Or should I say, the “piece” I’ve found in puzzles? I started doing puzzles during COVID. Not the first round of COVID, when everyone was home and all was chaos 24 hours a day, but later, when the kids went back to school in the fall and suddenly our days were organized and structured again, but we still weren’t really going anywhere. And I LOVE them. Specifically, I love city puzzles. Paris. Copenhagen. London. The Italian Riviera. All the places I wanted to visit and daydreamed about while I was slowly putting together all the pretty, brightly colored pieces.
Puzzles made me feel in control of something again when life was very, very upended. So many questions, so much uncertainty. But on weekend mornings and in the evenings after the kids had gone to sleep, I could sit at the dining table with a glass of something or coffee and slowly feel a sense of accomplishment. I had a task, and I finished it. Not a small feat for a mom. The pictures made me happy, the challenge kept me interested, the ability to start a task and finish it really helped my crazy head feel like I had gotten something right in the midst of a completely upturned world.
I shared and mailed puzzles with friends I haven’t seen in years. I traded puzzles with people on my Buy Nothing Facebook group. I reached out to social media friends who posted a completed puzzle on Instagram and asked to trade. I asked for gift cards to buy more puzzles. My husband even got into it and bought me some as gifts. Sometimes my teenager would join me, and it was so, so nice to have something we could sit down together and do without phones or her younger siblings (who weren’t interested) interrupting our conversations.
Puzzles helped me calm my head at the end of the day. They helped me rest my eyes from the phone and computer when I was too tired to scroll or read but still not ready to sleep. They were quiet. They didn’t move, cry, or want a snack. I had time to think or daydream again while I worked through the pieces. And for some reason, my kids left me alone on the mornings I did puzzles. Maybe because I wasn’t on my phone, maybe because I appeared to be doing something, but they’d ask for something and then leave. It was like a magic spell covered me while I was doing a puzzle.
As a mom, we all have so little time to ourselves. Puzzles helped me save my sanity and find some peace again.
January is National Puzzle Month. I highly recommend eeBoo — for kids and adults. Woman-owned, mother-run, recycled, and the best pictures!