Friday, February 14, 2014
Lots of things in life require maintenance to stay healthy. Cars need their oil changed, house air conditioners need their filters changed, pools need chemicals and cleaning, etc. Sometimes maintenance can be simple, reoccurring fixes. Sometimes maintenance is a little bit bigger and a little more invasive. The point of proper maintenance is to avoid major breakdowns and expensive repairs or replacement.
Humans need maintenance too. In fact, humans need more maintenance than a lot of the other machines I mentioned (cars, houses, etc.). Maintenance activities for humans range from clipping toenails to annual physicals and dentist visits. You could also consider eating healthy food and exercise maintenance because it is purposeful and intended to make the machine work better.
I perform maintenance on myself in my job. I take classes to brush up on certain skills. Every year TAR releases new, updated documents and I spend time learning the differences. These are the processes necessary to maintain the professional level of service I provide my clients.
Sometimes our relationships need maintenance. This area seems to be the most difficult for people to recognize. If you have an argument with your friend and can't seem to work it out on your own, the "machine" that is your relationship will break down. So what do you do? Seek help or do something purposeful to maintain that relationship. Maybe your version of maintenance for that friendship is for the two parties to go to a social event together. Maybe it is to do some physical activity together (hiking, swimming, etc.). Maybe you build something together. I don't know but you have to recognize what makes that relationship special and worthwhile and do that activity.
Marriages are no different, just closer relationships. Its ok to seek help in maintaining your marriage. Sometimes you just can't keep it together without some purposeful, and sometimes assisted, maintenance. Its ok to go to marriage counseling. Its ok to hire a sitter and purposely have a date night. Its ok to set aside time to discuss a long brewing unpleasantness. So many people are reluctant to seek assistance and instead let the marriage breakdown. If it was worth doing to begin with, its worth working to keep it together.