Growing up, I didn’t have an iPad, smart phone or any technology for that matter. Instead, I had some building blocks, an etch-a-sketch, dolls, matchbox cars and puzzles to fill my time. I can recall many days spent putting puzzles together with my grandmother, sisters, friends or alone. It was usually rainy school days, that teachers would bring out a bundle of board games and puzzles for students to put together. Those days were magical. We would huddle in small groups at tables flipping the pieces over and trying to match up the ends.
Puzzles are great for bonding. It is a great quality event that you can spend with someone or alone to build something beautiful. Words are not really needed for you collaborate with a puzzle. The charm of a puzzle is that two strangers without words can build something beautiful, harmony.
I watched a video of Hugh Jackman @RealHughJackmanon Twitter tear apart a puzzle he built at https://twitter.com/RealHughJackman/status/1080889619875545089
Hough Jackman called his puzzle making process his new ritual of pleasure and pain. Perfectly stated, as I watching that video it made me reflect on how all those times spent building puzzles with my family and friends over the years.
Why did I ever stop? I would like to say technology has taken it’s place of puzzles. I don’t have to spend any money or find a place to store the puzzle; instead, I can just use my smart phone and wander the internet. I’m not saying playing games or surfing social media is not joyful. It is. I spend at least an hour of day checking out Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. What I can say is that for me technology has taken away that special time I used to spend with others.
Before technology, I had those one-on-one moments with someone I cared about building something great. Sometimes, that one-on-one time was just time for me to stop all the worries in my head. Either way, puzzle making gave me a feeling of love and accomplishment.
Over the weekend, I got out a beautiful puzzle of Venice, Italy to create. The 1000 tiny cardboard pieces are definitely a challenge. Everyday, I stop what I’m doing and work a little on it. The real achievement for me has been to see how such a small amount of time each day can lead to such significant improvement on the evolving image. Of course, there is a small part of me wants to just stay up all night finish the puzzle, but I refuse to hurry.
Today, I challenge you to get a puzzle out and take time to build something great with someone you love or by yourself. You deserve it.
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