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I am a putterer.  A putterer, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is a person who regularly or occasionally engages in an activity as a pastime rather than as a profession.  I have named myself this because it is impossible to keep my mind from flitting from one subject to the next.  Where some people have the ability to focus on one thing exclusively and become good at it, I on the other hand, flit about, or putter with hundreds of things.  I guess I get bored or maybe I have adult ADHD and this is what it looks like.  Who knows?  All I know is that I cannot stick with any one thing so diligently, that I actually succeed at that one thing in a big way.  I guess I am the epitome of the quote, “Jack of all Trades; master of none”.

Here are some things that I have puttered with…

Singing.  I have always wanted to be a singer.  As a little girl, I stood in the bathroom mirror and sang to Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson songs.  At 17, I joined a band for about six months and lost my voice singing “Highway to Hell” by AC-DC.  I have sung at karaoke night, been in a talent show, and even tried out for “The Voice”.

At one point in my early years, I was not happy with myself; and I hated the way I spoke.  Following this further, I went to the library, picked up some English workbooks, and taught myself proper English.  It was not that hard, I had learned English in school. I just used too much slang when I spoke.  This helped me talk better and made me feel comfortable around others.

When my children were young, my family needed another income, but I did not want to get a job outside the home and leave my kids with strangers.  So I opened up my own daycare. It was a legitimate business with a license and a food program.  I had many clients with many babies who came and went through my home while my kids were growing up.  I even claimed it on my taxes.  Nevertheless, I got bored and it was hard always having your home as a place of business. Consequently, daycare led to going back to school full-time and working part-time to become a teacher.  After all, I still enjoyed kids; I just did not want to have them in my house.  With my own children older and in school all day, I could now focus on getting a BA in Education.

However, that still was not enough for me.  I then began reading about alternative medicine. No, I didn’t become a doctor! However, I did learn some interesting things about supplements, and ailments, and different cures for everyday things.  I also learned how eating affects your health, which lead to cooking!

Trying out different and healthy recipes became a new hobby of mine.  I took old recipes and adjusted them to the new and improved recipes.  I collected recipe books from garage sales and thrift stores.  I made some delicious meals and a few duds that even the dog would not eat.

I took up hobbies like sewing, woodworking, and gardening.  I collected books on each of those subjects, too.  I have made curtains for my whole house and for a few family members’ homes. One Easter Break, I decided to make a queen-sized bed out of pine. (I still sleep on this bed.) In addition, every spring I plant my garden of tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers.  I still have not perfected a good gardening technique.

When my bathroom desperately needed to be gutted and redone, I convinced my husband we could DIY it.  That too began on an Easter Break and lasted a few weeks after break to my husband’s dismay.  I have since, challenged myself to redo a room for under $500, laid two laminate floors, and painted every room in my house twice.

Then there is writing….  I have always, as long as I can remember, written: Diaries, journals, stories, jokes, articles, poems, and now, blogs.  I have tried to write novels, without much luck, because, I believe, I cannot stick with anything that long.  However, short blogs, short anything, I can do.

I am not sure if I will ever find one thing, I can stick with long enough to be good at it. I guess I really like to putter.  Oh, did I mention that I have been married 31 years?  Maybe I am a star at marriage.  Who knew???

Are you a putterer or dabbler like me?  Tell us about the puttering you do in your daily life.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About bigsmileu1

What good is living life if you don't share all the experiences, mistakes, and knowledge you have gained? I am a grandmother, a wife, a mother of two grown children, a Jr. High Teacher for almost two decades, an elementary principal and I want to share my experiences.

13 responses »

  1. I’ve never really thought about whether I might be a putterer/dabbler, but I think I might be in the same boat as you. I’ve always thought it would be so nice to stick with one thing and learn it really well, but I tend to become fascinated with so many things at once. For example, right now I am gardening (for the first time ever), blogging (for the first REAL time), learning Spanish (Rosetta Stone!), and studying for a second bar exam (passed in one state, on to another!). While I often thought that it would be better to pick one thing and stick with it until I was an expert, I have begun to realize that my nature is to be enthralled by all sorts of things, and I’ll likely be something of a jack of all trades. I’m coming to terms with it, especially because I’m learning (through lots of self reflection, reading, and writing) that since it is who I am, then that’s the best way for me to be! Reading your post, I thought “How accomplished she is!” because you’ve learned enough about so many things to serve you well in so many aspects of your life.

    • I am so happy you commented on my post. It is good to know that there are more putterers/dabblers out there. I agree with you in wanting to know about EVERYTHING! One thing is just too boring. LOL! Have a great and adventureous day. 🙂

  2. Great post! I loved the “surprise” ending. Congratulations on 31 years of marriage.

  3. I can definitely relate to dabbling and puttering in this and that…I like so many things. hehe It makes for a good adventure and for a good storyteller — when one can get it together long enough to jot it down on something more than a post-it. 😀

  4. I can sympathize! I am eternally puttering about in my sewing room. My mom has always referred to gardening as puttering, but it’s interesting to know the real definition.

    • I am cleaning out my craft closet, and you wouldn’t believe the sewing stuff I have in there! Some of the cloth and material I have in there looks like it came from the days of the Oregon Trail. I was never good at dabbling in cleaning. LOL! Thanks for visiting. 😉

  5. Oh, how I understand. I guess that makes me a putterer too. Much like you, writing has been along with me my whole life, but I cannot finish a single novel, always looking for the next sparkling thing to take my interest. short stories I can do. Full length novel, I get half way.

    • I feel your angst! I always have these great ideas for a great novel, but one or two chapters, pages, etc., I lose interest. Maybe…someday. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂

  6. WELCOME! Thank you for subscribing to follow my blog. I hope you are encouraged, inspired and like the photos I take as I journey through my retirement years. I look forward to sharing future posts with you as we follow each others blogs.

  7. I feel you on this one, sister! I tend to dive into things and not come up for air for months, but I’m constantly on the hunt for new challenges. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I’ll be visiting yours as well.


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