Thursday, 8 October 2015

for the love of jigsaw puzzles

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

The latest craze for adult stress relief is colouring-in. It seems like every woman and her dog has jumped onto the colouring bandwagon. The young guy at the supermarket checkout even told me he'd just bought an adult colouring-in book from his local bookstore while he was away on holidays. Then he started waxing lyrical about the specific brand of colouring pens he needed to buy to be able to do the tricky bits with!

I wrote a post a while back on my love of colouring - I think I was a closet colour-er for years before it suddenly became okay to admit to loving something that everyone else thought was just for little kids to occupy themselves with. When you're not a creative/crafty person it's harder to find ways to zone out and find your "zen" moments. You'll never find me cross stitching in the corner, or knitting socks, or padding tissue box covers, but you will find me doing the occasional page of a colouring-in book.......and you'll often find me with a jigsaw puzzle in progress.

My husband has no understanding of why jigsaws appeal to me. He sees me spend days putting one together and then I cheerfully pack it up and put it back in the box. What he fails to understand is that it has two sides to it - one: I get to use my slightly OCD talents to piece together the puzzle and, two: I get to keep my clutter free self happy by not having to find somewhere to put it when it's finished. So for me it's a win/win situation!

The other thing I love about jigsaw puzzles is their ability to allow me to step out of time - I can become so focused on finishing a section that an hour or two can slip by without me noticing. If I'm bothered by something, zoning out over a 1000 piece puzzle can distract my thoughts and stop them rabbiting around inside my head for a while. I've probably done hundreds of jigsaws over the years - from 500 to 2,000 piece ones but my preference is always for the 1,000 piece because it fits my table and it's do-able without becoming too time consuming.

A puzzle can lie around for weeks gradually having pieces added to it, it can fascinate some visitors - who have to put a few pieces in because they can't resist. It bemuses others because they just don't "get it" and see it as a pointless exercise. Our kids have done bits over the years but neither has the interest or patience to invest in them for very long. Our son is a lifelong Lego fan and I thought jigsaws would appeal to the engineer in him - but they can't compete with 3D construction.

Here is the puzzle I've just finished:

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

I borrow them from our local library and give them back when I'm finished (I don't even have to store the boxes that way!) Sometimes there's a piece or two missing, but kind people often note that on the box and where it's missing from so you can decide beforehand if you want to go ahead or do a different one. 

So, I'm putting some love out there for jigsaws - colouring has been having its moment of glory lately and maybe jigsaws will have their turn. In the meantime, I will keep myself gainfully (?) occupied by doing a little of each in my spare time - it makes a nice change to blogging now and then!


31 comments:

  1. I am with you, sister. And in your honor tonight I will get out a big big many pieced puzzle!!

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  2. I loved doing jigsaw puzzles before there were three little kids.

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  3. I am with you and Carla - love jigsaws. Love doing them with the family too - especially the Christmas puzzle (one of our annual family traditions)

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    1. I want the Christmas family puzzle tradition now Ali - I'm jealous!

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  4. More than coloring or jigsaws, I love word games like Scrabble or Words With Friends :-)

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    1. I love those too Karen - I tell myself they're helping me fight off dementia :)

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  5. I'm still a jigsaw girl, coloring just doesn't do it for me like a good old fashioned puzzle!

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    1. I agree Jess, nothing beats a really good jigsaw puzzle!

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  6. Hi leanne,
    I love jigsaws too, but the ones on the phone, where you slide the puzzles with your fingers and then it makes this winning sound once completed. You can't do the 1000 pieces ones though:) Another thing we have in common!
    xx

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    1. I like the computer ones too Abby - no pieces to put away afterwards :)

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  7. Hey Leanne...I guess I'm a bit like your husband. Not in to the puzzle thing...but I have to admit you do give some great reasons why it can be fun! #TheLeisureLink! ~Kathy

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    1. I think you either get it or you don't Kathy - my sister-in-law hates them and always tells the story about the only prize she ever won was a jigsaw!

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  8. Oh, man, I'm going to get a puzzle and start doing it ASAP! You are so right about all the stress relieving qualities! I got an adult coloring book and I like it but at night my eyes are frequently too tired for even that. Thanks for reminding me about how great they can be,

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    1. I'm glad I inspired you Katy - maybe start with 500 pieces to work you way back up!

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  9. Wonderful post! I have loved both coloring and puzzles my whole life. I have limited space so I have started doing jigsaw puzzles on the iPad instead of real life. I prefer real ones but the others still work as a great stress reducer as well. Like you said, it's a perfect way to step away from your problems and calm your mind.

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    1. I like the computer jigsaws too Nancy - for the same reason (they take up less space) and it's good to mix things up a bit :)

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  10. I like to color when the kids were little and they would leave them lying about the house, but I can't really imagine buying one for myself. I do like jig saw puzzles, but I haven't done one in ages although this got me thinking that would probably be something really good for my mom! Thanks so much for a wonderful idea!

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    1. my friend's mum has Alzheimers and she bought a colouring in book and her mum loves it! Maybe you should do something similar with your mum - might be easier than a jigsaw?

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  11. We love doing puzzles at our house. So soothing and relaxing, and such a feeling of accomplishment when it's done. I haven't tired the coloring craze yet but I know I would love that too!

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    1. sooner or later you'll get lured into colouring - it might wait til the grandchildren stage! Nice to know you're a fellow jigsaw lover though :)

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  12. Hi Leanne, I seem to be having trouble commenting using either Wordpress or Google - this is the 4th attempt - can you tell me if my other three attempts have shown up? And is it just me having a problem?

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    1. Hi Gilly - no just this one showed - but so did your other one on my newest post - thank you so much for persevering :)

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  13. Here's the truth: I've never liked them. Ever. However... now that I've read the post and comments, I want to give them a 2nd chance!
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/santa-fe-fall/

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    1. it's okay Carol - you and my sister-in-law are kindred spirits! She loathes jigsaws :)

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  14. I haven't done a jigsaw puzzle in years, maybe it is time to give it a go once again! It would be a nice activity this winter when we are stuck indoors more.

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    1. it does fill the time nicely and it gives everyone an excuse to sit around and chat while they do it.

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  15. I enjoy jigsaw puzzle as well, for exactly the reasons you talked about. I'm glad to discover I'm not the only one! (Like you were a closet colour-er, I've probably been a closet jigsaw-er.) ~Paula R. #TheLeisureLink

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    1. we'll be able to claim our long term jigsaw love if it ever becomes the "new" trend Paula :)

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  16. Hwy popular girl. This post is featured in this weeks Blog Booster Party #28. Well done

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