First off, I’m not the one to preach to others about how to “stay busy” – Our family enjoys being homebound as we’re not only homebodies but with two young kiddos, sometimes it’s easier to stay home. That said, even us homebodies need to find new, creative ways to occupy ourselves. I mean, there’s only but so many times you can reorganize the closets and under-sink area for my side of the bathroom. I may or may not have organized my underwear drawer. Yes, I have issues. But, I digress.
Puzzles. My kids love them. I’ve bought them puzzles since they were wee little things, but I’m referring to the five-piece sets with wooden pegs on top that are intended to help with motor skills, and then building up to the 20 piece sets that ultimately get lost, ripped, or eaten within six days of buying them. They’ve always been enjoyable to them, so I figured let’s go bigger. Let’s do a BIGGER puzzle that Mommy could do, too. But what I meant was, let’s do a puzzle all by myself. So, that’s what I did. I took over the dining room table for about a week and each night, and sometimes during the day instead of my usual “stuff,” I sat there staring at a monster 1,000 piece puzzle of everything that makes North Carolina awesome. And, immediately after taking every stinking little piece out of the box to “organize” them, I realized maybe I bit off more than I could handle. My eyes hurt, just looking at it! I didn’t even know where to start. I then came to the truth that THIS was my 1st time doing any puzzle over 20 pieces. Truth. Sucks to be me.
I couldn’t stop. Even though I felt defeated with each failed piece, considering the baby steps I was making, I didn’t want to give up. There was no way I was going to shove all those itty bitty pieces back into the box, no matter how much I grew tired of eating on the sofa—not going to happen. I had a GOAL. And, the kids were excited about Mommy tackling a puzzle this big. Every time a corner would become marginally filled in, the kids would exclaim, “Mommy, you’re almost done!” – I wanted to scream every time they said this because I was nowhere near done, but it was too damn cute to have them root for me, even when I threatened them about touching ANY of the pieces on the table. Do you know how hard it is for a 4-year-old NOT to touch what you tell her not to touch? VERY.
On the 4th or 5th night, I was starting to make progress. I was in my groove. I even listened to classical music as I progressed. What the heck happened to me?! Don’t answer that…
After a few stubborn pieces were put into place, it was DONE. My daughter put in the last single piece, and with that, I accomplished what I didn’t think I could. It felt great! But dang, talk about my brain hurting! The kids loved watching me, and I loved how they cheered me on, and even the hubby was impressed that I didn’t give up!
The puzzle I bought (here) was around $30 and worth every penny. I couldn’t get to the local Michael’s fast enough! And, it should be mentioned, I went to Michael’s for ONLY a frame, yet walked out with a girl’s baton, art supplies, candles, and a fire pit that was on clearance. A fire pit! What is wrong with me? I blame taking my 4-year-old; This was her first time in this store, and she (I) was having her best day ever. We found the frame I wanted, and we went home to get that bad boy on the wall!
I LOVE the finished result, and I feel proud that I completed something. It’s a thing for me – NOT completing what I start. Onto a better ME!
What do you do to pass the time? Do you enjoy puzzles? Let me know in the comments below!