Life Maintenance – Taking care of yourself in a busy life
My husband, Bob, is one of the managers running a manufacturing facility and in this role he oversees the company’s maintenance department. He continuously stresses to his maintenance team the importance of preventive maintenance and one of their main goals is to have a continuous system to keep the machinery going.
It is obvious to me that this is also one of the difficult life lessons for many of us. Do you pay enough attention to maintaining yourself?
In a maintenance department, preventive maintenance refers to the tasks needed to keep the equipment running on an ongoing basis – perhaps greasing bearings or replacing gears. On your car, you change the oil and rotate the tires for preventive maintenance.
The purpose of these tasks is to keep the functioning of the system at the same level that it has been. Success requires that some of these tasks be accomplished each day to keep everything in top shape.
Success in manufacturing and in life requires you to build daily upon what you did the day before.
You cannot seek excellence, achieve it and then simply keep that as your new steady state.
There is an ebb and flow involved in life which leads to peak experiences and the inevitable downturns as well.
Maintenance is the tool you have to sustain your accomplishments as best you can.
Let’s be more specific. Personal maintenance activities include:
- eating healthy food that your body can use for fuel,
- movement that keeps you strong and flexible,
- adequate rest and relaxation,
- time off for fun,
- social connections that are rewarding,
- practices for reflection and meaning
- mental challenge.
One of my maintenance activities is running and it is a good example for me about the need for maintenance. If I take a week off and skip running, I lose a little bit of my ability and my next run is tougher.
Such is the way with all maintenance activities – the longer you go without, the more you go backwards and the harder it is to restart.
Neglecting preventive maintenance is one of the causes of those downturns in life. The good news is that it is under your control.
The other importance aspect of maintenance is that it provides your future for you. I run because I want to keep what I have, a healthy well-functioning body, and because I want my possibilities to be even better tomorrow.
Perhaps I will run my fastest time ever next summer or be able to run even further than I have before. My running achievements, no matter how small, always help me feel better about myself in many areas.
Continuing to perform that maintenance activity allows me to multiply my possibilities for the future and to continue to grow. Without the ongoing discipline of preventive maintenance, I am at risk.
I pay attention to maintenance so that I do not lose the me I was yesterday and the me I might become tomorrow. I want the same for you.