Saturday, May 24, 2014

76 Things: #7

As the days of monthly business reports, creating “decks”for the Board of Directors, etc. become a distant memory, I’ve found great importance in continuing to intellectually challenge myself.
One way, in particular, is doing jigsaw puzzles.
My memory…and thought process…aren’t what they used to be, courtesy of MS (that in itself deserves – and will get - its own story). I fear further cognitive impairment and hope that regularly doing puzzles will help.
I’ve lost count of how many puzzles I’ve done over the past few years. Most have been around 1,000-2,000 pieces...although one year my parents got me a 3,000er that, when I opened the box and poured out all the pieces, it took up most of our dining room table!
I’ve done sports, scenic pictures, beer bottles, old school candy wrappers…really, anything and everything. I usually try to pair the puzzle with the season. I just completed two seasonal puzzles in honor of Spring and soon I’ll probably get one that signifies Summer. Mostly, though, I just look for something interesting.
I’ve covered quite a bit of Vincent Van Gogh’s work; in fact, two of those puzzles are hanging in my wife’s home office!
During Lent, I did “The Last Supper”, then rolled it up and sent it to Angela’s parents as a surprise (yes, mailing a puzzle can be done).
Are they helping?  Not sure, but they’ve helped fill part of that intellectual vacuum that was created when I left the world of Product Management, Finance and Powerpoint presentations. 
Best of all, both Vincent and Gigi have become little puzzle aficionados themselves.  They always get excited when I’m working on a new puzzle….and they’ve spent a few Saturday and Sunday mornings doing *all* the jigsaws they own (which is a lot).  It covers up our entire family room and they’ve created their own “Puzzle Shop”, with marketing, sales pitches, etc. 
Another special moment is when Gianna likes to say she is “Daddy’s Girl” when she is working on one of her puzzles.
Most kids like puzzles and Vincent and Gianna are always spending time in make believe worlds, so I’m not sure how much is really influenced by watching their Father doing so many of them.  But it’s nice to think that I’ve found another silver lining in my life less traveled with MS.
Vincent approving of "The Last Supper" (he helped me finish it up, too..)

The 3,000 piece puzzle from my parents!
 



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