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From "Go To" to "Gone"

Dahls ClosingOur Dahl's grocery store has shuttered its doors for the last time. We are pretty fortunate, since we live within a two-mile radius of about four grocery stores. While we were fairly stable Hy-Vee shoppers, Dahl's was always our "go to" store, since it was the closest. I felt the pain for the first time yesterday when I was tasked with fixing supper for the family. I needed a few last second ingredients. Usually, when the terms "need" and "last second" enter a sentence, the grocery flowchart arrows point to Dahl's; however, due to Dahl's bankruptcy, I ended up going to Hy-Vee.

I'm a little nostalgic about it... after all, we've shopped there for 19 years. I remember scurrying there when we first moved into the neighborhood to pick up a few things just so we could have breakfast the next morning in our new house. We've learned about the cashiers and their lives. We have memories there. But, as I already mentioned, we also have other stores.

The Dahl's closure made me think about the "go to" PEOPLE in our lives. Who are the ones who seem to have all the answers, all the resources, all the contacts? Are you treating them with the appropriate level of respect and appreciation, or are you just using them like we used the Dahl's grocery stores: they're around when I need them, but I have others with whom I'd rather spend my time?

As I mature in my career, I've learned how valuable those "go to" people really are in the day-to-day battles to seize the accomplishment. Invest in them and their goals, demonstrate your appreciation, and foster the relationship to something beyond "as needed" - these will go a long way to ensure your "go to" person doesn't go away from lack of use.

My grocery shopping habits will adjust over time. Maybe the grocery gods will smile, and our former Dahl's store will become a Trader Joe's (fingers crossed). Most likely, it will become some kind of ubiquitous strip mall, purporting Pilates, checking cashing, and tattoos. Sigh.

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