Jigsaws-a metaphor for life?


I decided I must ‘do’ the jigsaw that family bought me for Christmas, after my granddaughter coloured me a rainbow on an artist’s board for my ‘special’ birthday. I haven’t done any jigsaws for about 18 months, after a spell and run of them. A bit like many of my ‘interests’ I get really involved with them for a period, and then move onto another. I thought of it as a failing really, but now I’m accepting that I am Blessed and grateful to have skills and interest in several hobbies, writing, sewing, knitting, photography, and very rarely, my Art. I read daily and nightly. I write fairly often too. The latter two take up my thoughts and I can enter into another world, dimension. The trouble with the other things, is that my brain seems to get more active and thoughts run riot.
This afternoon for example. I took a photo of the jigsaw in its box. I opened the jigsaw box, after setting up my hobby table and placing the jigsaw mat on it. I got a few containers out to sort pieces into. Then as I started to sift through the pieces my mind was off. I know that we all do jigsaws differently. Just like life I thought. I discovered that there weren’t enough plastic containers for the number of colours, but carried on sorting briefly, putting the various colours in straight lines, next to the pots. Then of course, found that many of the pieces, had combinations of colours on. Do I sort according to the main colour, but what about the pieces which are equally proportioned in colour? And then of course, I generally start a jigsaw by putting all the edge in place first, making the border for what is to come in the middle.
After only a few moments, I left the jigsaw to make a black filter decaf coffee, in my new Disney mug, a treat to myself on holiday, and got some more tubs, whilst planning what to write in the new Blog, whilst sitting in front of the jigsaw. Procrastination? Organised? Distraction? Evaluating? Philosophising?
I could of course blame my running thoughts on the THREE caffeinated cappuchinos I’ve had today, which I felt necessary after attending a close friends funeral yesterday. Someone the same age as my daughter. It all still feels very unreal, but I came away again, aware that I need to make each day count, and it is how we treat others, and what we teach others, that will be remembered. Tearing myself away from yet another book I was disappearing into and my bed, I remembered that I often enjoy other activities and relax whilst doing them. The subject of this jigsaw too, is a reminder of beauty and God’s Promise to us. It was also used as a symbol during the Pandemic celebrating the NHS. And most of us delight in seeing one during the rain and sunshine.
I now have two activities running simultaneously, and can’t complete either in a short time frame, which is a challenge as I like things to be finished. It is difficult sometimes waiting to get to the end stage, and being content whilst it is ongoing. Whereas actually, I’m not in a hurry for my life to end, and I want to enjoy each day, make the most of special moments, time spent with people in various settings, groups and places, pieces of a jigsaw, overlapping in colours and amount of time, size, to make up the whole picture of my life.
I can see in front of me the most recent patchwork quilt I am making, and recognise this represents exactly the same image. I have learned it is ok for me not to fully complete one quilt, whilst enjoying other activities and life, and not forcing myself to do that, when I’d rather be doing something else, or have to take a break. Enjoying a short spell of creating something, but not exhausting or boring myself in the process. There are two paintings I started a year ago, a baby’s cardigan I started knitting, but forgot how I did the rib, and many poems and short stories I wish to collate into a personal book. I now see that I have contradicted myself, and that I have learned to leave some things and not complete them.
In recent years I’ve had to unlearn and let go many of my own rules about the running of my life, due to the limitations set by my energy levels. Perhaps remembering a life time of ‘things I had to do daily, to run a family home and work.’ Certainly, I’ve allowed myself to rebel about housework, accept I have to rest in bed a lot, well, most mornings at least, if not longer, and not feel guilty.
Today I also realised that I don’t segregate myself from people as I’m anti-social, but I’m actually protecting my energy, as conversation, concentration, thinking, listening, all exhaust me. I have started saying ‘I don’t like people,’ which is actually not true. I always enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know them. Again, it’s because I don’t want to have to explain my ME and why I can’t talk, concentrate or respond quickly. I’ve learned to laugh about it with the family, but I know they love me. (Most of the time! Hahaha) I like to be with people who know me well and understand.
The jigsaw? Well, many colours, overlapping, different amounts of colours on a number of pieces, but when (if?) put together, create something beautiful. Different aspects of my life, decades, people in my life for different seasons, times, lessons I’ve learned, my activities, interests, jobs, my personality and so much more, will come together to have created something unique and colourful. Me.
PS…of course I now realise that if you lose a piece, it spoils the final jigsaw, but in my life I’ve happily lost bits, been devastated at the loss of certain people, relieved to lose others and most times, people do not fit comfortably in place, just a few. So, the analogy with life is perhaps not perfect, but I went with my thoughts.
20th May 2022

Published by purplesandyh

A reader, writer, Artist, Mum, Grandma, Preacher, friend. Love my life and appreciate amazing skies and countryside. Love animals.Have my own style, purple often included.

6 thoughts on “Jigsaws-a metaphor for life?

  1. I don’t do jigsaws at home but when I visit the library to write the jigsaw that sits on a table often distracts me. The pauses often help me refocus on what I am writing but sometimes take up more of my time than I plan. I suppose the best metaphor for a jigsaw is creating order out of chaos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a jigsaw we liked so much I sent to the manufacturer to buy the picture as a print (Mr Mole proposing to Thumbelina). Before we ever put it together, our Staffie puppy at the time got hold of one of the pieces, and this piece thereafter went into the picture last with a ‘blip’ missing. For some reason, we brought it out every December and put it together in the run up to Christmas.
    When I moved, I lost it. For a long while I didn’t do jigsaws (or play roulette…) and didn’t realise that the contents of a particular drawer was missing, which included the jigsaw, the roulette and the commemorative crowns from the Royal Wedding that we’d bought for the kids.
    But my niece found a copy of the same jigsaw in a car boot sale and bought it for us. It would have been too much to hope that it was ‘our’ copy with it’s signature ‘scar’ from Rumble the Staffie, but it was very welcome, and I bring it out again in December to put together before Christmas.
    Other than that, we rarely seem to have time, or table space, for jigsaws.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember with great fondness a wooden jigsaw of Buckingham Palace at my grandparents that I always enjoyed doing. I often think about it.
      I was introduced to the jigsaw boards, which are very handy, but it is yet another thing once I start that inhabits my small sitting room on the hooby table once I start.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not that I do jigsaws these days but I used to sort the sides first and make the frame, then put pieces together that made up a specific part of the it, then making little piles that was sometimes shapes, sometimes colours … My Mum used to make jigsaws with all three of us girls BUT we never could finish it, as she always kept one piece behind LOL x

    Liked by 2 people

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