Webster's definition of putter is "to move or act aimlessly or idly, to work at random"...and I guess that has a negative connotation. But to me puttering is not an ugly word. It's finding time in my day to do exactly what I want...often flipping from one thing to another. Puttering is almost an attitude...a way of just being present with whatever I'm doing whether it's a project or a chore...it doesn't even matter if I finish it. I'm doing it because I want to.
To the onlooker my "puttering" may seem random...and my husband would probably agree...but he's used to it by now. To me it's being delightfully distracted by things that bring me joy....collecting photos of brightly colored doors, connecting with someone I met on a walk, or starting to create something new when there are already 10 things in the works. And yes, even cleaning sometimes...especially when I do it with a "puttering attitude."
But I have to be totally honest here. When my niece Clarke helped me start this blog...we tried and tried to find a name that wasn't already taken on blogspot....and it was really hard. I made a list of words that I liked and we just kept trying combinations until we landed on "Joyful Puttering." A little random? Maybe. But I do believe it's a perfect fit.
New York Magazine took on the question of why women love to putter in their article called "To Putter, Divine....Time Wasted Wisely." The author, Lisa Miller, describes puttering as "respite from the relentless obligations of life." She quotes Ellen Galinsky who said "It's the abandonment of our forever to-do list. I'm so happy when I have time to just putter. I might look at the flowers and decide they need watering. I might think about calling my sister. I might think about calling my college roommate. And then I might half-do-something entirely different, before meandering to the next diversion." Click here to read the full article.
So there you have it. I'm a joyful putterer and I'm Ok with that! Thanks Juliana for nudging me to ponder what my title really means.
You can read about a puttering connection here....it runs in the family.