Every night (well, almost every night) I finish cleaning up the remnants of dinner and set the microwave timer for 15 minutes. I move to the dining room table, aka the puzzle table, to see if I can place a piece, or two, or ten. Some nights are slow, only locating a few measly pieces. Much trial and error and studying of shape and color with little to show for it. But, on those nights when piece after piece clicks in, there is a great feeling of satisfaction. The beep signals me that my time is up for the night. Just a few more pieces… I must move on to other things calling for my attention.
My kids gave me a 1,000 piece puzzle for Christmas. It took me 10 weeks from start to finish. For you mathematicians, that’s 100 pieces a week, 14 pieces per night. I sent my kids a picture of the finished puzzle with the text, “My Christmas present lasted 10 weeks!” It has been the gift that keeps giving!
No one in my family joins me in this venture. How can you walk by a puzzle table without looking and trying a piece? It take patience, precision, and attention to detail. It is a process with slow rewards, but a huge feeling of satisfaction upon completion. I love the lessons that puzzle working teaches.