• Lyn Widmyer

Puttering Through Covid

Updated: Jul 23

After months of staying at home because of Covid-19, I realize I have accomplished nothing of significance. Other friends are taking the opportunity to clean, paint, repair and garden. Not me. I have spent my days relaxing and doing things that are not important. This is the textbook definition of “putter around” and I am the poster child.


This is how I putter:



I cross stitch. This is such a great activity to enjoy while watching television or listening to an audio book. My current project is a group of colorful parrots. They make me happy in this time of uncertainly.


I play on-line bridge. I love bridge but all face-to-face games and tournaments have been cancelled due to Covid-19. No matter—bridge has migrated big time to the internet. I am playing more now than ever. There is a fee associated with playing on-line. So far I have spent over $400 on tournament play. I have transferred money from my clothing budget since I have been in shorts and t-shirts for months.


I read. Here is a partial list of books I have read: The Glass Hotel (Emily St. John Mandel), When You See Me (Lisa Gardner), Daisy Jones & the Six (Taylor Jenkins Reid), The Boy From The Woods (Harlan Coben), Redhead by the Side of the Road (Anne Tyler), The Death of Mrs. Westaway (Ruth Ware), Such a Fun Age (Kiley Reid), The Grammarians (Cathleen Schine), The Last Romantics (Tara Conklin), Writers and Lovers (Lily King).


I would like to identify those that I really enjoyed but I am old and can’t really remember many of the plot lines.


I walk. Every activity I have thus far listed has one thing in common: sitting. I might be happy enjoying bridge and cross stitch and reading but I am paying big time in terms of my health. Studies show that prolonged sedentary behavior correlates to an increase in mortality, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. So I try to make up for extended hours of chair time by walking as often as I can in our local park. I have yet to achieve the national Institute on Aging’s recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate exercise most or all days a week. I mean sometimes it is just too hot or too wet or too inconvenient given the bridge tournament schedule.



I support Ron. My husband Ron does not putter around. He is one of those people who is constantly working on some major project. So far he has rebricked the patio, installed two screen doors, seeded mulched and weeded all our flower beds, made our lawn worthy of a spread in Southern Living and repainted the garage. Honestly, I get exhausted just watching him. My job is to make him a sandwich for lunch and enthusiastically tell him “Good job, honey!’


What I find worrisome is that I am really enjoying my new lifestyle. Because of COVID-19, my calendar is clear of meetings, social engagements and multiple errands. There is no pressure to be somewhere or do something or meet someone. Staying home is okay.


I have discovered the joy of puttering around and it will be a hard lifestyle to give up.

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