The Meaning of Maintenance

August 15, 2010

Oiling the Pendant Drill (Photo by Kiff Backhouse)

The tools in my jewellery workshop have been designed to last for years. However, to ensure their optimum performance requires some regular maintenance.

In the same way, good health means looking after both the mind and body. I know this. It’s obvious and makes perfect sense. However, I do often find myself tending to the needs of my workshop more than my own. I don’t think I’m alone in being this way … am I?

My weeks and weekends are not so separate as they used to be, the distinction between work and play is blurry. That’s a good thing, right? I enjoy being in my workshop, creating. Each of my creations is unique so, far from being boring and repetitive, my work is absorbing. Seems a bit weird even calling it work.

However, what I do notice is that when I change my environment, even for a short break, then my mind is much more receptive to new ideas. The ideas about what I can create next and how I can overcome some fabrication challenge the seem to flow towards me. Yes, but what about not thinking about the workshop?

OK, so I’m not good at the sitting very still and doing nothing approach to relaxation. I prefer go out on my bike for a long ride, take in the scenery, enjoy the wind in my hair and and get a view of villages that you miss if you’re in a car. Heading to the beach on a sunny but blustery day and walking for miles along the water’s edge is also entirely wonderful. To me, this is an excellent bit of personal maintenance. Returning from one of these journeys leaves me feeling revitalised.

What’s your favourite way to take care of yourself?


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  1. Jim Connolly

    Very interesting post Gee!

    I like to walk. The area where I live is perfect for long country walks, though I walked just as much when I lived in London.

    I tend to get many of my best ideas when I’m out walking; so my mind and body get some gentle exercise.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Gee Backhouse

      Thanks for your reply, James.

      Great to hear how walking works for you. Some of the simplest things are often the best and, looking at the vast array of brilliant posts you’ve published, it’s perfect for you.

      Keep on walking, please!