The Fine Art of Puttering
When I say, "putter," what comes to mind?
For me, it's toddling around in the basement, garage, or garden to no immediately productive end. Maybe we're wearing yesterday's clothes, have dirt under our fingernails, a glass of lemonade or soda with the ice long since melted somewhere nearby. Or it's slowly walking the aisles of the library or bookstore, flipping through books with covers that caught our eye.
And what that brings me to is this: puttering is chasing little curiosities.
It's a pastime I'd like to revive. Because our curiosities are easy to dismiss as not important. And when we dismiss them, we don't respect them, don't make time for them.
But I've come to think we do that at our peril. Because our curiosity is a portal into discovering what matters to us.
What is curiosity if not a bundle of energy pulling us towards something that's captured our interest? And the more we know what captures our interest, the more we know what matters to us, is meaningful to us.
It's not an immediate revelation - I'm curious about pigs, that means I was meant to be a farmer! So long, corporate America!
I think it's insight that unfolds over time and many curiosities chased. Gradually, we begin to see we're more interested in building things than running things or we love connecting people or we're most energized when we're working outside with our hands.
When we're staring at our life, knowing we need more meaning, it can feel impossible to try to figure out how to find it. And while there's no one route to the meaningful life, puttering can be a simple, powerful place to begin.