I’m sitting in a waiting room while my car gets its brakes replaced.
I knew this moment was coming. I heard the grinding noise emanating from my right rear tire when I depressed the brakes. I brushed the noise over to the I’ll get to it later category.
Well, later became abso-freaking-lutely right now.
My brake replacement came with a free “courtesy check” for various fluids and systems in my automobile. My check sheet read like a traffic light; green was good and yellow meant suggestions to maintenance services. Thankfully I had no red oh shit grades.
As I pondered my options, it occurred to me that this courtesy check was a great metaphor for life. Were my statuses green, yellow… or perhaps pushing red?
When was the last time I had MY oil changed?
When was the last time I had MY alignment checked?
Do I make sure all MY fluids are topped off?
There are two types of maintenance in the world: preventative maintenance and catastrophic maintenance. (Ok, the second doesn’t exactly work for the definition of maintenance but just work with me.)
We want to avoid catastrophe. We don’t want that big kaboom with the black smoke and the hefty price tag. So, how do we keep the catastrophes at bay?
We change our oil so we don’t have an engine blow up on us. We rotate our tires so they wear evenly.
We clean our houses so they don’t turn into toxic hoarder hazards. We pull weeds so our beautiful flower beds don’t get overrun.
You can apply all of the above preventative maintenances on worldly possessions to ways we keep our bodies and minds and spirits centered and out of the danger zone.
How do you change YOUR oil? How do you keep YOUR engine running in tip top shape?
- sit quietly by yourself with a good book?
- pick up a heavy barbell and lose yourself to a workout?
- take a trip to the ocean or the mountains?
- put on your headphones and zone out?
- have a beer or three or maybe some wine?
While the specifics will vary, what’s crucial is that you perform preventative maintenance on yourself.
Don’t keep stress and negativity inside until you have a meltdown.
Don’t continuously eat crap until you have that heart attack.
Don’t rely on dumb luck to make it through without a breakdown.
Go lift. Go hike. Go run. Go drive. Go go.
Go reset that maintenance required light. There’s no need to wait for 3000 more miles.
Hit the brakes.
Your Turn -> When was the last time you did a little maintenance on yourself? What do you do to keep your check sheet in the green?