A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a package with a couple of puzzles in it, she said that puzzles help her focus and I thought, "Yeah, puzzles would probably be a good way to challenge my brain."
Then a few days later, my OTs started focusing on improvong my attention and concentration by having me do a puzzle during therapy. It was hard, I couldn't reason my way through it, what pieces went together, how and why and what to look at. When I was done I felt accomplished and my brain felt good, like a muscle that had not been exercised in awhile. So, I started craving more puzzles. So Matt took me to the neighborhood hobby store and bought the hardest puzzle known to man, just to challnge me. My auto mechanic brother-In Law finished it while talking on the phone for a few hours and one of the puzzles my friend sent, both reatively simple puzzles, with big pieces, but the first one I attempted, a very cute tree frog on a bamboo shoot, overwhelmed and frustrated me to no end, I could not reason my way through it, I just kept trying to shove pieces together in hopes of eventually finding a good fit ay some point. Not the best strategy. Well, one night the Brother-In-Law from heaven, John, noticed my mounting angst and sat down and paitently talked me through the best way to work on this puzzle, so I was then reasoning my way through it in a logical, calm and rational manner.
I started the second puzzle yesterday, a cute little dog in a teacup, but I began the puzzle fully confident that this was something I was capable of, and I pieced the border together, calmly and rationally, today I went to OT and we did some puzzly type things together, finding hidden pictures, you know, like the back of Highlights magazine. and I found I was using the same techniques to solve these puzzles as I was to put together that doggie puzzle, so I was doing much better on these tasks than I had previously, which made me feel smart again, which only increases my self-confidence which I fully believe helps me perform better in day to day life.
I continued to work on the doggie today as Matt chopped fire wood outside in the early autumn drizzle, I kept fitting piece after piece toheter, noticing when I made a mistake and correcting it, before it caused problems in the future, until I got the last piece in there. It was such a satisfying moment, I wanted confetti to drop from the ceiling, and I wanted a stadium full of people to cheer for me.
who knew completing a child's puzzle could bring so much pleasure?