Making the pieces fit

At the exalted of (whatever age I am) I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself. I know I like chocolate, I hate exercise and I feel lucky to have my job. I sincerely believed there was nothing new to learn.

This last year has proven that wrong in several ways, but one interesting thing I’ve learned is that I am a jigsaw puzzle addict. And just like any good addict, I am fine unless I expose myself to one.

Once I have set down that box on a table and starting spreading out the edge pieces, I’m hooked until the last, stubborn, completely unrelated-looking piece is locked into the last opening. I could work on it for hours and on nights when I have work in the morning, that can be bad.

It’s such an insidious addiction. You make up your mind to put together the lighthouse, which leads you to put together the cliff it sits on and then the rocks below and the green water and the blue sky. When you work at it and get a few pieces to fit into place, the adrenaline takes hold and there you are, a helpless victim of the vicious cycle.

Today,I went to school functioning on about an hour and a half of sleep. What was the reason? Did I have noisy neighbors? Was I sick? Was I worried? No, none of those. I was simply putting the lighthouse together with the trees and lighted path near the house and I couldn’t go to bed until I had that done. Then, there were the clouds that kept turning up in my pieces so I put that together. After that, I put together the pieces that had the water spray that hit the rocks….this went on, well literally all night.

I looked at the clock finally and saw that it was a quarter to five in the morning. It seemed silly to try to get sufficient sleep then, so I put together the dangerous rocks down on the sandy shore instead.

It was very difficult to function with so little rest, but fortunately, my students are good children and made it easy. Because of this incident, I have recognized that I do have this addiction, and should never take out a new puzzle on a schoolnight. And this morning, when I was yawning sleepily as I drove to the east towards work, what was I thinking as I stared at the greenish sky, peaking through the dark cracks of the storm clouds? Well, I was thinking, “If I could find some more of those greenish pieces in the box, I could finishing putting together that sky.”

I’m going to sign off tonight, knowing that even with my jigsaw puzzle lack of sleep debacle, I am still working to achieve my goals. That puzzle and 8 hours of uninterrupted work were well worth it!

Hope the day went well for everyone. I was able to control some of my random eating by keeping a list. The high point of my day is right now, when I turn this off and sink into blessed sleep…that is, if I don’t find another puzzle….

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