I thank my grandparents for my love of puzzles. They taught me their strategies of finding all the corners first and trying to do the edges before anything else. A puzzle is always mid-completion on their dining room table, and I’ve too inherited that trait. You need to make sure the lighting is right, and I’ve added the background noise of various podcasts – listen while you work.
Why Puzzles Make Me Happy:
- They are a great escape
- You can multi-task
- They can be calming
- They can test your patience
- The sense of accomplishment when completed
- Collaboration! Others can help you as long as you aren’t too bossy
- A fun activity for rainy/snowy days
My favourite jigsaw puzzles so far have been by the artist Charles Wysocki. The first one I did was when pet sitting in Maine last summer, I was begging to go to Marden’s to get $3 puzzles, but ended up getting one from Target and I’m happy I did. It’s difficult, but doable. He is an artist who created a lot of Americana paintings that focus on day-to-day life in rural areas. I recently discovered he does cat paintings as well, I can’t wait to get my hands on a puzzle version of one of those!
I’ve often wondered if this could be my job. Getting paid to complete jigsaw puzzles? Someone must do this for a living, and I wish it was me. Finishing puzzles makes me feel a strong sense of accomplishment. I am a chronic un-finisher of things…be it craft projects, journals, diets, exercise regimes, books, leg shaving, etc. Puzzles, though, puzzles I can finish. It may sound funny, but it gives me a sense of pride when I complete a puzzle. When life gets hard and you feel like you aren’t achieving much, putting in that last jigsaw piece is almost therapeutic.
I enjoy another form of puzzle as well, the crossword puzzle. This is a constant companion for me. I was once ashamed to admit that I do easy crosswords, but now I am proud of my Easy Monday Crossword abilities. Whether I am waiting in a doctor’s office, sitting on a plane, or avoiding social interactions at work, I will have a book of crossword puzzles with me. If you’re wondering, yes I use pen, yes I cross out clues and, yes, I cheat.
I am also guilty of being the aunt who always gives puzzles to my adorable niblings in attempts to pass on this puzzle obsession. Whatever form they take, puzzles are an excellent way to pass the time and help you feel accomplished. So, when you have the time, do as I do and sit back, enjoy some puzzles and avoid thinking about the existential puzzle that is life.
My Puzzle Recommendations:
- Charles Wysicji Jigsaw Puzzles
- Easy Monday Crosswords
- New York Times Monday Crosswords
- L.A. Times Printable Crosswords
The above is an accurate representation of me and my love of puzzles. WInston 4 Ever.
I would love to find out what type of puzzles you enjoy! Let me know!