A Work in Progress

I am a jigsaw puzzle addict; at least at this point in my life! About a year ago my love affair with puzzles was reignited when I found collage puzzles. Have you seen them?  If you love puzzles, and you haven't seen them, you have to check these out!

Currently, the Neon Signs one is spread all over my sun-room table.

We opened this puzzle box about 5 weeks ago, and look how much empty space there is in this puzzle. We are a LONG way from complete. I don't like to have unfinished business in my life, so last night I decided to sit down and get serious about this puzzle. It may be hard for you to tell from this semi-lame photograph (I was tired, okay?) but I made a ton of progress last night. If I hadn't needed to get up early this morning for another commitment, I might have stayed up until the wee hours just to finish this puzzle. These pieces might not look like much to you, but check out the picture of the finished product ...

The only way I can possibly  justify all the time I am spending on jigsaw puzzles lately is if I come up with a life lesson, which translates into a meaningful blog. Here you go ...

I have tried putting puzzles together without looking at the picture (the cover on the box) and it's impossible for me. If I don't have a picture of what the finished product looks like, it makes no difference at all that I have all the necessary pieces. I'm not going to get it done.

I have some friends that try to put together the puzzle as quickly as they can - as if it's a race to be won. I don't do that either. I think that we ought to enjoy the process. It's a game of trial and error.  You pick up a piece and examine it closely to see where it might fit in the picture. Sometimes you see it right away - other times you can't see it at all and it goes back into the pile for later. There are times you are convinced that a piece goes in a certain place and you nearly break the piece trying to jam it in. That's not a very successful approach either.

This puzzle was really challenging because the edge pieces are all the same color - black, yellow and pink. The only difference is the shape. Typically, the frame of the puzzle is pretty easy for me. This one wasn't. Isn't that like life, too?  Sometimes you get a structure put in place quickly - other times it comes slowly. I have learned to be okay with slowly putting it in place. I work for a bit and then walk away. I can come back in an hour or the next day and it all looks different to me. The pieces that I couldn't see before now jump off the table and nearly put themselves in place. It's all about perspective and timing there - just as in life.

Another piece that struck me today was how I had felt a bit defeated about this puzzle. I could see the finished picture and it felt like I wasn't making any progress at all.  It took someone else looking at the puzzle to say "wow, you are really moving along". Isn't that great?  We all need someone to remind us we are making progress.

Go ahead - draw your own life lessons from my puzzle story - I know there is one in there for you.  As for me, I'm going to think about the fact that I have a picture of what it will look like when it's complete and I have all the pieces - no one is going to put it together for me - it's my job. This puzzle, just like me, is a work in progress!