finding the pieces

First of all, I apologize for completely forgetting to mention what seemed to be the obvious in my last post. If you have been following my blog for some time, you may have already noticed the change in layout. Quite the opposite from the dark background that I’ve used since starting this blog, I decided to change it up with a lighter background, sort of as a way to represent my moving away from the “dark side”. I also wanted to make it a little bit more user friendly while still keeping the overall look relatively simple. I hope to make this blog more interactive and to get more feedback; thoughts, opinions, compliments and constructive criticism are all welcomed. The “like” and “comment” buttons can be found at the end of each post.

So anyway, I mentioned last week that I’d been going through some intense troubling times because of stress. I’m not sure right now is a good time for me to write about it (even though I eventually do want to write my thoughts out in more reflective pieces), but I do want to use this post to share one of the methods I used and found effective in dealing with my stress.

I was inspired to start a puzzle because of a puzzle that others had already started in the staff room at my work. It was the day after I had completely broken down that I found myself sitting there working on the puzzle for over 2 hours after I had already finished work. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I last laid hands on a puzzle, but there was definitely something very calming about it that prompted me to want a puzzle to do at home. So after we left work, my co-worker and I went to the mall to find me a puzzle.

Have puzzles become a thing of the past, or was I just too consumed by everything else this world had to offer that I’d forgotten how fun and enjoyable puzzles were? To be honest, when it came to looking for a puzzle to buy, I had a bit of difficulty thinking about where I could buy a nice one downtown; I haven’t had to buy a puzzle in sooooo long. Luckily, I remembered there was a Toys, Toys, Toys, at the bottom level of the Toronto Eaton Centre and they did have a selection of puzzles. After going through a number of them, I spotted one with a scenery that I recognized. It was a photographed image of the Norwegian Fjords with a ship right in the middle. Upon closer inspection of the small image, I was able to recognize the ocean liner’s signature funnel and bridge wings prior to their extension, and confirmed that the ship in the picture was indeed the RMS Queen Mary 2 that I cruised on 2 years ago! [Click here for cruise photos.]

What were the chances?! I mean, I’ve done a lot of research on the QM2 and have watched documentaries on the building of the ship obsessively after coming back from the cruise, so for me to actually find a puzzle with the QM2 in it is pretty crazy. There was absolutely no doubt which puzzle I was going home with.

It wasn’t until I opened the box that I realized I picked a rather challenging puzzle to start with. The pieces were either blue, green or grey, with a small selection of white ones, and the majority of them were parts of trees, grass, water or rock that looked the same. Word of advice…if you want to start off easy, don’t pick a puzzle with any of the above :p

I spent the first evening working on the border and some unique parts of the puzzle.

Then I spent about 7 hours the next day on my day off to work on it.

By the third day, I couldn’t keep myself away from the puzzle. I was so excited to finish it.

Done on the fourth day! :)

It was kind of bittersweet when I finished the puzzle; on one hand I was happy to complete it, but on the other I was sad that it was done so quickly and I didn’t have another puzzle to work on. I guess it was good while it lasted, and I can genuinely say I enjoyed my time with my puzzle because for once, I did something that was entirely for me. I was able to indulge myself in hours of pure bliss. And the entire time I worked on my puzzle, I had my phone and laptop turned off, and basically isolated myself from anything that could distract me.

For once, the world had to wait for me.

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