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Jigsaw puzzles as a metaphor for life, work, parenting, coping

I know you'll all be pleased to hear my Sydney Harbour Bridge puzzle is coming on, probably just under half finished now! Whilst I've been absorbed in finding the correct shade of harbour blue or steel grey I have been contemplating how puzzles are a great metaphor for working, parenting, schooling and looking after ourselves at the moment. Bear with me here!


1. What may seem insurmountable at first glance is achievable when broken into manageable pieces. I had never attempted a 1000 piece puzzle, nor been particularly inclined to do so, I didn’t have a strategy, felt overwhelmed by the task at hand. Fast forward two weeks and not only am I mastering it, I am enjoying it. On the whole the same could be said of lock down life.

2. The act of doing the puzzle requires you to be focused on the task at hand. As with life at the moment we cannot rush ahead as we don’t know what the future holds or when lock down and social distancing will ease. Day by day is the key

3. Doing the puzzle is super frustrating, slow going and challenging – much like the current situation; you want to cry sometimes, you want to shout and throw things around, you want to escape…. But you persevere and keep going. Patience is a virtue

4. You try new things out to see what works. Yesterday I was focused on finishing Luna Park, today I will finish the boats, tomorrow I might start the bridge. I tried to take on the whole thing to begin with. That was a mistake, it didn’t work and led to more frustration. But I learnt that focusing on one thing at a time was the path of least resistance.

5. Seeing the big picture emerging motivates you to keep moving forward. Lots of little steps which don’t appear to be helping are in fact laying the foundations for success.


That’s it for now… I’ll keep thinking as I work on the bridge and sky. Dreading the sky. However as I have learnt I don’t expect it will be as bad as I fear and may even be quite enjoyable.

#perseverance #movingforward #bigpicture #jigsaws



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