Single Steps Strategies Blog

Completing a Puzzle

By Lisa Purk

In truth, we seek it daily.  Some days we do so more than on other, more routine days.  The things we do to find comfort is wide ranging. 
When seasons shift toward cooler temperatures, we crave our favorite comfort foods like chili or homemade vegetable soup.  We nestle in near a warm fireplace to watch movies or read.  When we experience pain, loss, or uncertainty in our life, we seek the comfort of a good friend.  When my mom died, I happened across a song by Ed Sheeran titled, Supermarket Flowers, that caused tears to flood my cheeks.  Yes, even tears bring us comfort at times we need to soothe our hurting souls. 
During this time in history marked by staying isolated in our homes and physically disconnected from others, even those we love deeply, we seek comfort. With a continual flow of changes that we do not fully understand and the uncertainty those cause, we need something that gives us peace, something that comforts us. 
Sometimes, such as we do in colder months, that comes in our food choices.  Yes, I have had some brownie eating, potato chip binging days.  But for reasons there is no need to detail, I chose not to rely on food, as tempting as it is. 
One day, as I scrolled social media for distraction, I observed that building jigsaw puzzles had become a popular quarantine activity of choice. 
It had been quite a few years since I completed one, but the memories were good.  My mom, who I cried the Supermarket Flowers tears for, is one reason.  She and I built many of them together over good conversation and much laughter. 
“Would I still enjoy them” I wondered to myself.  I decided to try and was quickly reminded that when I build one, I become completely engaged.  Completely.  
Just the other evening I thought, “I’ll just sort out the edge pieces” which turned into, “I’ll just start to build the frame” which became two plus hours ending with, “Wow, did I just spend that long working on that?”   
As I search for and place each next piece, I am freed from anxious and worried thoughts.  Even fear steps aside as I stay totally immersed in solving what is before me. 
When I find myself perseverating on a worry thought or I am fatigued from a day’s activities, I lose myself in organizing colors, looking for patterns and building sub-sections.  I notice a sense of anticipation when it is time to put aside the day’s activities and escape to that place where I forget about life for a while.     
When you find your mind is spinning and you want it to “stop” for a while, finding what offers this chance to escape matters.  Maybe like me, you enjoy the respite a good puzzle brings.  Or, maybe for you it is reading, baking, or crocheting.  Possibly your choice involves other people or is more active rather than sedentary.  There are no “rights” or “wrongs” about this.  But it is important that you have something that allows you to rest, rejuvenate and regroup. 
Your first step to retreating from the fatigue and concerns of life is to know what provides that for you.  
Puzzles are not my only way to escape.  Hiking, biking and long chats with good friends do as well. 
And sometimes, it is still the warm, fudgy brownie that calls my name.  And for that, I give myself grace. 

Lisa Purk is the Owner of Inner Fire Coaching.  She coaches women who want to develop the confidence to align their lives with their authentic self and pursue their creative passions.
You can find out more about Lisa through her blog, Your Morning Purk, on Facebook, and on Linked In.