Friday, June 27, 2014

I’m a Glutton for Punishment!

Why do I sit and watch Jeopardy? I don’t know any of the answers. I marvel at people who can spout out the most extreme trivia before I can read the clue. By the time the show is over, I feel like an uneducated bloke.

And then there are crossword puzzles. I absolutely love them! I streak through and fill in a whopping four words. Sometimes I’m on a roll and I know six answers. If it weren’t for my cell phone and Google, I’d be up a creek. Don’t shake your head at me - it’s not cheating, it’s making good use of my resources.

I’m not much better at jigsaw puzzles but I always have one in the patio room, in some state of chaos. I can usually get the flat-sided pieces arranged into the border but it’s slow going after that. I roam in occasionally and stare at the mess, fitting in a piece at the blistering rate of one per hour. My favorite was a gift from my beloved daughter: a field of bluebonnets. Every piece was some mix of blue and green. I was just about bald before I finished that one.

Do I love being frustrated? Am I excited to discover how little I know?

Not really – but I do love being challenged. I enjoy stretching my brain to shove in one more bit of information. It’s fun navigating through a maze of links to find the five-letter word for an ancient Babylonian coin.

My friends claim I don’t have a patient molecule in my body but I don’t agree. It takes tons of patience to stare at a pile of scattered, seemingly random pieces, to search for that elusive match, and remain. convinced there’s a small victory hidden in there somewhere. I delight in the finished picture I create from the jumble.

Let me tell you about determination! It doesn’t matter how few words I’ve filled in a crossword puzzle or how long I’ve stared at a puzzle without playing a single piece, I don’t give up. I’m sure it’s an issue of pride but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

Challenge, patience, determination. Skills I use every day in my work, my relationships, and my marriage.

So…when I’m sitting at the table where my jigsaw pieces are, crossword puzzle in hand, watching Jeopardy, I’m the most challenged, patient, determined insane person you'll ever meet!

Sherry Carter's first bible study "Storms of Life" won the Award of Excellence in Christian Literature at the 2007 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
For several years, she worked as an engineer in NASA’s Shuttle Program, where she designed on-orbit experiments to be performed by the crew. After a series of agonizing crises, culminating in a layoff, God brought about an abrupt career change: Sherry, the engineer, became a Christian author.
She currently lives in west Texas where she and her husband are in service to their adopted retired-racing greyhound. She has two daughters and two perfect grandchildren, all who have the audacity to live in the Northeast.
Photo credit Crossword puzzle InterNACHI
Photo credit Jigsaw piece


Patti Shene said...

Love the post, Sherry. I used to do jig saw puzzles with my granddaughter, but we've found other interests now.

As to the game shows, my fav is Wheel of Fortune, but it drives me nuts when contestants BUY vowels! Why in the world would they do that? There isn't a word in the English language you can't figure out without the vowels! Now, if I were to ever get on that show, I'd show them how it should be played. HA!

Stephanie Faris said...

My husband loves Jeopardy and he doesn't get why no one else wants to watch it with him. None of us get the answers but he gets them all!

Pam Glover said...

Sherry, if you love a challenge, I have a puzzle I want to send you. We bought it in Italy, it's reproduction of a world map from 1435 in panels, something like 4000 pieces. I'm not kidding. If you want it, email me and I'll mail it to you.

Then you can be very patient and stimulated and frustrated.