sunday was a dreary, cold, wet, windy, cold and generally
cold grey day – the kind of weather where you wrinkle your nose and pull up your collar as soon as you set foot outdoors. then you hightail it back inside and cocoon for the rest of the day…kidding! but *wintry* weather really did descend upon us this past weekend. (we’re wusses right now – give us a month and 2 degrees celsius will feel positively balmy).
[photos taken while i walked snooki book back to the library – on to dragon tattoo girl!]
thus, it was the perfect day to put into effect a new experience that’s been on the backburner all year.
a bit of background: as a child, i LOVED jigsaw puzzles. i would puzzle and repuzzle the ones i had over and over again (my favourite was a peanuts-themed one with snoopy et al playing musical instruments). as a grown-up, i’ve completed jigsaw puzzles here and there – the last one was a few years back when i was looking to fill some time during a running injury. i had puzzle pieces all over the floor for at least a month!
this puzzle has been stored away since i don’t know when. i honestly don’t remember how it came into my possession:
[i don’t like “scenic” puzzles – i like bright colours and not too big blocks of colour. this one meets my criteria!]
so: my original idea was to “do a jigsaw puzzle from start to finish, without stopping.” well, if you look at that box, you will see it’s 1000 pieces big – a little ambitious, i would say, to expect to complete it in one shot, esp if i wish to keep my job!
this new experience might strike you as zany, but the way i see it, some people watch football for five hours on a lazy sunday, or flop down with a full load of pvr’d tv shows. i chose to puzzle away my late aft/evening!
the rules: i would puzzle for 4.5 hours (4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) non-stop, but i could pause for washroom , food + water, and quick fb/email breaks.
i set up my puzzling zone…
…put on background entertainment…(real housewives of new york – i know all their voices by now, so no need to watch! audio-style a-ok!):
…and set the timer for one hour. i decided to work in one hour blocks, and also the timer binging would remind me to photograph my progress.
at the starting gate:
i used my childhood strategy to get organized:
this is how far i got in hour one (remember i also had to do the arranging you see, above):
next, i grabbed all the pieces with words/writing. after hour two, here’s what i had:
i was still fresh as a daisy after two hours.
during hour three, i made colour groupings:
i should note that the challenge about this time was the lighting – it was getting dark out and my chandelier was casting a glare on the table. i kept having to twist my head around to peer at the puzzle pieces. my lower back started getting tight from bending over the table (better than working on the floor – no way my knees would have been comfy kneeling for all that time!).
after three hours, my mind was
going getting a little tired. at least my eyes held up the whole time – no cranky contacts!
real housewives was done by this time, so i had time to reflect on how puzzling is like life (deep thoughts coming up): puzzle pieces = people or events…sometimes you really want a piece to fit in a spot and it just is not right; sometimes you are sure a piece is going to be the right one, and it is not at all; sometimes you grab a piece and know exactly where it goes; sometimes you try a spot thinking it’s not right at all…and it’s perfect!
so, how far did i get in 4.5 hours? well, let’s just say i am SO VERY GLAD i put a time limit to my puzzling and didn’t go for the completion goal!
at 9 p.m., the puzzle looked like this:
and i looked like this!
wow – have to say that overall, the time flew. the last hour was a slog, though. i only kept going because of my time goal. and i honestly thought i would accomplish more. the good news? i had FUN the whole time! if i found myself getting bored, i’d simply switch from building the barn, to rounding up the cows. i hopped about my themes a lot during the final sixty minutes.
so will i finish the puzzle? i hope so! it’d be nice to have the COMPLETED puzzle on the table as a bit of autumn décor. and with the puzzle pieces in plain view, it’s the kind of thing where i can just take five minutes as i walk by and see what i can do. maybe i’ll have some time this weekend? (we celebrate thanksgiving!). but, if i end up sweeping the puzzle pieces back into the box at the end of october, i’m not going to sweat it. i had fun seeing what i could do in my 4.5 hour puzzling blitz!
i guess i have another october goal!
have you ever done marathon sessions of something? how did you cope? as a teen, i once knit all day to finish a sweater for a party that eve, and i once ran in a 6 hour ultra event. then there was the epic 34 hour drive from moab, utah back home – i’ll never forget blasting cher at 3 a.m., driving through nebraska! my mental strategy always is to break the large timeframe into small chunks!!