My grandparents were famous for what they called putzing around the house.
Considered slang, it’s often described as engaging in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting, but I can assure you it meant just the opposite for my grandparents – and me.
Putzing around the house wasn’t about laziness at all for my grandparents. On the contrary, it was born from their inability to waste the time they were given.
While I’m not saying that my grandparents didn’t enjoy mindless entertainment on occasion, if given the choice they were often putzing around the house whether outside picking weeds from their garden beds, organizing the garage or closets, making a few batches of eggplant parmesan to bring to family and friends, or a host of other random tasks which brought a sense of purpose to their day.
I’m happy to say that my wife and I have inherited the putzing around the house syndrome.
Take the other day for instance. I had taken a personal day to finish up a project I’d started in my garage (which required a few hours to complete). Starting around 8:00 AM, I was done by 10:30 AM and found that I had an entire day still left before me with nothing scheduled.
Then I remembered a quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Lost time is never found again.” My grandparents had their own version: “Time lost is never found.”
I could have spent the rest of my afternoon mindlessly entertained by the glow of the television, or I could make the most of the day – this time I was so blessed to have in abundance. And that’s just what I did as I “putzed” around the house with a sense of freedom and joy – executing a series of little projects which quickly filled the rest of my day.
When you return from a day off of work, co-workers will often ask, “did you do anything exciting?” While few would find anything “exciting” about my day off of work, I can assure you that I went to bed that night with a complete sense of satisfaction and fulfillment (not to mention a sore back).
For it’s the little accomplishments during an ordinary day that often breed the greatest rewards. Putzing around the house reminds you that you’re still alive, that you’re mind and your body is still active and engaged in living.