Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Puzzling Piece of My Life Today

I saw a quote that has had me thinking all day. Well, at least all the day since I read it.

Arrange whatever pieces come your way.

I'm a believer in jigsaw puzzles - for all ages. It's been said {or I've read it's been said} that putting puzzles together helps young children develop problem solving skills. Heck! Forget just young kids. I think it helps at any age. I have to slow down and place them all face up {depending on how much room I have} and study and figure and turn and flip and toss it for later or put it in the pile of 'green' ones or 'flower' pieces or 'edge' pieces. What part of my life does that process not help with?

When a puzzle is purchased, though, I should be safe in assuming that all the correct pieces are in the box and, when I get it all put together, it will look exactly like the picture on the lid. It's pretty well a given. Unless, of course, I've bought the puzzle at a yardsale or D.I. - buyer beware then.

It's different for the day-to-day lifelong puzzle, though. Sure, I was given a box of pieces. Given some general guidelines as to how to put it together and a vague description of what it should look like. The picture on the lid is like one of those holographic (?) pictures that changes depending on its environment and from what perspective it's looked at.

Each day that goes by, though, I realize someone messes with my pieces! The nerve!

The only thing meaner than messing with my puzzle piece organization is to watch over my shoulder while I play solitaire. Grrr.

Just when I think I have all the edges out and arranged and snapped together, a fine border complete, I stumble upon another edge piece or two, requiring me to stretch and rearrange what I had previously thought was a well defined border. Carefully pressing in the last piece to complete a particular section of the puzzle, I'm given very little time for sighs and pats on my back for the completion. The table gets bumped or I realize that section goes somewhere different or, even worse, I don't even know for sure where that section is going to fit {if it belongs in my puzzle at all}. Amazing.

When I was little and would get frustrated with a particular puzzle project, walking away was the best thing. Come back with a fresh set of eyes. It was amazing how that worked. Where once I was stuck, now all of a sudden pieces were jumping out at me and I knew right where they needed to be placed. That still works now that I'm an old person, still working on the same puzzle.

My how it's changed! And it's still changing. I hope it's pleasing to look on when it is finally finished. I'm sure there will be holes. Pieces I totally lost out of carelessness or foolisheness. There's a bunch of bent ones and torn ones as I struggled to make them fit in a certain place - frustrated that my way was not the right way! There are colors and details and shapes in my puzzle that I never thought would be in a puzzle of mine. But there they are - front and center - shouting out their presence to anyone who glances at it. Somehow it seems to fit - adding elements to my puzzle I never would have thought I wanted - or needed.

Bottom line - it's my puzzle, though. With all its flaws and imperfections and craziness. I can't pass it off to anyone else because it just wouldn't fit with anyone else. So I guess I'll keep on picking up pieces, studying them, turning them, organizing them, snapping them in place, moving them somewhere else. It's certainly puzzling but, overall, it keeps me from falling totally to pieces.

1 comment:

  1. We did puzzles all the time growing up. Justine had a dream after she and Ryan divorced. She saw mother holding a piece of a jigsaw puzzle telling her life was like putting a puzzle together, just one piece at a time. I have had times I felt learning the gospel fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Lots of Love.