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Peace, by Piece

With eager enthusiasm I started a new puzzle last week. I thought it would be an easy 500 pieces, but now that I’ve opened the box, it’s more like 1,000. And I anticipate this number to grow.

Completing hundreds of puzzles helped prepare me for this latest, especially since it comes without a picture. You see, this bright, one-of-a-kind puzzle is none other than my new home. Like any project or task, to me it’s like a puzzle, a game. And games, as we know, are fun.

With puzzles it’s best to start with the border. Which is what I did. I had the hardwood floors sanded and stained and the walls painted. Now it’s time to fill in the middle. I like to dump out all the pieces (that is if I have room and, I’m happy to declare, I now have more than I know what to do with!) to get a good look at what I’m working with. In this case, some of the pieces no longer fit – tiny dressers, clothes or shoes no longer worn, bags not used – and even though before I moved I donated stuff, sometimes it’s your new space that dictates what fits and what doesn’t and it’s with a sense of relief I say, “Buh-Bye” and move on.

Once the unused pieces are discarded, it’s time to group the likes: kitchen, bedroom, bath, and clothing. Since the first three categories I hadn’t much of, I had to ab

andon my puzzle and head out on a scavenger hunt. Three trips to TJ Maxx, two to Home Goods, two to The Container Store, two to Bed, Bath and Beyond, and one to Home Depot had me feeling I was in a reality show, “The Amazing Race to Stock a Home!”

While I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, this new apartment won’t either, but I am enjoying the process of putting this puzzle together, of taking my time to make sure the pieces match (all orange utensils!) and fit perfectly. Each day I’m admiring the final picture as it becomes visible little by little. How will I know when I’m done? Easy. When I find the final peace.

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