Sometimes I putter. From the outside, it might look like I’m poking around at random tasks whose end results may not be all that important. My puttering can seem like a waste of time or an avoidance of responsibility.
There’s more to puttering than meets the eye, though. Because I think of myself as a steward, I want to maintain and use the assets God has given me. Completing even the smallest tasks brings order, beauty and functionality to my setting or situation.
Puttering begins when I survey my context appreciatively, and then meander among those small opportunities. Because puttering is about a process more than outcomes, I can find satisfaction in choosing among those projects, and working at them. Puttering gives me the chance to counterbalance life’s large-scale urgencies with success in small things.
Puttering offers a manageable and sustainable approach to parts of daily living. Calm, solitary and quiet by its nature, puttering allows me to contemplate or find awe in what’s ordinary—essential elements for my well-being. The completion of each small job brings pleasure and reduces stress. When I putter, my mind can relax from the guilt that might occur when I fall short of other, highly purposed expectations.
I don’t want to spend every day only puttering. Even if I have the luxury of a leisurely daily routine, I also want to be responsible for more than just what fancies my attention. So I devote other open-calendar times to volunteering, home maintenance, personal relationships and exercise.
Puttering adds up: A clean yard or home, well-rounded knowledge of current events, vibrant relationships or the feeling that I accomplished something today. As I continue to live through these quieter years of retirement, puttering can be a praiseworthy element of each day, offering me joy and contentment.
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