The lovely art of puttering


Someone asked me yesterday what I was doing with myself since I retired from the work-a-day world.  Hmmm.  Caused me pause.  I tried to think of my favorite hobby – I don’t make pottery, or paint (other than flower pots and the garden furniture), and I don’t knit or play golf.

What do I do with myself all day?  I putter.

Yes, puttering is the only art I have perfected after years of practice. I have reserved Fridays for just that activity and it’s so refreshing.  I try not to schedule any meetings or activities which would cut into my creative puttering day.

Puttering for me is like meditation.  I move the love seat this way and that, then move it clear across the room.  Rearranging furniture is the epitome of puttering and it has a hidden reward – it makes you clean house.

When I moved the sofa I discovered a huge fur ball of dog hair from my Golden Retriever, Cajun, who died three years ago.  I smiled when I remembered her sleeping peacefully beside the sofa where I also slept peacefully at nap time.

dresserSometimes I rearrange my Welch dresser in the dining room.  One day I load it up with books, then I tire of that and load it up with objects d’art “stolen” from other rooms in the house.

Two hours later, I might do it all over again.

I like to putter to music.  Some days it’s a Gregorian chant, some days it’s Keb Mo singing the blues.


And puttering in the garden is pure joy. Deadheading, pulling a weed or two, tossing on a handful of Osmocote, whatever the spirit moves me to do.

No deadlines, no pressure.

The key is, of course, the intransitive nature of puttering. There is very real work going on, but it seems like there is no specific direct purpose in your action.

Which is why it is so much fun, and it keeps me out of trouble – the perfect hobby, don’t you think?

6 thoughts on “The lovely art of puttering

  1. Multi puttering is also very rewarding. Some days you don’t complete any one task but you have your hands in several and make a little headway everywhere, or at least thats what I tell myself.

  2. I, too, am perfecting the art of puttering….however, I call it “piddling”….a term that Mother and Daddy used. We will have to compare notes on our artistic endeavors in puttering and piddling!

  3. I have friends who “putttzey” around.Whatever you call it, I enjoy it.

  4. I can do all of the above very well. I like Puttering as the best word for
    it. Piddling is what our departed dog, Belle, did. Anyway I can do the one
    from the other project never completing one the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *