Pottering: a Cure for Modern Life, by Anna McGovern, is out now (£12.99, Laurence King )
Last week I read a review for this book, ordered it and read it within 4 days!
As soon as I saw the title I thought this was the book for me and I can confirm I smiled my way through it in one sitting!
I knew nothing about the author, Anna McGovern, but I am an inveterate potterer. Time is one of my most precious and treasured possessions. I am often to be found in my Shshshtudio pottering with my blog, sewing or crafting of some sort. I potter about putting on the heater, the radio or spotify. I potter around tidying a little here, admiring something there. I look at my garden and drink in the clouds blowing across the sky. Pottering involves getting out my supplies so that I can 'get on with IT'
One of the subtitles in the book is
"The Benefits of Having a Think"
'Pottering activities such as looking out of a window and having a think achieve more than you realise. They let you clear your mind and explore your thoughts.'
I am often to be found 'Having a Think'. And I may be holding something at the time, mid-potter. it could be a cup of coffee, or a full bin bag on the way to the bin!
I think this is where the only real difference between pottering and doing chores lies - being able to stop and pause for a few minutes. Emptying the bin and sorting the re-cycling can be viewed as both a little potter or a chore. In many ways it is just a matter of making up your mind how you want to see things!
Of course it is hard to potter about achieving things when you are overwhelmed with all the different things you need to get done but if you can gradually get your days working to some sort of rhythm or routine, eventually you may find that, actually you are pottering - washing a few mugs here and hanging the washing out whilst it's 'proper drying weather'. It's just a matter of mindset!
Instead of having a list of daily chores why not create an 'Infinite List of Pottering' which contains all the activities of your days. I don't enjoy everything that needs to be done but if I can Have a Think whilst I sort the recycling or open a window to let the cobwebs blow away whilst I clean the bathroom, it makes it a slightly more pleasant experience!
I know this isn't for everyone, as I've said in previous blogs we have different organising styles - we also have different tidying styles, different needs when it comes to how structured we need our weeks to be. But I think everyone can benefit from a bit of a potter every now and then!
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