I’ve been retired from full-time work since Christmas. Another retired colleague and I started a private-practice counseling center in our small town. We each allocate a couple days a week to the practice. This schedule leaves me a lot of time for spur-of-the-moment and random activities collectively called puttering for the purpose of this essay.
My colleague and I both experienced a steep learning curve in the transition from working at a state college where we had the privilege of not needing to ask students receiving counseling for money, to private practice where are trying to earn some.
We spent a lot of extra hours on our “off” days on the computer taking care of obtaining the correct licenses, insurance, legal status, taxes, etc. As most of that has now been accomplished, we are closer to our plan for this business which is to each work two days a week. I enjoy spending time in our sunny office. It’s great to set my hours, and not work within an institution’s expectations.
I’ve puttered with a bit more indoor gardening this year. My house plants are thriving.
I admire folks who can work full time and read a lot, but as much as I tried, rarely found time to finish a book when employed full time. In the past, when my book club moved to a new selection, I used to insert a bookmark in the unfinished book and move on to the next one. In the past few months, I’ve finished four of those set-aside books, and am now keeping pace with my fellow readers.
Reading, gardening and even a bit of quilting all feel like puttering. I’ve also been writing more and sending poems and essays to journals for publication consideration. I’ve used some of this puttering time to organize my writing submissions. As soon as one editor rejects my work, I sent it out to another. There are occasional successes.
Initially, there was a bit of anxiety that I wasn’t accomplishing much, but I’ve decided that puttering, as described in this blog, is an OK use of my time. It’s refreshing to have time to watch sunrises and sunsets like this one. Peace to all of you who find your way to this blog!