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.
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