Many years ago, I had two roommates in a row house in Cambridge, MA. One of them used to joke she needed time during her weekend to “putter.” She used to joke that puttering was a lost art. She lost track of time when she puttered, she uncovered new ways to organize her room, the kitchen or she would stumble upon a new invention in her cooking.
What can we find, discover, learn when we putter and play without a goal?
I recently saw a dance instructor who taught himself to dance. He simply tapped into something that he knew innately and began to move. He seemed to learn from the inside out.
He danced with a partner at the end of his talk and his partner had trained formally for 8 years. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the dance.
Is it possible that the rest of our brain—the 90% we don’t use—is meant for this?
What can we learn and be and discover when we putter and play?
To me, puttering is getting out of linear. Linear is your to-do list, the time, the clock, other people’s agendas.
But when you putter, you tap into timelessness. Stress, worry are in the past and future.
What brings you out of time? Do it. Do some every day.
For me here is a list of activities which take me out of time into timelessness:
- Trees. Sitting in them, walking among them.
- Animals. Playing with my dogs, petting a cat, watching my birds.
- Water. A bath, a jacuzzi, a lake, a pool.
- Sometimes free writing. Just writing without an agenda to see where it leads me.
- Often times I will get this timeless feeling writing poetry
- Playing tennis
- Meting a good friend and spending time with them where it is so enjoyable, time melts and fades away.
- Sleep! Of course, but had to mention it.
- An excellent movie. Hard to find but when it happens, time stops while we are immersed in the story. For some, this works well to read, but not for me. Reading is a little more stressful for me because of my own eyes and eyesight. I am more kinesthetic, aural.
- Puttering. we’ve come full circle. But puttering is really mindfulness at anything you do.
Let me know if and how you putter!