Care to solve a puzzle?

On the very last day of our recent beach trip, a large thunderstorm forced us back into the house several hours earlier than we would have liked. The rental unit was equipped with enough bedrooms to accommodate everyone at night provided everyone doubled up in a room, but during the day it was a wee bit cramped, especially with four small children on the loose. We had to find something to do, and find it fast.

Luckily my mom and sister remembered the puzzle we had packed away for just this sort of emergency. It was brand new, and we quickly dumped all of the pieces on the table surface, eager to get started. The cover was then propped up where it could be seen by all.

English: Puzzle Svenska: Pussel
English: Puzzle Svenska: Pussel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we solve puzzles, my family tends to focus on the edges first as they are the easiest pieces to identify and match up. Once the framework has been completed, we begin tackling the interior. We each focused on a section of the puzzle. If you realized that a piece you were staring at for the last several minutes belonged in the other corner, you gave it to the person who was working on that section so that they could fit it in to its appropriate spot. None of us had every worked on this particular puzzle before, but we were focused, determined, and it was finished within the span of Disney’s Little Mermaid.

Goals are a lot like puzzles. Each goal is comprised of several smaller tasks which, if identified properly, link together until the larger goal is achieved. Prior to this trip, my most recent goal was drafting a novel. When I began writing it, I started by defining the characters and the outline. This became my puzzle framework, but also helped me to envision the puzzle’s cover image. Only then did I start filling in the individual scenes, supporting each chapter. Eventually writing got a lot easier. There weren’t that many pieces left on the table to sort through.

When you first pour the pieces of a puzzle out on the table, they seem overwhelming whether there are 1500 pieces on only 300. Once they are out of the box, you have a decision to make. You can either sweep the pile back into the box where they will sit and wait for another rainy day, or you can pick up a single piece and look for its mate. If you are lucky, friends and family might see you working hard and will pitch in. But even if they don’t, know that the puzzle isn’t going to solve itself. The choice is yours.



3 thoughts on “Care to solve a puzzle?

    1. Thank you for the nomination! I am honored. I am also completely unprepared. I had seen your own announcement and had thought to myself that I would have nominated you too. Really, you do amazing work. I will need to start working on my own nominations now.


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