Positively puzzled; lessons from a jigsaw un-enthusiast

I’ve never enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles. People are always slightly surprised when they learn that about me. I think it’s my ‘head down, bum up’ work ethic, or maybe my love of organisation and being methodical that makes people think they’d be my kind of thing. But my mum will attest that even from a young age when puzzles consisted of no more than 5 or 6 brightly coloured pieces, I just had no time for them.

Then many years ago my HR team had a 'team jigsaw' on a table in our area. We used it as a way to decompress after tense meetings or challenging phone calls or if we just needed mental space to process something. I can’t say it kindled a love of puzzles, but I certainly saw the benefits of calming the noise in my mind and just focusing on that one task.

Last year my mum gave a few of her puzzles so I could work on completing one and enjoy some time-out while my baby was sleeping. ‘A way to just enjoy the quiet’ I think was how she phrased it. I wasn’t super convinced, but I sacrificed half my dining table and started one.

To be honest I think mum just liked having them out so she had something to do when she was down while my dad monopolised the baby. My sarcastically loaded comments weren’t even enough to get her to stop doing them while I wasn’t around! But when I got the chance to make a coffee and just sit quietly and focus on nothing for a while, it was actually really nice. And I noticed I was getting a little bit better at doing them. Finding my own little methods and tricks.


But as my wee man got bigger, the puzzles had to be put away because he discovered how to climb onto the dining table and loves nothing more than flicking puzzle pieces across the room.