The past year-and-a-half has been challenging to say the least, but it has also taught us a new way of getting work done. People are questioning how they do business and are searching for new methods to get things accomplished. With technology being what it is, many of us have had to create a space at home to allow us to work from home and that means keeping things organized.
Even though I spend much of my time working from my home office, I still meet people in person, so my desk tends to get cluttered during the week. Every now and again, I go through the great purge, where I must clean or else I feel I will be consumed by the clutter around me. So I meticulously and judiciously throw out unneeded papers, rearrange workload by importance, and file away material that I may need later.
But does anyone else know where the important things are? I have heard many stories about people getting older and getting more cluttered. Many years ago, I decided to write a Letter to My Family after reading an article in the state bar journal about helping your family if you’re incapacitated or pass away. I started by making a list of where important papers were located in the house, what I wanted done with family heirlooms, what to do with my practice, family/friends to ask for help, and trusted advisors to contact.
And then I thought, what if I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my family? So I wrote a few words about my wife and each of my kids and why they are special to me, what they mean in my life. It was the hardest thing I ever did, and I was in tears when I finished — but it was also the best thing I ever did. You see, I never got a chance to say goodbye to my Dad, and I often thought, what if he had written me about his hopes, dreams and fears? What would I have done with that letter?
Periodically I update the letter to keep it current, so it moves with me and life. I shared the letter with my loved ones recently, because I felt they needed know those things while I was still around. That sharing was a special experience, and they know my words will be there to help them find the way through the maze when the time comes. Write a letter to your family and tell them you love them. It may be the greatest gift you can leave them.