Puttering

Monday night I arrived home from Nashville.  Everystockphoto-155951-m

Tuesday morning I awoke with a to-do list a mile long.  Lots of it consisted of emails (sometimes I think my entire work life besides writing consists of emails) because honestly, one day away from the computer to fly home and the emails multiply like rabbits.  But there were other things to do, also, like read a manuscript for a client, make a couple phone calls, etc., etc.

And so what did I find myself doing yesterday morning?

Puttering.

I emptied the dishwasher and cleaned the kitty litter.  Decided that right that very moment was the time I absolutely positively had to plant all the spider plant starts that sat in glass jars on my kitchen window.  So I potted them, along with a stray aloe I carted home last time I was in LA, which created quite the mess, which meant I had to scrub the kitchen sink.

Meanwhile, my to-do list went undone.

But here's the deal.  When you fly from one area of the country to another, parts of you get left behind.  I felt like part of me was still in Nashville, and part of me was still in the air between there and here, maybe hovering over Denver, where I changed planes.

And puttering helped me to gather all those parts of me and get them back together. 

After I puttered for awhile I walked upstairs to my office and got to work.  I set the intention that time would flow smoothly and easily and I'd get everything done.  And you know what?  I did.

So sometimes the most important thing to do is putter. 

How do you putter?  Have you ever had a similar experience? 

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5 Comments on "Puttering"

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Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point
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H Charlotte, I’m a fellow putterer and happy to say mostly guilt-free about it because I find it energizing. I recently left a comment on a blog that I’m working on waking up at 5 am again when I do my best puttering.

Angela Artemis
Guest
04/22/2010 04:56
Hi Charlotte, You put a different spin on puttering that I can really appreciate. I’m always scolding myself for using puttering as a way to procrastinate, but now I’ll look at differently. While I don’t travel for work like you do, I find it hard to switch gears from writing & ruminating to dressing for success and racing around for my sales job. When I get home I’m out of sync – I’m not in the same frame of mind I was in the morning when I meditate and write. I’m now all revved up and focused on “getting the… Read more »
Derek
Guest
Derek
04/22/2010 06:41
Hi Charlotte, I know exactly what you mean. Being away and finding myself doing the “simple” things in life like chatting and taking walks and attending seminars seems to take the responsibility right away from me. Coming back home then and being “in charge” of my day is something a part of my mind doesn’t seem to want at all. So I tend to putter about – or is it just me reconnecting with my home after being away? The mind doesn’t reveal its secret that easily! Nothing is important really, so maybe it’s a message from my higher self… Read more »
Charlotte Dixon
Guest
04/22/2010 11:12

Belinda, I’m glad that you are a guilt-free putterer, that is great!

Angela, I’m the same way–I need transition time between things. And I’m so glad that I gave you permission to putter!

Derek, That’s a really good way to look at it. When we are out and about in the world our time is not so much our own. And when we get home and are in charge of our worlds again, puttering helps us claim that.

Susan, I’m going to try your solution for jet lag next time, that is a wonderful idea!

Susan Abraham.
Guest
Susan Abraham.
04/22/2010 11:01

Yes, Charlotte. The battle for readjustment with me happens a lot when I travel too. A part of me is still with friends or with a different activity elsewhere. I like the surreal idea of time zones.
But I normally resettle slowly by just dropping everything,going into a bookshop or cafe and reading. That’s my ‘puttering about’. :-))

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