Puzzle Pieces

I always loved doing puzzles.

Every year on my family’s summer vacation we would find some puzzles to do in our rental cottages. I would choose one, usually the most difficult one that I could find, and for the next week or two make it my project.

I would get a sense of what it should look like then start laying down the frame. Always the frame first to set the boundaries and give it some structure.

Then I would find the unique sections. Maybe there were some special colors in one area, or a different pattern, a face perhaps. It didn’t really matter but on a huge puzzle I had to start filling in the frame somewhere and I went for whatever stood out.

After the obvious pieces were in place, it always got a little more challenging. Perhaps there was a vast section of blue sky, with little to differentiate one blue puzzle piece from dozens of others. My father or sister might help out for awhile.
I felt more disconnected from the sections they worked on as I hadn’t struggled with them myself, yet they were still part of completing the whole.

As more and more of the puzzle came together, the pieces fell in place faster and faster. Finally down to the last dozen or so pieces, I could see how the final result would look and with a last few satisfying snaps, I would sit back to admire the finished product.

Of course, the process of assembling was more fun than when it was actually finished.

But when one puzzle was finished, so it could start all again with a new one.

In the last weeks, life feels like it has reached the last dozen or so pieces of this particular puzzle and they are snapping quickly into place.

I am writing this from what should be my final train ride to Mannheim. On Friday night my phone started ringing off the hook and texts were flying in. I found out that the sales deal I had been supporting the last few weeks had been signed. A contract for a long term project. In Munich.

Like making a puzzle, I have over the last year been putting in place the frame, the sections I could manage and, without realizing it, coming closer and closer to those last dozen or so pieces falling into place. There was help from my friends and family to shape certain sections and sometimes without knowing why or where it was going, I fought to stay in the frame I laid out a year ago.

I called Mr. Kilt to tell him the good news and agreed to meet up with him after dinner with the girls. When I arrived, he had left a trail of post it notes from the front door to the living room. ‘This way for a surprise. -> ‘Only Boston Red Sox fans past this point.’ ‘Congratulations, honey.’ I was giggling like a fool, following one note after the other, until I turned the corner. He was sitting there with a bottle of pink champagne, two glasses, and a big grin, waiting to celebrate the good news!

With that, the last piece of one puzzle snapped into place and, well, I think I will sit back, admire and enjoy it for a little while and get ready to start the next one.

Posted from DB


Rz said...

Congratulations! I have enjoyed reading your blog and I am definitely a sucker for happy...this time, let's call it...happy "beginnings"!

Expat Traveler said...

What a great story... And I love that your pieces of the puzzle are fitting into place. I guess for some of us, it just takes a while longer to find the proper pieces that fit the puzzle correctly!

Now the photos, that would have been fun to see (I mean that line of post it notes)... :-)

CanadianSwiss said...

I really like the Puzzle as a metaphorically. I guess one could call my stage as starting a new puzzle and setting up the frame. I see I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I believe I can make it - with a little help from my friends and family.

Carrie said...

I have been reading your blog for almost 3 years now and living vicariously through your adventures. I lived in Mannheim as a high schooler and dreamed of being able to somehow go back to Europe for work. Life and family obligations always seem to take priority and now that just doesn't seem possible. But I am very happy to read about your happiness - both business and pleasure!

Michelle said...

Rz and Carrie - Many thanks..I always wonder who reads this besides a few regular commenters and my family :-D

ET - Didn't think to photograph it!

CS - Keep your spirits up and when possible you are right. You can think of this time as an opportunity to shape the next phase of your life. I know though, easier said than done and you can't rush it.