You have so got this!

Published 13/01/2021

You know those really difficult jigsaw puzzles you get where the finished picture is all similar tones and it just looks like something that’s going to bamboozle you?

Well, the thing about those, is that they’re do-able. Just like most things in life that look as though they’re going to bamboozle you.

With a jigsaw puzzle, we expect that when we open the box, it’s going to be a mess, because it’s undone.

We’re allowed to be a mess in the middle of a pandemic because we’re to some extents, undone, we’ve not done this before, we most probably haven’t ever been told who we can and can’t see, where we can and can’t go, or what we can and can’t do. It feels messy, because it is.

So this jigsaw puzzle, we probably pop the lid up on its side for reference, so that we can keep referring back to what we’re trying to do.

When we do this with problems – know what outcome we’re after/working towards – it gives us something to keep referring back to, a reminder of what we’re trying to do.

How we approach puzzles, as with life, will vary. And that’s okay, because we have this ‘end goal’ in mind and it really doesn’t matter how we approach it, we’re all different with different ideas, different circumstances, different resources. Some people have a snazzy puzzle table to begin with, others have a dedicated puzzle-building post, others need to get whizzy with it before the kids wake-up and take their what’s yours is theirs approach to it.

With this pandemic, we are dealing with the same thing, but we’re not – does that make sense? Some of us still have jobs whilst others have been placed on furlough or have lost theirs. Some of us are dealing with complex health issues whilst others are dealing with actual Covid, some both. There are people who find themselves lonely and isolated, others who are desperate for a quiet spot of time in among the treadmill of working and parenting and caring. There are key workers who are having to make unimaginable compromises in very high pressured and stressful environments. We’re dealing with the same thing, a pandemic, but we’re not all on a level playing field. Just getting through can be, and will be, an end goal for many and that’s already a lot to contend with. It’s also enough to contend with.

What we do first in piecing this jigsaw puzzle together is usually a measured approach based on how we’re approached puzzles in the past. Whether we just dig in and start piecing random parts together or we separate the edges and start there first, we know what works best for us. The important bits are the pause between opening the box and getting going and knowing what works best for us.

How we approach life right now, it requires not only that pause, that time to measure up our own personal lay of our lands, but it also requires us to reflect on what tools helped us through difficult things in the past – on knowing what works best for us. We’re literally living in the middle of a whirlwind and it feels counter-intuitive to consciously pause – our fight and flight instincts want action. When we pause, we become mindful of what our next action might be rather than dipping into the fear response and perhaps not making the right move for us, as individual people.

These bamboozling puzzles, we don’t at all expect to be able to nail them particularly fast. We take our time, we take breaks, we keep reminding ourselves of what the outcome will look like. We don’t compare our puzzle-ing to that of another nor place ridiculous expectations on ourselves about how quickly we might get it done. It’s what it is.

Life is often what it is

Take your time, take breaks, keep reminding yourself of where you’re working towards. Do not compare your life-ing to that or another nor place ridiculous expectations on yourself about how you’re doing. It just is… what it is. You’re doing it and you’re going to continue to do it, one piece/step/thought/break/second at a time.

You have *so* got this, keep it up, we got this!

Kim Fry
UKSA Welfare Officer