I’ve been standing in the store for decades looking for a new puzzle. Looking at all the options to choose from, but never making a decision as to which puzzle was MY puzzle. Some were too hard. Some were too easy. Some were too expensive. Too big. Too small. Not the right colors. I found every fault and every excuse, but no puzzle. Did I really want a puzzle?
Yes. Dammit. I wanted a puzzle. Everyone else seems to have a perfect puzzle. I wanted my very own puzzle. I desperately kept searching and finally I found one! It’s a picturesque view of a life I don’t want to run away from. It came with a feature I didn’t know puzzles had. The picture isn’t static; it changes and evolves over time. It does require a bit of maintenance, but once you’re finished with it you just get to sit back and enjoy the view. Trust me, that feature wasn’t cheap, but it going to be so worth the investment.
I BOUGHT THE PUZZLE!!!
I brought it home. I was sitting with it at my dining room table. I was so excited. I frantically sliced open the box. Shit, the pieces went flying everywhere!!! Some were on the table, in my lap, all over the floor, and some still inside the box. I thought to myself, “I hope I didn’t lose any pieces. I’m such and idiot to get so excited.” I almost packed it up and took it back. Instead, I gathered my thoughts and thought about all the reasons I wanted the puzzle in the first place. I calmed down and I started picking up the pieces. I think I found them all. I dumped the remaining pieces out the box. I started by flipping all the pieces right side up. I was finally ready to start putting my puzzle together!
I was determined. I put up a wall. I worked on my puzzle. Head down. Alone. I took my time. I wanted so badly to get it right. One by one, I slowly started finding all the outer edge pieces. Piece by piece the picture started to reveal itself. Then I had to stop and make dinner for my family. I got up from the table. At dinner the puzzle was in plain sight, but I didn’t talk about the puzzle.
A week had went by and I realize I had not returned to my puzzle. I said to myself, “I’ll revisit it tomorrow.” Over time, this took place over and over again. Eventually, I would always come back to the table and start placing more pieces together. It was frustrating though. Inevitably, the table had been bumped. Some of pieces were out of place. I had to keep redoing work that I had already done once before. I thought hard about putting the puzzle back in the box, but the desire to some day complete the puzzle would reel me back in. So, I would put my head down and refocus. When I made progress it felt so good. I was still working alone though. No one patting me on the back along the way. Did I really still want this damn puzzle?
One day my doorbell rang, a friend stopped by. Oooh, maybe she will offer to help! No, she was having a tough time and wanted to talk. She saw my puzzle. She told me how much she HATED puzzles and how much they stressed her out. As frustrating as the puzzle was to me at times, I was still loving the time I was giving my puzzle, but in that moment I sheepishly agreed with her, “Ehhh…yeah..it’s nothing important just something to occupy my time.” We decided to headed out for dinner and a few drinks. The next day I had a headache. I didn’t work on my puzzle.
Two weeks went by…
Before long I didn’t even notice the puzzle sitting on my table. Looking at it had become daunting. I let the puzzle fade into the background. My husband saw, but he never said anything. I’m sure he was annoyed with my unfinished dining room disaster, but he never complained. He didn’t have to. I knew. He also didn’t offer to help. Why would he? I had put up a wall. That was my fault, but I’ll be damned if I was going to ask him for help. Instead, I would defiantly sit at the table and continue working alone. I was simultaneously very busy throwing myself one hell of a pity-party. Concentrating on my puzzle was difficult.
Until one day…. slowly but surely the the work I was putting in was starting to pay off. My progress started to over shadow my pity party.
I had a change in perspective. An epiphany. I recognized that I COULD continue and finish this puzzle completely alone if I want to. I’m fully capable, but who will I share my excitement with? I no longer want to sit alone in my dining room working on this puzzle. I’m also no longer worried what others think of my puzzle. I’m proud of my puzzle. My puzzle is amazing and should be shared with others.
So, I’m recruiting a team to help me with the final pieces. Do you want to be on my puzzle team? If you hate puzzles, that’s okay. You don’t have to physically help me put my puzzle together, but maybe you could sit on the sidelines and cheer me on. Too busy to sit on the sidelines, I understand. There is only so much time in a day and chances are you have your own puzzle you’re working on, but maybe you could make time to stop by every now and again to do a quick check under my feet and make sure I haven’t dropped anymore pieces. I’ll appreciate it. I’ll reciprocate. I’m available to help you with your puzzle, don’t be afraid to ask.
I can’t wait to see my finished product. If you’re working on a puzzle, I look forward to seeing yours, too.
In the meantime, I’m going to ask my husband and kids if they want to help. I hope they say yes.
One morning she woke up different.
Done with trying to figure out who was with her
and who was against her, or walking down the middle because
they didn’t have the guts to pick a side. She was done with
anything that didn’t bring her peace. She realized that
opinions were a dime a dozen, validation was for parking,
and loyalty wasn’t a word but a lifestyle.
It was this day that changed her life.
And not because of a man or a job but because she realized
that life is way too short to leave the key to
your happiness in someone else’s pocket.