You know what’s got ME puzzled??  The puzzle you see here, that’s what.  It is National Puzzle Day!!  Yep, there is such a thing.  Who knew?  When I discovered it was National Puzzle Day AND I happened to have a jigsaw puzzle going on in my living room, inspiration struck.  This dragon of a puzzle (see what I did there??), it’s a love-hate kind of relationship, frankly.  This jigsaw puzzle is huge, loaded with 1000 pieces.  Between the hubs and I, we have put in well over 20 hours on this beast since we opened it shortly after Christmas.  Most of that time has been in 2 and 3 hour chunks.  I’m pretty sure my hubby is through with this one, so it’s been just me for the last 10-ish hours.  Gawd, I sound like a dork.  If coming back to this incredibly challenging activity, day after day, makes me a Super Dweeb, I don’t really care.  Here’s why: this puzzle is stretching my brain in a unfamiliar and unusual way.  And it’s FUN.  Not in the “let’s party like rock stars until 3 a.m.” kind of fun, but in the “this is hard work and I’m succeeding” kind of way.  This puzzle has offered me a bit of escape from the worries of the day, offering intense concentration on something other than numbers and business management.  It has helped hone my patience and perseverance even when I thought the task would be easy (see those pretty clouds on the left?  All those unique, vibrant colors were EASY to pick out of the box to begin to putting together.  But they were the WORST to actually fit together; hardly any unique or identifying characteristics besides their color.  Gah!).  It even allows me practice asking for help and determining when I need a brain break.  My kids are great at finding the one piece I’ve spent 20 minutes searching for.

With each piece that finds it’s home, I get a jolt of joy.  Yay for one less piece to try to place!  Woo hoo for one step closer to getting my coffee table back!  Woot, woot for one less moment of freaking out when my kids come close to accidentally sliding it off the table!  And one more [insert your own favorite exclamatory phrase here!] for making my kids giggle every time I celebrate like a crazed lunatic.

Whether it’s a jigsaw puzzle, a logic problem, Sudoku, crossword, trivia or brain teasers, studies have shown puzzles improve memory, cognitive function and problem-solving skills.  What business owner (really, any human) doesn’t need to enhance those skills??  Stretch your brain today.  Go find a puzzle to do.  You won’t regret it.  Or maybe you will, but the neurons in your brain will thank you.

And if you want to practice asking for help, you’ve been staring at your bookkeeping puzzle for too long and you need a life-line, click here to contact us!  We can be like my kids and solve your puzzle lickety-split.

(In case you’re wondering about missing pieces, I think I’ve got an edge piece that’s gone M.I.A.  The idea of it literally makes me want to poke my eyes out with a fork.  And yet, still, I love it.)