What Do You Want to Leave Behind?

Whenever I am getting ready to take a trip, I start “Nesting”. What I mean by nesting is that I start to clean and organize and make sure everything is in order…Just like pregnant women do right before the baby is coming. It is a well known phenomenon, as it is documented and realized by so many women. When that baby comes home from the hospital, everything is just as it should be.

I have always been this way. I like to come home to a clean and organized home. I do not want to come home to a mess and a bunch of work. I like to have all the laundry finished and put away before packing for my trip…then when I come home, I only have the dirty clothes from my vacation to launder and not a huge pile.

I guess all this nesting also helps me to enjoy my trip more. It would be hard for me to relax knowing that I had “unfinished business” to take care of at home. So, before I leave; beds are made, dishes are clean, the whole house is picked up and vacuumed and dusted, bathrooms are cleansed, and my desk is organized and tidy. Yes, as I have written before, I may be a little on the OCD side when it comes to organizing my space.

Each and every time I find myself cleaning and organizing for a trip I think about my Dad. He was the same way, in that he was very clean and organized. He would do the same things I do before leaving on a trip. When I am getting ready to leave town, I think of him because he took his final trip a little over five years ago. A few days before he left us, he was alphabetizing his DVD’s, cleaning and organizing the pantry, and doing his thing.

While I am cleaning and organizing and thinking of my dad…I ponder and wonder if I will be doing this when it is my last few days on this earth. I wonder when it is my time to take that final trip; will I want everything to be in order for those I leave behind? I bet I will. I have a feeling that I will want my home to be “just so” so that my loved ones won’t have to wonder where things are or have to deal with a mess I have left behind.

I know it is a really morbid thought, but I think about it, because it makes me feel really close to my dad when I am heading on a trip…knowing that he was preparing his home for his departure. It makes me wonder what was going through his mind. It makes me wonder in what state I will want to leave my home and belongings. Do you ever think about how it will be for your loved ones if you were to take your final trip?

We were all lucky, in a way, that my dad knew he was leaving us. It gave him time to say goodbye and to tidy up his things. I know some people, unfortunately, leave us without much notice. That’s the hardest of all. Since none of us know when our final trip will be, we need to think about how we want to leave our homes, and belongings, and things.

The most important of our “things” are our relationships. When we leave, do we want our relationships to be in good standing, and organized, and tidy? Or do we want them to be disheveled and messy and in a dither? Luckily, we have today. We have this day to love and forgive, and be the best we can be. We get this day to show people we care, to give our best, and to be an example of love. We get this day to right our wrongs. We get to tell people what they mean to us. We get to be real.

Take Action: This week, begin thinking about your relationships and how you want to leave things. Lets begin to tidy up our living space and our relationships. Lets make an effort to make things right with our friends and family, and to settle any unsettled business. Lets push pride to the side and be real. Lets remember that no relationship is perfect, but learning to accept the imperfections is beautiful!


  1. Thank you for sharing this powerful message, Deanna. I tend to relate in putting things in order & nesting before going on a trip. Better yet is to know my house in order and what I will leave behind when I am called home.

  2. If I was not such a procrastinator… I’d be organized!

  3. Gigi Peterson says:

    Oh D…..just when I thought you were going to give us all a lecture on being neat and tidy, it turned into so much more!! Thank you for this great message and for giving us a little glimpse of who your Dad was and how he helped to shape you in this way. The relationships I can work on to tidy up. My living space…….well let’s just say it’s always a work in progress!!!

  4. Beautifully written- LOVE this one!!! I am very much the same way- my space is always organized, all the way down to my junk drawer! One of the things my hubby and I are finally doing is putting together a Living Will so that the bigger business is organized when that “final departure” takes place. I will say that coming to peace on “broken” relationships has done wonders in my life. Even if these relationships don’t end up being what you had hoped for them to be by your “final departure”.. I couldn’t agree more- you have today to get them where you need them to be to have peace in your heart!

Speak Your Mind