Friday, March 14, 2008


Puttering is one of my favorite things
to do. I think of it as housework without
an agenda. No deadline, no specific chores ~ just
doing whatever strikes my fancy.
It usually consists of dusting, putting things
where they belong, and most always ends up
in some sort of rearrangement or mini redecorating
project. It definitely involves freshening up what
is around me and making it more inviting.
I came across this little page written about this
very topic a few months ago. I don't know who
wrote it, but it fits exactly with my thinking ~~
Puttering is a sublimely peaceful activity. Puttering cannot be done on a deadline; puttering cannot be done in haste. When you putter, you are intimately engaged in something you love. When you putter, you drift from one little task to another. You inspect everything with a lover's eye. You do a little of this, and a little of that. You'll likely accomplish nothing that's big by itself, but bit by bit your world is improved. Puttering is usually associated with a place: a garden, a kitchen, a workshop, a garage, or (as in my case) a study. The exact place doesn't matter. The point of all true puttering is that you're doing things that need to be done--and you're not doing them on a schedule or to achieve some larger goal. You're doing them because doing them satisfies your soul, because they are worth doing for their own sake, and mostly because you've been able to let go of the rush to achieve, step back, and contemplate your special place in peace. Puttering is how people got things done before clocks were invented. Children putter naturally; only in their case we call it playing. Over time I've been accumulating a list of touchstones to tell me when my life is getting too stressful and I need to cultivate a little peace. If I'm tempted to eat breakfast in the car on the way to work, then I'm rushing too much. If I get irritated by the traffic on the freeway, I need to relax. If I'm always grumpy, I need to lighten up. And if I've not been puttering, I need to slow down. Life's too short not to putter.


  1. Puttering! Ah... that's me. I love puttering. Sometimes I think that's all I'm doing. Puttering my life away. :-)

    Love and Belonging! Ahuntie Dee

  2. I love puttering! This is a great post.

  3. I never thought of puttering as playing but it is. Pleasantly accomplishing delightful little tasks.

  4. I am so grateful to know that it's okay to putter... What a delight, one of my favorite things to do. Thank you for that sweet little artiicle.

  5. wow, just enjoying your blog and had to tell you I love this pastime. I always called it Piddling and sometimes my husband knows to just leave me alone and let me piddle. It's therapy!


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