Word Puzzles and the Puzzle of Life
Life is a Puzzle. Carol Harrison reminds us that we need to find solutions, just like we do when attempting word puzzles.
Setting together a puzzle – putting all those hundreds of small pieces together to form a pretty picture has never been my idea of fun, relaxation or enjoyment of any kind. I marvel at the patience of those who love this activity.
I realize there are many other forms of puzzles. Number puzzles like Suduko is even less enticing for me to attempt than setting together a puzzle. Yet I have family members who love this challenge in their spare time. They even enjoy the difficult ones.
Word Search Puzzles
My mother enjoyed word search puzzles and spent many happy hours in her retirement searching up, down, sideways and diagonally to find the listed words. I remember my youngest daughter, Amee, sitting with her as she worked through the puzzle book. At first she simply watched and asked grandma what she was doing. Then she learned to spot a few of the correct letters and finally could find words on her own, even when they were backwards or on a diagonal.
With her learning disabilities this activity provided Amee with challenges that helped improve her reading and gave her time with Grandma too. When my mom passed away we found a number of word search puzzle books and our daughter, Amee claimed them for herself. When her other grandmother passed away last year, we found word search puzzle books among her possessions as well and Amee added them to her own stash. Now she even has a puzzle page on her phone with word searches to keep her occupied while waiting for a ride, waiting in line or just to pass the time of day.
Crosswords as Word Puzzles
Crosswords are another form of word puzzle. Even though I didn’t mind doing a word search now and then, crosswords never interested me either. Maybe it was because the ones I saw in the newspaper always had clues that I did not understand or could not think of a word to fit into the spaces. But in the last few months, my husband has encouraged me to do puzzle pages with word puzzles that he downloaded on my phone. He told me it would help sharpen my word skills, help me think of other words to fill in the definition, synonyms for words I use all the time. It would also be a good way to pass the time when I needed to sit in a waiting room, wait for supper to cook since I could put it down easier than another project or just do them when I needed to relax.
Puzzles, difficult crosswords or easy word searches might not seem like the best way to relax but I checked out the puzzle page app on my phone. It contained number puzzles as well as word puzzles. I checked out other crossword type of puzzles with easier clues than I had known could be found in a crossword. I tried some and found myself enjoying the challenge of figuring out the word needed. Then he asked me to help him or Amee would try something other than a word search and see if I knew how to spell a word or what word the puzzle might be looking for. I must admit some of the clues are obscure. Spelling the words reminded me of spelling bees in grade school and occasionally a flash of apprehension flitted through my mind about misspelling a word. But now there is no shame in having to look it up if I can’t remember how to spell it.
I still avoid the number puzzles. I still do not really enjoy setting a puzzle together but I have found a few word puzzles that have sharpened my word skills. It also gives me a connection with family members who do love doing all types of puzzles.
Life Can Seem Like a Puzzle
Life is unique just like each one of us. We are one of a kind, created by God with varying looks, interests and abilities. Life can seem like a puzzle – sometimes we find unexpected enjoyment from puzzles or from life events that we may not have looked forward to because life just seemed full of tough stuff.
I think we should look for unexpected moments of joy in the middle of life’s tougher moments to figure out how the puzzle pieces marked tough stuff fit into our lives. It is a challenge I need to continue to accept in my life.
I had the chance to look after my almost two year old grandson for a day not very long ago. I looked forward to it and then life happened. My shoulder and rib hurt but I did not know why. I did know that lifting the little guy would hurt the areas more. My husband would be home and grandpa could do most of the lifting. Then I was needed to usher at a funeral at our church that same day. No one else was available. My husband needed to help my son in the afternoon. The puzzle pieces were blurring together.
But in the middle of what looked like conflicting schedules, pain and possibly not being able to enjoy a day with the grandson we found some solutions to the puzzle. I would go and usher in the morning while grandpa had special time with the little guy and in the afternoon it would be my turn. I loved to watch him play with his cars, try and tell me all kinds of stories, only a few words of which I understood, and finally he brought his blanket and climbed on my knee where he laid his head down and fell asleep. I sat quietly and enjoyed this moment of peacefulness in a hectic day. Baby cuddles are great puzzle pieces of life and moments of joy.
What unexpected moments and memories can you think of when life seems a jumble of puzzle pieces that don’t want to fit together to make a nice picture?
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
You Might Enjoy These Posts
You May Also Enjoy These Podcasts:
Crossword Mistake – stevepb
Scrabble – wokandapix
Sad Young Woman – olgachinyaeva02