By: Joe Pellegrino– For a few years my wife had been on me to clean up the attic. Now I’m a very organized guy but I view the attic as a place where old memories retire. Disturbing that hallowed place did not seem to be something that I wanted to do, much less a priority. Bottom line…I wanted my past to continue to be a part of my life. However, one day, in a moment of obvious weakness, my wife asked me once more to clean the attic and I finally agreed.
As I began to wade through the splintery floor and the cobwebs I saw all the “stuff” that she wanted me to get rid of. Now much of the stuff had resided there for the 20 years that we lived in the house. I decided the best way to do the job was to take EVERYTHING down and spread it out over the driveway. It took me a few hours to get it all down but once I did I had the joy of going through all that I had saved and was important to me at one time. This included college textbooks, not sure why I kept them, after all I didn’t read them when I was in college! There was also tons of sports magazines, old pictures and sports memorabilia.
It was then I made a bold decision to cut ties with the majority of the stuff that had been gathering dust over the years. But in order to do that I needed to go through every single piece to ensure I wasn’t throwing anything important out. You know, at first, it was kinda fun looking through my old stuff, like seeing some of the things I had written when I was 10! But it was not to long until the joy turned to anger. Why? Because buried in all my sports magazines I found “the past”. You know what I mean by the past right? Things that you would not want ANYBODY else to see!
All I could think about was what would have happened if I died and when my family was going through all my stuff they found my “past”. It really angered me because I’m not that man anymore, yet why was I holding on to some of these things that have no part of who I am today?
Now the truth is no one was more surprised to find those things more than me. I thought I got rid of all that stuff long ago.
Needless to say, I loaded up my car and went to the dump and got rid of almost everything. Now I am happy to report to you (and my wife) that the attic is clean, in more ways than one!
You know the reality is that what was in my attic was actually a part of my legacy. My question to you is what is in your attic or closet or desk or computer? The good news is as long as you have breath in your lungs you can work on your “legacy attic”. But in order to clean that attic you need to start at the foundation. What needs to change in your life to ensure your true legacy is one that brings a smile to the face of those whose lives you touched? So again I ask you; what’s the Legacy in your attic?
Joe Pellegrino is a men’s pastor, author, speaker, certified professional life coach, consultant and entrepreneur. He is the President and founder of Legacy Minded Men, whose mission is to “Transform lives by engaging, encouraging and equipping men to build a Christ centered legacy”.