It’s been far too long since I composed a Finding Joy post toshare about something that I really love. While I’ve spent a lot of time building Star Wars Lego in the past few years I’ve really enjoyed spending more time with a whole host of jigsaw puzzles!
I can’t trace my love of puzzles to any experience that I can remember. I’m sure I had puzzles as a kid, though I have stronger memories of some wooden puzzles that my grandparents had at their house(I have one of them now!). My mom did puzzles off and on when we were growing up but I have more memories of her puzzling when I was a teenager — and she’s a very active puzzler now!
For many years, puzzles seemed to be relegated to vacations or sick days. But recently I’ve found a lot of peace by assembling them on our dining room table.
It starts with the Perfect Sort — kinda like the Perfect Cheer, but quieter.
I’m not sure why sorting is so calming, but some days it feels like a salve for my anxious mind. There’s something wonderful about the click of the pieces and their smooth, shiny surfaces that I love. It feels good to bring order to chaos!
Puzzle dust is another matter entirely.
I’ve never been one for puzzles that are too difficult to solve — repeating patterns or color gradients drive me a bit batty. I do have a Sistine Chapel puzzle in the queue that is just at the edge of madness for me. I prefer pictures that bring me some extra joy — say, travel, music, or other nerd hobbies. Sometimes I’ll do 500-piece puzzles for a quick-hit, and sometimes I prefer the size and challenge of 1000-piece puzzles. One of these days I’m going to get a super-big puzzle and cover the entire table — I think the 5000-piece Bizarre Town looks like fun!
I’m generally a solo puzzler. I certainly make requests for help when I need it. I think my puzzle sorting mechanisms are as rigid and elaborate as my Lego sorting mechanisms! Poor Sergio! I really need to let him join when he wants to. He’s so clever that I must admit he would probably beat me at my own game if I let him.
I have also found that puzzles are a good way for me to be in an environment while maintaining some space and separation. It gives me something to focus on so I can be present but not overwhelmed by conversation and noise. It also gives other people something to join into, if they are so inclined. Oftentimes people will come to peer at the pieces and will be too interested to stop working on it with me. Others will simply remark, “Wow! I don’t think I have the patience for puzzles!” It’s funny — I’m not a particularly patient person. But if I can stop myself to put together a puzzle, anyone can!
It’s been a lot of fun to write about something simple that brings me joy. I want to continue adding some Finding Joy posts to my regular blog rotation.
And speaking of joy — I think it’s time to start a new puzzle!
P.S. I have a fantastic #throwbackthursday post to share with you later this week. Sergio mentioned that he missed my travel blogs and hoped I would write about our trip to Italy in December. I took a decidedly different take on Italy — this blog is about the reasons I found it to be disappointing! tldr: Find the destinations that you love, even if people don’t agree with you!