Maintenance vs. progress

Ahhhh…what a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend!  Rested, ate, played…and made some progress.  Not just maintained the status quo or existing systems, but you made progress.  Yes, it’s important to maintain your systems: food is prepared, the house is cleaned, dishes are washed, bills are paid, etc.  But nothing is gained with those activities; there is no forward momentum.  Those things are done simply to keep you from sliding backward.  You got out all the nice china for Thanksgiving dinner.  You washed it.  You ate on it.  You washed it.  You put it away.  Back to the same place you were before.  Yes, of course you have wonderful memories with your family and relaxed a bit.  But your situation is the same.  Tidying up the living room is maintenance.  Cleaning and conditioning the leather furniture is progress.  So, did you make any progress?  Did you take the time to organize an area that was a mess before?  Decide to get a family photo taken?  Go through your kids’ playroom and give away a bunch of stuff they never play with?  Map out the organization project in your garage?  NOW your condition is improved, and your situation is different.  You have made progress.  When our guests had left and everything was back in order (maintained), we were back to "normal," which is square one.  Then we got our holiday shopping done.  Then we wrapped the gifts.  Then we rearranged some work-out equipment in the basement to make room for some new storage shelving.  Some people skip the maintenance and go directly to progress tasks, which can be okay too, unless you’re like me and feel a bit unsettled when surrounded by clutter or incompletions.  So get everything back in order as quickly as possible, so you have time for new projects.  To experience forward momentum, don’t think "done"…think "get back to normal" and then "NEXT." 

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