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Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Jigsaw Puzzle
by Catie Gosselin of

My youngest and I share a passion for solving puzzles. This Christmas, he was given a 250 piece jigsaw, his greatest challenge to-date. We decided to tackle it over the past few days, and are learning quite a bit. It is ironic how similar successfully approaching a puzzle is to balanced living.

Did you know, for example, that the piece you need to complete a certain section is most often right under your nose? In fact, it is most likely the piece you have tried and discarded several times already (you just forgot to try it at a different angle).

- How often have I found a solution to a problem in my life was the most simple, and first discarded? 

We have also found that the more we try to force pieces to fit, the more elusive the solution becomes. No matter what we do, if a piece is not meant to fit, it won't. ( it's the old square peg in the round hole thing). The best way to complete a puzzle section is to refrain from analyzing it to death. Going by gut instinct yields better results each time.  

- How often have I found forcing my solution never works?

It also never fails, that when I've decided I do not have enough pieces to solve the puzzle, I am proven wrong. No matter how certain that I'm short, there is always enough to complete the task at hand.

- How often have I seen that, despite fears to the contrary, I do posses
resources to face any challenge?

Probably the most astounding thing we found is that there is no law declaring a solution must be found immediately. The beauty of puzzles is they are solved when they are solved, not a minute sooner.

- How many times has the sky not fallen as a result of me carefully
searching for a solution?

I guess my professors were wrong all those years ago. The most important lessons do not occur in a classroom.

all the best,


copyright 2002

Catie is owner/editor of;  a community of support, empowerment and spirituality for all women.  She is the homeschooling mama of two kids, two cats and a tank of fish



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