Piece by piece

I finished my first winter puzzle tonight after work.

A photo of a completed jigsaw puzzle depicting a cozy indoor winter scene.

I can’t pat myself too much on the back for doing this one semi-quickly. I’m sufficiently out of practice that I’m deliberately grading myself on a curve by starting with 500-piece puzzles. Once I’m more in the groove, I’ll drag out the 1,000-piece examples and really dig in.

Still, completing this puzzle—and being reminded of the joy that puzzle-making brings me—has me feeling grateful and a little bit celebratory.

And like it may be worth sharing a bit more about why this activity suits me so well.

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Decking the halls

We got the Solstice tree decorated tonight.

A Christmas tree with white lights and decorations, topped with a Santa Claus hat. The tree and white lights can also be seen reflected in a window behind it.

Now, considering I posted a gajillion days ago about starting the holiday decorating, you’d think I’d be done by now. But no.

Some of it is my inherent laziness: after putting in a full day at the NPO, there’s some nights I have not been in the mood to work on things. And my general philosophy for all this year’s decorating is “only if it makes me happy.” So if it makes me happier to do things slowly, I’m A-OK with that.

We also hit a bit of a speed-bump with the tree.

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Stringing the lights

I started putting up our Christmas/Solstice village the day after Halloween.*

Close-up of a decorative light-up ceramic building.

And I’m not alone in this. The Boston Globe has reported on this phenomenon all across our region—and, I’d suspect, more widely across the country, too.

So many people started decorating for Christmas on the Sunday after Halloween — before the foam tombstones had been respectfully packed away —that Nov. 1 has rightfully turned into the kick-off to Christmas this year.

And I don’t blame us.

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The Shirt Off My Back

QUICK HIT: Still deep in deadline-land.

I’ve posted now and again about the general clutteredness of my life: too many interests, too much indulging of those diverse interests with too much shopping.(1) Mix in some mild hoarding tendencies with not nearly enough free time to dig in for a full “Kondo-ing,” and you can probably get the picture from there.

Obviously, I ain’t been doing any decluttering whilst traversing deadline-land. In all honesty, it’s gonna be a mother-forking miracle if I get laundry done and my suitcase packed before I leave town next week.

But I have been getting an inordinate(2) amount of pleasure from one small victory in this area.

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