For most people, a trip up into the dark recesses of their attic is something they do on just two occasions a year.
To get the Christmas decorations down. Before putting them back up there again a couple of weeks later. Whilst, at all times, trying to ignore all the other stuff that is taking up space in amongst the cobwebs and rafters.
My attic was, I’ll be honest with you, something of a disgrace. It’s absolutely rammed with stuff, much of it, as I discovered last week, being all the football related memorabilia that I’ve accumulated over the years.
Shirts and other bits and pieces that, clearly were so valuable and precious to me, that I put them all in a bin bag and left them to fester up there for the best part of a decade and more.
It’s time, I decided, to have a bit of a clear out. To declutter. Getting rid of all the old to make way for the new.
I mentioned what I was doing on social media and remarked, in doing so, that I’d probably just take them to a charity shop or similar.
So I ended up being quite surprised at the response that I got with lots of people asking me if they could have one of my shirts; either for themselves or as something they could auction off for charity.
I’m only too happy to help with such requests and will let you know how I propose to deal with them at the end of this blog.
But I couldn’t help thinking, as all the pleas and requests for a bit of my footballing history came in over the last few days why I, indeed, why so many of us hold onto items from our past and value them so dearly.
Is it because we find ‘letting go’ of certain things difficult, even if the items in question no longer fit the journey we’re going on?
Possibly. Take all of my football shirts for example. I’m never going to wear any of them again. And I’m certainly not going to start getting them framed so they can go on my wall.
Besides, as I said earlier, surely the fact that they’ve been untouched and, until now, forgotten, in my attic means that deep down they can’t really mean THAT much to me?
So why have I been holding onto things that I’ll never use again and which, at best, have done nothing more than take up space in a room I hardly ever go into?
There’s an argument that we’re creatures of comfort and that letting go of things that remind us of good times is difficult, that we have an emotional connection with the memories that they evoke.
So, whilst I may well have, somewhere, the shirt I was wearing when I scored for Norwich against Manchester United at Old Trafford or the one I wore when I scored in the playoff semi-final against Wolves, it’s unlikely I’ll have kept any from games I played in when we lost or when I maybe didn’t have such a good game. There were plenty at the start of the 2001/02 season when Nigel Worthington took me off during the match.
I bet I don’t have any of those shirts anymore.
Do we, I wonder, prevent ourselves from making space for new people and opportunities in our lives because we’re holding onto so much clutter from the past?
Not so much as comfort eating as comfort keeping!!
I previously wrote in an earlier blog that I now regard myself as a businessman who used to be a professional footballer.
Which means my goals in life are now business related rather than the ones that stand at either end of a football pitch.
I’ve moved on. You can’t live in the past. Apart from anything else, it doesn’t pay the bills.
Which means it’s time to let go of all the shirts and other footballing memorabilia I accumulated during that period in my life.
It’s great to know that there are so many of you out there who’d like to have one of my old shirts to call your own. But look, I’m not going to post them all out to everyone who wants one, it’ll cost me a small fortune!
If you can arrange with me a time and place to meet up so I can pass one onto you, you’re more than welcome to one of them.
I can’t guarantee which game it will be from though!