregon is in trouble. It was a warm winter, so we also don’t have snow pack for the summer. A lot like California. I’ll have to ponder water-saving ways to water things from now on. But the sun’s been out most of the time, and that is so wonderful.
    Hogs and quiches to Blue.

  9. Maggie says:

    I am so glad you told us the lonely goose found a flock. I agree, animals should not be alone. I have chickens and my girls for some reason isolated one of the hens. They would not let her eat or get back into the coop. Until this freezing winter. I kept them locked up in the coop for 5 days and voila!! All is well in my Red Roof Chicken Inn. I love your blog, thank you and enjoy spring!

  10. Joan says:

    Another great visit back on the farm!! I don’t live on a farm but in an open enough area that we get wildlife – I know that the darling rabbit that has lived in my backyard all winter will probably do some damage to the Spring growth but — well maybe he will move on and the geese – we have a pond about a block away along with a golf course so yupper we do get to enjoy the geese. The deer and fox haven’t been plentiful this year – sure missed them. Thanks again for the visit. God bless.

  11. Leslie says:

    I so loved this message today! It came to me in a time of change…old GF, greatly missed, who seems to be dropping our group of 8 for 25 yrs for who knows what because she won’t talk to us. Old man friend who I have decided that we don’t meld properly for a together lifetime. My well loved mother who is aging past an area my siblings and I are uncomfortable with. As I am first born, I have decided to be with her as much as I can be because she was there for me and my siblings for that most special time…she is now in good health so praise heaven for this extra time. Changing direction and answers are good things.

  12. Diane Van Horn says:

    Hospitality and Solitude…what a juxtaposition, even a little oxymoron. Sorry, I just like those two words. I think that with the right amount of hospitality and the right amount of solitude all will be balanced. Beautiful post. I am glad that goose found his V.

  13. Victoria says:

    I LOVE solitude and being alone….sometimes I think too much. Most times I have to push myself to be social and felt perhaps there was something wrong with me. But gee…we can’t all be the same. That would be boring. You are so fortunate and blessed to be able to be alone and travel through your own woods. I live in SoCal, in a busy subdivision. Maybe that is why I NEED solitude?

  14. Denise Ross says:

    Loved this post Rebecca. I also have two words, both of which are helping me this year. Open was the first one I found, here actually, a little while back. The other is adventure. My mantra for this year is ” everyday is an adventure”. It’s helping me stay open and even though change and challenge are scary if I think of them in the context of open and adventure it makes it easier to embrace and enjoy the day. I love solitude. I used to escape to the bathroom and lock the door. A four bedroom home with 4 siblings and two parents – I had to carve out the space I needed. I run also and have quiet time with painting and devotional time. I need time alone from everyone. It makes me a better person, better able to give to others. Have a blessed week
    Denise R
    Australia

  15. susana says:

    Geese by in a v shae fir several reasons, one being as you sad, to see where they are going, but there’s only he leader and usually its slightly bigger than the rest. And they honk, all of them, its a natural response , but the v shape is so the ones behind have a better wind air stream do they follow that/air stream. And they dont have to work as hard as the leader bird. And because of this air stream, they can fly together, faster. :-) Just like the jet/stream of an air plane….being light creates more lift for the birds and gives them more speed. Its dues to the air stream made by the leader bird! These geese even know when to return! One good built in innate thermometer….I always know when spring is here, for the birds and other animals know when spring or fall is here!
    Lovely blog! Lovely photos. I look forward to spring! Our best thermometer for spring here, in my area, is the muskrats.,,,when we smell their musk -which is a very husky heavy smell,and we know within 30 to 40 days, spring will be here. The muskrat will only come up to mate, and only if they know it will be warm in 30 days because they won’t allow their young out in the cold! Sensitive to weather makes them a good thermometer. Looking forward yo their smell!

  16. Jennifer says:

    I am changing my answers right now, too. There are so many facets to a person and a girl needs different things at different times.

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