Jigsaw Puzzles

A Dean Russo puzzle I recently finished entitled, "The Best Things in Life are Rescued."

I love jigsaw puzzles. Always have. But I hadn't done them in years until the pandemic hit. Now I always keep one out. My favorite are the bright-colored David Russo puzzles promoting animal rescue. I especially love the 300-piece puzzles because I can finish them in one sitting. Ah, the satisfaction of immediate gratification!

Puzzles order my mind. They focus and relax me, and I do some of my best talking to and hearing from God during these times. I think it's because I'm actually relaxed and not overthinking! I'm also amazed at how much I learn from puzzling that applies to other areas of my life. Allow me to share a few observations:

1) When something seems overwhelming, start around the edges and work your way in. I like to do the edges first. It's an easy place to start, and after the outline is finished, my confidence builds to tackle the harder inside pieces.

Life lesson: When something seems too hard, break it down into smaller

parts. Soon you'll find yourself making real progress on that impossible goal

or project.

2) Stop overthinking. Sometimes I put the photo of the puzzle away and go only by color and pattern. This forces me to go on instinct and stop overthinking.

Life lesson: Trust your instincts. You know more than you think. Get out of

your own head and just do it!

3) Try looking from a different angle. When I get stuck, I walk around to the other side and look at the puzzle upside down. Suddenly I can see more clearly where certain pieces fit, especially those pieces that didn't make any sense from my former vantage point.

Life lesson: When something's not working, try shifting your approach

instead of doing the same old thing and getting frustrated by your lack of


4) Walk away and come back to it. When I feel fatigued, I walk away from my puzzle and come back later. When I return, I find I see so much clearer how pieces fit together.

Life lesson: Getting impatient and trying to push through something when

we are really tired and burned out is counterproductive; it often takes longer

than if we took a break and came back refreshed.

Whether it's jigsaw puzzles or some other hobby, I hope you take time to destress and calm your mind today. And to my fellow jigsaw puzzle lovers, happy puzzling!

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