Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Piece of the Puzzle

January is a challenging month for me. I often feel restless and dissatisfied with my life. I'm sure that the long, cold winter months in the Northeast contribute to my discontent. In this emotional state, it's easy to believe that nothing is working in my life, although I know this is not the case. The truth is that a few things might not be working, and otherwise, I'm richly blessed.

When I'm feeling this way I change my perspective by looking at life as if it were a puzzle. I won't purchase a puzzle that has a sticker on the box saying, "Only one piece missing", even when it is offered at a greatly reduced price. Let's say this is a 500-piece puzzle. One piece in 500 is missing. For a bargain, I'm getting 499 of 500 pieces. Why, when only one piece is missing, am I still not interested in the puzzle? 

Because I don't want to put effort into solving a puzzle and when I'm done still have one empty space remaining. I've decided that the puzzle needs to be a complete picture. Otherwise, every time I look at it, I'm drawn to the part that is missing rather than the 499 pieces that have fit perfectly in place. 

So, what does this have to do with the January blues? First, it reminds me to identify and appreciate the 499 pieces that are already creating a beautiful picture. Second, once I identify the missing piece, I can put forth the effort to bring it into my life. The best way to learn what I need is when I realize what I'm missing.

How about you? Are the changes and transitions of retirement leaving you feeling dissatisfied with the whole puzzle? If so, take time to be grateful for the 499 pieces, and then give a name to the piece you're missing. With a puzzle, we can look on the box to see the picture of the missing piece. With our lives, we can create a vision of how we want to experience this new stage of life. The more vivid our vision, the more we'll know what the missing piece looks like and where to find it.