In April, I doubled my teaching load. Normally I would not give up my free time this way, but my husband works for Chrysler. Or should I start calling it Fiat?

What I noticed most of all when I suddenly had to work all those extra hours is that when I did get a free minute, I turned on the television, opened a novel, or logged onto Facebook. Sometimes I cooked, which was as close as I got to puttering for an entire month.

Now that things are normalizing, I realize that cooking is not the same as puttering. I also realize that puttering is essential to my peace of mind. Even if it’s only for fifteen minutes a day, I need that time to unwind, to go aimlessly from room to room, straightening the stack of mail on my desk or petting my cat or putting away the pile of laundry on the bed.  

Other things got left behind when work picked up. I didn’t write as much. That’s finally back on track. I stopped meditating. Slowly adding that back in, five minutes at a time. My treadmill grew cobwebs, which I still need to sweep away. And yoga class? Namaste who? Sigh.

On the plus side, I had lunch with friends on Monday and Wednesday this week. I cooked for two hours yesterday, making all kinds of healthy food that should last several days. Still, this morning I was feeling a little down. Blue moods for me usually mean lack of exercise, but I just didn’t feel up to getting out the vacuum to suck up all those cobwebs. I didn’t have the time to drive to the yoga studio, either.

But I had a few minutes to putter. And that made all the difference.


  1. Oh Cindy, I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s layoff. My FIL and late uncle were Chrysler execs, so I have been watching the Chrysler story with baited breath, in addition to my worries as to how it all impacts our state, our country. It is very worrisome.


  2. Thanks Cindy. It is not like me to be afraid of the future but I am being sucked into the dark vortex of this terrible economy in general and our own personal drama in particular.


  3. Oh Cindy,

    I am so very sorry to read of your husband’s layoff. These times are like none any of us has ever known. Wishing you both comfort in one another as you make your way from this point forward.


  4. Amy I’m going to take to heart the idea that writing frivolous things will keep me sane! I think you’re right about that. And I appreciate everyone’s concern. Getting lots of emails and FB comments too on the situation. Just to say: it really is not as bad for us as for the younger people. We were almost ready to retire, so we’ve got our retirement savings in decent shape. Also, it looks like with Chrysler now it just might be a matter of working a bit longer. But as Debra says, the times are unknown so really we don’t know a damn thing. Everything changes daily. Just to assure everyone, whatever happens Al and I will be okay financially. I married a sensible and frugal man, this always exasperated me in the past, but it is proving a blessing now.


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