Don’t Leave a Mess!

I was purging files in my office the other day and I kept thinking how much more there was to do. But, I did say to myself “don’t leave a mess!” I made sure that I had enough energy to leave it better than it had been. 

Have you ever said that to anyone? “Don’t Leave a Mess!” I suppose that nearly every parent has said it or something like it. And even if you are not a parent, you may have said it to a sibling, roommate, or  co-worker (even if only in your head).

We say it about the physical messes that we see. A kid leaving the room where toys are strewn across the floor. Or, walking away from the table after a snack, without putting the milk and cookies back. Or, we say it to someone who is about to do something that might be messy – painting, baking, etc., “you can do that, but don’t leave a mess.”

What about the messes that aren’t physical, or aren’t something we can see. Or, that we don’t know have the  potential to be messy? Those are harder. And, we tend to think, “well, others might make a mess of things, but not me or my family.”

Many people don’t realize the mess they might be leaving behind when they die or are not able to make their own decisions. In part, people don’t want to think of death, so they avoid the topic altogether.

Another part is the gap between what people think they know about what will happen and what will really happen. I will address two of those sorts of misconceptions about life insurance and a simple will in my next post.

But when people do leave a mess, what do you think about their actions? Do any of these words come to mind: immature, irresponsible, disrespectful, uncaring, too busy, distracted? Is that how you want to be remembered? And, even if you don’t care what people think of you when you are gone, the effect this has on the people left behind can be profound. 

So, don’t leave a mess. Have the maturity to be responsible and respectful. Show those you leave behind that you cared about them by creating a plan and make things easy for them. 

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