Just Write {70}

January 28, 2013

Saturday, in a coffee shop, I worked hard. Sending emails and writing posts and writing other things. I got a lot done, there in the caffeinated room, high ceilings, chill in the air from the door opening and closing.

My friend Rhonda sat nearby doing her work. She has two daughters and a full-time job and a part-time job–the one she was working on today. We sat apart to stay focused but took breaks together. She loves her coffee strong and so do I but I can’t drink it in the afternoon like she can or I don’t sleep.

I called Ryan to check-in and he said he was out with the kids looking at a book store for a new puzzle because we’re almost done with the last one. We do many puzzles in the winter, it started after I quit drinking. Puzzles were a way for me to distract my brain and keep my fingers busy. It stuck, I guess. I only like puzzles that have many different colors and details. Not the kind with mostly one color, that drives me nuts.

We talked for about a full five minutes about not knowing where to find a good puzzle in this town and don’t get a cheap one because then the pieces are thin and the wrong pieces accidentally end up fitting in spots where they aren’t supposed to be and then you can’t finish it cause it’s all mixed up. And maybe we should just order one of the good ones from Amazon but can we wait for it to be shipped because then we’d have to go a night without sitting together over the table, randomly talking and not, trying to be the best puzzle-doer.

Oh look at that, yo. I think that’s about five in a row in about one minute. HOLLAH. Take that! we say while we push one more piece into place with a pointer finger, dramatically.

I said, We’ve been talking about puzzles for like five minutes. We are really big dorks and we’re old.

We laughed.

Then Rhonda came over and I told her what we’d talked about for so long. She was stretching by a chair because we people in our late thirties get stiff from all this computer work. We made fun of us and our love for puzzles and she said, There’s no shame in that. At least you don’t have to feel guilty for doing puzzles. It’s not like you wake up the next morning with a headache, wishing you hadn’t done that puzzle.” 

This was a drinking analogy of course, and it’s funny, but now I just realized that sometimes I do stay up way too late doing puzzles, that’s how bad my addict brain is. I embrace this. Puzzle-mania. Puzzle rehab. Binge puzzle-doing.

If you would have told me five years ago that this would be what I’m interested in doing in the evenings, to shut down my brain and chill out and and hang out with my husband, I would have laughed and thought it sounded dreadfully boring. It’s not though, strangely. It’s what we do to go quiet when we’re exhausted and then we head to bed to warm our feet.  The next day is absent of a hangover or any stupid things I could have done with my drunken words or dramatic behavior.

Back then, my nights were like a cheap puzzle. Just not quite right and it didn’t fit and I had to guess a lot. I always felt all mixed up. This is better.


This is the 70th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page, and please don’t link to posts that are not freely written in the spirit of capturing moments–you know, don’t link to how-to lists or sponsored posts. I am far from a jerk, but I want people to remember that this is about writing and not about traffic. If you’re linking to everything you’ve found to link to that day, you probably are not fulfilling the requirements of each link-up. Also,  please link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in. (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.) (Please don’t make me delete stuff because it feels mean.) 

Also. Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word? Thank you!


emily wierenga January 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm

thank you for your heart, for hosting us here, heather.
emily wierenga recently posted..Would you be friends with your younger self? (a one-time link-up)

tara pohlkotte January 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm

happy 70th {woot!} so glad that you’re the puzzle kind now. that you’ve opened this place to us all.
tara pohlkotte recently posted..Half Light of Morning

Heather January 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Hey you,

I just ordered Finding Church. Just wanted to tell you. I realize this is totally off topic, but this IS Just Write and so I just wrote that. xoxo

Jayna @ Yankee Drawl January 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm

It’s nice to be able to replace one life puzzle with a real, simple one. I’m so glad you found that and can share these words about it.
Jayna @ Yankee Drawl recently posted..so we grow. together.

Elaine January 29, 2013 at 8:59 am

Oh man, you made me want to pull out one of my puzzles, even though I really have NO time for that these days. You know, I love them too. My brother and I used to compete over who could get them faster, etc. I love them too. And that you and your hubby are doing them together! :)
Elaine recently posted..Pitter Patter

Tricia January 29, 2013 at 9:04 am

I love puzzles. The activity for my brain and my hands that is quiet and simple. There is always a solution. The feel of getting that piece to finally fit. Glad it serves such an important place in your life.
Tricia recently posted..First day back

Yuliya January 29, 2013 at 11:44 am

I can’t believe you didn’t include affiliate links to the best puzzles on Amazon. It’s like you dont’ know me at all.

Ronda January 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I got an ipad for Christmas and found a jigsaw puzzle app! Love, love, love it! I get why that works for you.
Ronda recently posted..The Journey of Leaving Comfortable

Ann January 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I just got inspired and asked Husband if he likes puzzles. He said no.

Sarah February 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Really great post.

Handsfull February 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Have you come across Wasgijs? They’re puzzles where the picture on the box is the moment BEFORE the picture on the puzzle. We discovered them a month ago when we were staying at a friend’s bach (NZ-speak for beach-house) for a few days and it turned rainy. Ian (my husband) and I were very surprised at how addicted we both became, and acted just like you describe – happily sitting for an hour or so, trying to fit a couple of pieces in!

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