Putting a Pause on Puzzles

We’ve often had puzzles out on the table, especially during the winter months. Growing up, we had the same thing. When the pandemic hit, and not being able to go anywhere, we’ve had a puzzle on the table since Fall of 2019.

Today, we are putting a pause on puzzling. A puzzle is great for learning trial and error. For learning to think logically and spatially. And for learning persistence. They are also good for social emotional well-being.

Throughout my puzzle years, it was the social emotional piece I never really thought about.

My husband and I often work on puzzles during our lunchtime together. Now our jobs are calling us to be back in the physical office again two days a week. We knew this time would come, as it was inevitable as all good things must come to an end at some point.

While he was at work today, I opened a new puzzle for us to begin putting together. As I turned over the pieces, my least favorite thing about doing a puzzle, I wasn’t feeling the same as I had in the past while setting this one up. It dawned on me it was because I was missing the company of my loved one.

He and I don’t always talk as we do puzzles, although we have solved some problems while doing so. Even in not talking though, we are together. We are working on a common goal of finishing the puzzle. We are supporting one another by offering pieces to the section the other is working on. We are offering encouraging words when a piece we’ve been looking for is alluding us at the moment. And, we are celebratory when the other finds that piece he’s been trying to find for the last 1,000 years, and when we put in the final pieces to complete the puzzle.

When we work on it alone, there is still the logic, the trial and error, and the persistence. What is missing is the connection we make in doing it together. Today as I got the pieces ready, it was this last part that was missing, and I felt more than a little sad he wasn’t with me.

So once this fantastic puzzle of Paris is finished, the puzzle era is over until cold weather sets in again. It is but another sign things are going back to a more usual routine.

I’m just not sure if I’m fully ready for things to go back to the usual routine, or want to go fully back to the “normal” routine.

Are you?

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