After 21 years together, my husband and I have finally realized something — we enjoy puttering. I used to think that we were obsessive about cleaning, disorganized or challenged in time-management since we were often late for things. Clearly, I thought, something was wrong with us! Why didn’t we always get to the bigger, more important jobs like cleaning out the garage? Why did it seem everyone else got so much more done than we did? Why were we late for functions when we were all dressed and ready in plenty of time? Lately it has become more clear. We are putterers (is that a word?). That explains everything.
Often our day starts off with a list of things in our minds that we must do and get to. We acknowledge it will be “a busy one” and we start off eating some cereal or toast, make a latte, and before we know it…we’re puttering.
He is off polishing the coffee maker until it shines. I am scrubbing a cabinet free from its sticky fingerprints. He has then moved over to clear some breakfast dishes, and I have found myself piling lemons into a bowl on the counter. He stops to draw a map of the city freeways for our middle daughter to follow as she learns to drive. I am helping my youngest put toys on his shelf as he tells me little known facts about sharks. Then I am back in our room clearing a cobweb from the wall before I must get in the shower, when I notice the top of our armoire is coated in dust. I call out for some assistance. He was polishing our kitchen faucet, but he arrives in a flash with a step stool and a rag. A smile comes over both of our faces. We spent our morning puttering again.
Such is life in our home.
The definition of puttering is apparently to waste time in an aimless or ineffective manner. I used to believe that. While others were whizzing through planned projects at lightening speed, checking off their to do list in triumph, and always arriving places on time, we were finding delight in a polished faucet, piles of lemons, facts about sharks and other fine things.