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.