Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Our obsession, compulsion, and addiction to assembling jigsaw puzzles continues as strong as ever. Currently, we are wrapping up another Ravensburger, 1000-pieces. Yesterday, with our current effort, we reached the point where you feel the satisfaction of knowing you have, once again, met the challenge. With each puzzle there is a predictable sequence of feelings that accompany each stage of the process.

The first step— buying/selecting the right puzzle for where you are with your competence level reveals how confident you are about taking on a new challenge. We recently attempted a 1500-piece puzzle. We just were not ready for it. It became a chore. It’s fitting that the puzzle itself wound up in the trash. Our current one was fun. This morning we purchased 4 more 1000-piece puzzles. The desire and motivation to take on 1500 will return. I’m sure.  

What puzzles me about puzzling is how each bit of progress in the assembly process is so satisfying. Maybe it’s a character flaw. Every time I place a piece in the right position, I feel a little twinge of joy. Each time I comprehend the color arrangements within the puzzle, it’s a small victory.  It just doesn’t take much to amuse me.

Puzzling is therapy. The TV is off. Soothing music, like a good friend, keeps me company in between every puzzle piece placement. When I’m sorting the border pieces, arranging pieces in color groups and similar shapes, or studying the colored photo on the box, I’m not bothered by any of today’s cultural or political issues. 

What debate?

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