We’re on vacation in California, so naturally I’ve been mostly sitting inside doing a puzzle


We are staying with Candice’s aunt and uncle now and Aunt Gina had the puzzle started when we got there.  I haven’t done a puzzle in a really long time and I don’t remember them being this mesmerizing.  A few nights now I’ve stayed up long after everyone else went to sleep working on sections of it.  Others said it was impossible since the colors are pretty similar and one piece looks like it could go anywhere.  I tend to see connections
 in the world around me, usually it’s between people or ideas, but it’s working out well for this puzzle.  I’ve been able to sit down and focus and fit pieces and sections together like… well, like a puzzle.

As of this writing, there’s only a small section left.  It’s the hardest section, but it’s small. 
The Puzzle Problem
Now that there’s only a small section left, when two people work on the puzzle at the same time, they have to work together. 

Last night Candice sat on one side while I sat on the other, Isaiah was watching Godzilla: The Original Animated Series on Netflix next to us.Godzilla
In theory, it was great family time. 
Away on vacation, peaceful evening, still full from Father’s Day lunch with my parents, methodically assembling a puzzle with a nature picture on it. 
In practice, it was a little frustrating.
Candice had her own system that worked great.  She sorted all the remaining pieces by shape.  But then they got mixed up as we tried to find a specific piece.
I had a system that worked.  I flipped pieces upside-down after I tried them. 
But then Candice couldn’t see the pieces I was using to see if they fit where she was working. 
As I mentioned, most of the remaining pieces look similar.  Both of us were taking several pieces at a time that we thought fit where we wanted them to, but those pieces actually fit where the other person was working. 
Yes, it was a little frustrating.
And I enjoyed it thoroughly. 
Puzzling the Problem
And isn’t life like that?
Life is puzzling.  It wouldn’t be much of a stretch of the metaphor to call life a puzzle.
Sometimes puzzles are easier when you do them all alone, but then you miss out on the time together with your loved ones.  You miss out on the shared experiences.
Sometimes life is easier when you do it all alone, but then you miss out on time together with your loved ones.  You miss out on togetherness, on bonding; you miss out on family. 
Living, working, serving, with other people can be frustrating.  It can be more complicated with each additional person involved (I didn’t even touch on pausing from the puzzle every few minutes to pay attention to our son). 
Life with other people can be complicated.
But it’s rewarding.
Learning to live out this puzzle with others is what it’s all about.
And don’t we need to relax sometimes and learn to enjoy it thoroughly?  




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