A few days ago, my dad gave me a pretty cool puzzle. It is one color and every piece is different. At first, I was excited about the challenge. “Cool! A puzzle with no picture! This is going to be fun!” I started work on the puzzle on my little coffee table (the only table we own). It quickly became obvious that the table was too small. So I started putting pieces in the box, on the floor, everywhere. It was just a mess. One day, I was cleaning up the papers that came with the puzzle and I found something magical. The puzzle guide. Here was a piece of paper that had the location of EVERY puzzle piece. I had already split the pieces by their shape. Now, all I had to do was look at the paper and look for what piece went next. I thought a lot about this method and thoughT, is it cheating? Or is it being wise with my time and resources? I mean, here was this puzzle taking up all this space, I couldn’t use my table (which I didn’t realize how much it helped me with work until I didn’t have it), and this puzzle was just making me mad. I decided that it was an ok thing. Sure, I can’t say, “I did this puzzle with no help!” but, the puzzle is done and I saved myself a bunch of time. What do you think, did I totally cheat the system or was this a smart thing to do?
One thing about me not everyone knows is that I LOVE puzzles. Give me a puzzle, and I’m happy. Kid’s puzzle, happy. 3D puzzle, happy. Computer puzzle, happy. My personal favorite puzzle brand is Springbok. They are sold online and through Hallmark stores. I have hundreds of them (not an exaggeration). What I love about them is that they have a thick, cardboard backing. This means that when the puzzle is complete, you can pick up the whole thing. They also have lots of different types of pieces. It’s not your typical two innies and two outties, etc. type. No, there are circles with innies, jagged pieces.
I have a mind that loves puzzles. I love tossing the whole box out, spreading out the pieces, flipping them over and starting to methodically put them together. Sometimes I start with the edges, sometimes it’s a color, sometimes it’s upside down.
This morning, I listened to several sermons while putting together puzzles on the computer. It hit me how there are a lot of life lessons to be found in the process of putting a puzzle together.
- When you’re overwhelmed – look at the big picture.
- When you don’t know where to start, dump everything out and sort it out.
- Start with one small section and work from there.
- If you’re stuck, move to another section.
- Sort things into categories.
- To know what you’re working with, figure out the boundaries first.
- Ask a friend for help.
- There IS a place for everything.
- When it’s all done, take a few minutes to appreciate how far you’ve come.
And here’s a small sample of my collection. 🙂
Yesterday, we found some puzzles and games in a closet of the cabin. The puzzle we chose was actually a Springbok puzzle! My favorite brand of puzzle!
Anyways, we dumped it out on the table and I fully expected it would be a quick puzzle.
But then, we realized this was not going to be an easy puzzle. It hit me at that point how putting a puzzle together is a lot like running a business OR a dealing with a problem in general.
1. When you get overwhelmed, put everything on the table. (I spread out all of the pieces, face up)
2. Start by going for something small. (I did all of the blue sky first)
3. Take breaks when you get a little stressed. (I gave up like 5 times)
4. Get some help from friends and family. (So we took turns)
5. Don’t give up. (You can’t play a game until the table is cleared)
6. If you work hard, get a little help from your friends, you can accomplish big things…even if it’s a 700 piece puzzle.