puzzling

i have a love-hate relationship with puzzles.

i remember one in particular from when i was younger. i can’t remember what the puzzle image was… maybe a superhero? wonderwoman was it? but i do recall making it many times. i remember the smell of the cardboard. the feel of the pieces. and i remember my mom helping me, turning the pieces to show me how the edges line up. guiding everything quietly together. letting me put in the last piece. the same sort of thing i do now with my children.

there’s something satisfying about a piece that fits perfectly. and i can think of many metaphors where puzzles relate to life, but i’ll spare you all that.

(ok, quick coles’ notes version?

  • start small and work your way up
  • one piece at a time
  • pay attention to the details
  • don’t lose sight of the big picture
  • patience is a virtue
  • it’ll come together eventually; except when it doesn’t. ’cause sometimes, it wont. especially if your cat eats a puzzle piece. i’m pretty sure this relates to life in some grand way.
  • etc…)

my only problem with puzzles is that i find them all-consuming. i can’t walk by a puzzle that is left undone. i’m like roger rabbit and that “shave and a haircut….” thing.

{pause}…

…{twitchy eye}…

two bits! {jazz hands!}

and once i start a puzzle, i have to finish it. which is fine with smaller puzzles, but larger more tricky ones suck up my time. i have a hard time pulling away, and i know i should be doing other things, so i can’t really enjoy the process either. i get all hunchy and dry-eyed, cursing how the puzzle entered my life.

i don’t buy puzzles. most of my family knows better than to gift me with one. they wont see me again until it’s done. puzzles these days come by the way of gifts to my kids, the most recent one for my daughter. this particular puzzle is quite a bit above her level, so i have to help. what kind of mom would i be if i didn’t? two bit! {no jazz hands? oh.}

only recently have i learned how to step away from a book that i’m not enjoying. i used to suffer through, just to finish what i started. but now i know it’s ok to close the book and leave it. i have yet to relate that action to puzzles. i mean, can you actually walk away from a puzzle, unfinished? just break up all those half-finished bits and set the whole thing on fire put it back in the box? can you?

 

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2 Responses to puzzling

  1. Corey says:

    I love this.

    Also, your personal blog wouldn’t let me comment so let me say, “Whoops, wrong file” HEE! and Oh my, what an accomplished, terrific kid. ?

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