My husband and son spent a lot of time putting together a 2,000 piece puzzle over the past couple of weeks. The huge pile of pieces was a little intimidating when they first started:
How do you even begin to tackle this puzzle? Well, here are the steps they took:
2. They took a good look at them and figured out the best way to sort them out.
By the way, sorting is an essential skill that can and should be learned and practiced, starting at a very young age. Even toddlers can learn how to sort, as long as the items are large enough that they won't pose a choking hazard.
3. Here's what the table looked like while we were sorting all of these pieces:
4. While I finished sorting the pieces, my husband started the border and my son took a set of sorted pieces and started putting together a section of the puzzle.
5. After a few days (it was during the holiday break, so they had extra time), the puzzle started to come together:
Well, they started this puzzle during the last week of December, and my son just finished the last few pieces last night! It was the dark sky at the top, where the pieces were all the same color, which took a significant amount of patience and effort. I'll show you the finished product another day.
Through this whole process, I was thinking about how much life is like a puzzle. We all have so many facets of our lives that need to be figured out, but they all should fit together somehow. Or maybe they shouldn't? Maybe it's up to us to get rid of the pieces that don't really fit at all, and to add the ones that are missing.
The problem is, seeing which pieces fit and which don't is not as easy as it seems. We're all so immersed in a sea of puzzle pieces, but how many of us actually take time to sort them out? We get so stuck in the details because we often don't have time to stop and reflect upon the big picture.
That's where I am with my blog right now. I'm trying to figure out what my readers really want, and what I need to share with them. Am I covering too few topics, or too many? Am I sorting blog posts in a way that is helpful, or not? OR, do I need to take this blog, and my writing career, to a whole other level?
After a few weeks of reflection, I have decided that the answer lies in my tagline: Simple Resources and Strategies to Inspire Lifelong Learning, Reading, and Leading. I created it off the top of my head when I first started this blog. But what does it really mean? Is it as clear as it needs to be?
The fact that my tagline may be subject to interpretation is actually what I like about it. I like that it makes people think. That's one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place.
I write a lot about reading and children's literature, which I truly believe to be the springboards to learning for people of every age. But what exactly is lifelong learning, and what does it have to do with leading? Those are questions I haven't had much opportunity to focus upon yet. They've always been in the back of my mind, but I never took time out to address them specifically. And I do have strong feelings about them.
While I love to blog about children's literature, it takes me a significant amount of time just to seek out what I consider to be the very best resources for my readers. In recent months, this very same table has been covered with library books, just waiting to be read and written about! It's hard to focus on anything else.
So, at this point I think I need to take a step away (temporarily) from children's literature, in order to focus on these other important aspects of my writing. I truly believe that lifelong learning and leading directly relate to the subject of literacy, but is there room for them here at Moms Inspire Learning? It seems that I'm trying to put too many pieces into one giant puzzle.
I've arrived at a fork in the road, and in order to choose the right path, I need to try one that I've not yet traveled upon. Will it lead me back to my original path? In choosing one, must I exclude the other? I can't say for sure. The only thing I really know is that I'll never really know unless I try.
Please bear with me while I sort my puzzle pieces!