Featured Image Credit: Here
I’m not sure who thought to cut apart a whole picture into tiny pieces to put back together, but I wish I could meet them. Because I think they were on to something. I can waste entire afternoons and lose countless hours of sleep working on a puzzle. Something about working to find which piece goes where keeps me enthralled for hours; I love seeing the edges of each piece line up perfectly with the surrounding pieces as they slowly work together to reveal the final picture.
I’ve always had a method when beginning a new puzzle; I am easily overwhelmed, so simply throwing all of the pieces onto the table has never been my preferred approach. Instead, I separate the pieces. No matter how many there are. #PersistentPenguin First laying out only those to create the edge; the boundaries. And then, arranging all the other individual pieces all over tables until I can see each and every one. And then the work begins; uncovering the final image one tiny piece at a time. Hoping a piece is not misplaced along the way. Because that is the one thing that can make me lose my mind. Just one missing piece can throw the entire project.
(Another helpful hint: always make sure you protect the pieces from dogs. Because they don’t come out looking quite the same as they did when they went in if they are eaten for a snack.) The only trouble is, I never know what to do after the puzzle is complete. Do you just break it apart and put it back inside the box? Do you glue it together and put it in a frame? Should you simply leave it on the table for weeks until a dog accidentally knocks it off? (This seems to be the most common option at my house.) It always seems like such a waste; but then again, isn’t the magic in the middle? In the process of placing all the pieces together? Figuring things out?
Figuring out the puzzle, arranging the pieces; both of these are reasons I enjoy working with dogs – and people. A living puzzle, we have millions of pieces that create who we are. Helping identify those pieces and arrange them into the bigger picture is quite a privilege to be given. It’s only one of many reasons I love what I do; but it’s probably my favorite. Watching dogs figure out the puzzles we give them; watching as kids learn how to arrange the pieces and realize they have all they need to start creating their own puzzle. That’s magic.
As we grow up I think we learn to be afraid of never finding the pieces we need; or that there will always be some missing; or maybe we have misplaced one; or maybe we are working on the wrong puzzle entirely. But all of those things – they are all okay. Because we can keep searching; keep arranging; even start a new puzzle if we need too. Using our values as the boundaries, the edge pieces, to frame our puzzle. Working to arrange all the pieces we have one by one. Knowing that we will continue uncovering new pieces along the path. If life handed us all the pieces at once, it would be quite overwhelming. And sometimes, I think we do uncover several at once; but just keep arranging the pieces. One by one. Finding where they connect, without forcing pieces into places they aren’t meant to be. Trusting that each piece has it’s very own space to hold; every one carrying it’s own importance. If we misplace one, life is sure to send us another – perhaps when we least expect it. And sometimes we find pieces we didn’t know we needed. Or aren’t quite sure where to place. And that’s okay, too. Because if we had all the pieces in place and completed our puzzle, then what would we do for the rest of the journey? That’s the real puzzle.
Over and Out,
Drop the Self Doubt. Arrange The Pieces. Just Keep Swimming.