Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The joy of puttering

September 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Be Present, Featured Posts

girl with laptop Last Sunday, I puttered. I had returned late Saturday night from a hectic work-week in St. Lucia, and after a 5 hour flight, was quite exhausted. I wanted a day not just to “do nothing” as frankly, doing nothing is a great challenge to me. But puttering? Now that’s my type of day!

Happy to be home, I drifted from one activity to another, sometimes in the middle of one activity with no thought to completion, nor guilt from not doing so, exactly as I was moved to do at that moment. None of this was planned, yet I “ended up”:

  • Fertilising my tomatoes and sweet peppers
  • Transplanting my lettuces
  • Taking gently used clothes to the Goodwill bin
  • Walking to Canadian Tire
  • Strolling around Canadian Tire with my daughter Victoria
  • Reorganizing our kitchen cabinets with Victoria
  • Not cooking dinner
  • Rolling into bed in a state of bliss

I love that word “putter”. It just rolls around my mouth aimlessly and then falls out…. Sort of like how I go about puttering, which Dictionary.com defines as:

  1. to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner: to putter in the garden.
  2. to move or go in a specified manner with ineffective action or little energy or purpose: to putter about the house on a rainy day.
  3. to move or go slowly or aimlessly; loiter.

In the busyness of our daily lives, when we are exhorted to fill every moment with meaning and purpose, “puttering” is perceived as negative. Note some of the words in the dictionary definition – “ineffective”, “aimlessly”, “loiter”. Yet I get so much joy (and even productivity) from puttering. Why? Because I am in the moment, just going with whatever I am moved to do right then, with no thought of accomplishing anything. Frankly, it’s a mini vacation where I can just be free, laughing and with no cares. Long live puttering!

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