Putting the Pieces Together

I have actually hurt my back from standing over a table for hours as I search for jigsaw puzzle pieces. I cannot sleep well knowing there is an unfinished jigsaw puzzle in my house.

I try to limit my jigsaw time to the November-December holiday season and always like to put together one with a nice picture of Santa Claus. I like the old man.

There is something about putting together a puzzle that I can’t quite explain. I am focusing on one major task and my mind will wander only a little bit. For me, there is something addictive about that. It seems to close up my mental circus of acrobats, animal acts, and clowns…lots of mental clowns in my mind’s circus.

There is also something quite nice about sitting down with loved ones and working on a puzzle together. There is a gentle conversation, light laughter, and a sense of contentment with the moment. Of course, there is also the ego satisfying moment of putting in a piece of the puzzle while the others are still searching. I like to to use my index finger as a final confirmation to my superior eyesight and spatial abilities. I tap the piece once it is in its proper place.

Naturally one should always put the edges of the puzzle together first, right? Next, you proceed to the easiest identifiable sections of the puzzle. Of course you can’t, or certainly shouldn’t, do anything until all the pieces have been separated and turned right side up. I like to go one more step and put the different colors into their holding spaces too. This order pleases me… probably way too much.

The worse thing though about a jigsaw puzzle is glare. You must eliminate the glare upon the puzzle’ surface. Jigsaw puzzle glare is a slow torture, though barely noticeable at first, it will cause severe mental issues down the road. Why did I just yell at the neighbor’s adorable child? Jigsaw puzzle glare. Why did I give that company a lousy review on the internet? Jigsaw puzzle glare. Why did I curse the day I was born? Jigsaw puzzle glare. It is insidious.

So as a warmup to the holiday puzzle season, I started a new one yesterday afternoon and finished it today. Why, because I am like a golden doodle with a ball. It is all I can think about. Once the box has been opened, time stops for me. Day, night, who cares about such things? There is a puzzle that needs to be put together. Sleep is for the weak! I am puzzle strong…and entirely in need of a good therapist.