Puzzles Suck

Kelsey Rose loves building puzzles but they scare the shit out of me.  Puzzles have no method.  It’s just pure chaos.  There are no instructions.  You just dump all of the pieces onto the table and begin picking up random ones until you find what you are looking for.  Trial and error is the only way, literally flipping one piece at a time.


The final picture of what the puzzle will look like is right on the cover of the box but it’s never that easy.  It’s a free for all.  It requires extreme patience and the ability to trust the process.  You have to love doing puzzles to want to spend the time necessary to complete them.


You pick up a piece and hope it fits what you are looking for and if it doesn’t, you throw it right back into the pile and try again.  How do you know where to start?


My understanding through watching Kelsey Rose with countless puzzles over the years is that you find the corner pieces first, build the border of the puzzle, and then slowly work your way into the center, constantly referencing the picture on the cover of the box.

So many of the puzzle pieces look similar to each other that right when you pick up the piece you think you need, you realize it doesn’t fit.  It can be infuriating.  If you are anything like me, you like to have a system in place for everything.  I am organized and collected.  I try to make rational choices by taking specific actions which are most likely to give me the intended result, but that’s not how puzzles work, or life for that matter.


As calculated as you try to be, you must do the leg-work in the beginning to flip all of the pieces.  Then, once you finish the corners and the border, you begin to narrow down your remaining pieces.  I may not like doing puzzles myself, but I have watched Kelsey Rose do plenty.  She pours the pieces all over the table and leaves 5-6 chairs around the table so she can change her perspective as needed.  She will catch her stride finding piece after piece and then she catches a snag and can’t find the piece she is looking for.  She then gets up, switches to a chair on the other side of the table, which changes her perspective.  Boom!  The piece is found, and she repeats as needed.  She’ll call me over to help her find one piece, than go right back to what she was doing.  She takes breaks for days at a time, then gets back at it again.  Before I know it, she’s done.


Living a successful life full of happiness and purpose is like a bazillion piece puzzle.  Once we identify our end goal (the picture of the final puzzle on the cover), we dump all of the pieces on the table to get started.  It’s intimidating to start, and that’s why most people never do.  There are so many pieces that it would be impossible to do alone, which is why we must surround ourselves with good people.  Once we get the corner pieces and establish the border, it becomes easier.  Then we find ourselves catching stride for a while, and get stuck again.  That’s when we must change our perspective and look at life through a different lens, or ask for help.  Sometimes, regardless of how great the people around us are, how many times we change perspective, we become exhausted from not finding what we are looking for, which is when it’s time to take a break and step away for a while.


What’s important is that we never give up.  Eventually we must come back to the table and continue flipping pieces again to find what we need.  We must trust the process and that every piece has a purpose eventually.  In life, our experiences are like many of those pieces.  Some people, places or things don’t seem to  fit right at certain points in our lives and we can’t force it them to.  Everything has it’s place.  Trust the process, be patient, and never give up.  As frustrated as Kelsey Rose may get throughout the process, the look of accomplishment on her face at the end is always priceless.


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