Life Is A Puzzle

My current theory, and I reserve the right to change this as I learn and experience new things…. However, my current theory is that Life is a Puzzle. We get all this info in chunks, pieces, if you will. How to manage our physical body, how to manage our mental health and emotions. How to manage our finances, our time, our energy, our hobbies. And it’s very confusing and frequently in conflict.

And I don’t know about you, but it feels pretty damn impossible to me to manage all these things.

It seems like, if I focus on one thing, one area, one project, whatever, I lose focus on the other areas. And I find that so frustrating. Am I judging myself against the false standard of other people? Maybe. But really though. I get that other people don’t have their shit together as much as I think they do. And I get that I’m probably more in the middle of the pack than I give myself credit for, but that’s not the point, is it? The point is that I’m not thrilled with how my things are.

Blue jigsaw puzzle
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

I really felt like I was making some progress on picking up the pieces, and putting my life together. And then the next thing would happen and it just really felt like I was working on a puzzle, in a dimly lit room, and random people were kicking the table and the pieces would fly apart. And then I would start over. Sometimes I would go back to a thing that had worked before, sometimes I would start trying something new. In any case, one day, I had a realization, and it was like someone had turned the light on. Suddenly, the puzzle became easier to put back together, after it got knocked apart again.

Jump to what you want:

Where have I been?!?

Welcome to Wandering With Jeannie! I’m Jeannie. I’ve had this blog languishing for a few years. Life happened and it’s taken me a hot minute to figure out how to dig myself out of the hole that I fell into. In 2017? I think? I started this blog with the intention of doing some local trail reviews and book reviews for the non-local people. Then, like I said, life happened is a pretty spectacular way to me. Which is to say that I needed to focus my attention on some other things. Periodically, I would return to the blog, maybe draft something, maybe delete a bunch of stuff that no longer seemed relevant. I kept meaning to come back to it. I kept paying for the site and address. It was just one of those things, you know? You hang onto it because, maybe you’ll need it one day. And while I was away dealing with life, I learned some things, and had a lot of time to think. Having your life fall apart does that. It was during this time that I came up with the “Life Is A Puzzle” idea.

brown puzzle pieces
Photo by Dmitry Demidov on


Fast forward to more recently. I’ve just now discovered YouTube. Yes, I knew it was a “thing” years ago. I just avoided it, as I thought, “I’m not a mindlessly watching user generated gamer videos kind of person.” And besides, I don’t really care that much about silly cat videos. However, I was really lost, and one day I started randomly watching some silly thing. One thing led to another and now here we are. I have a YouTube channel of my own. (You can check it out here.)

Now that I’m much more well versed in the world of YouTube, I came across this idea of “That Girl”. I know, I know, I’m still maddeningly late to the party. And besides, that’s kind of a 20-something vibe, isn’t it? It’s also known as “Lucky Girl”, “Hot Girl”, and I’m sure a bunch of other things that I haven’t found yet. The point is, it’s this attempt to live your ideal life. Which is really what I’m talking about, when I mention “putting together the puzzle of my life”.

girl in sweater lying on floor
Photo by Hieu Ho on

Where are we going? (Seriously!)

Here’s my idea. What if there was a place where you could learn science backed things about how to increase your enjoyment of life? What if you could come here for inspiration and to share your success, as well as your frustrations in a venue for women who are 40+ and have lived a little. Maybe you have young kids, tugging at your heels. Maybe your kids are heading off to college. 40 and up, we’ve got a wide variety of stuff going on. We’ve lived long enough to have some opinions, We’ve learned something, and we struggle to fit all the pieces of our lives together.

We’re juggling it “all” and succeeding to varying degrees.

Many of us have been trying for years to “figure it all out”… We’ve looked to gurus and authors who assure us that if we just meditate for 90 minutes every day, write 6 pages in our journal (or 5 minutes), if we sleep for 8 hours, drink a gallon of water, run 5 miles, or do 3 hours of yoga on the weekend, if we lift heavy for 10 minutes, or light for 50 minutes, go to therapy, if… if… if… If we can just figure out the secret code that everyone else seems to have figured out, then we can be cool, awesome, put together. We can heal our unacknowledged trauma, we can save the world, we can raise perfect kids, we can have the prefect relationship.

If we can just figure it all out.

Well, I’ve been on the “self-help” journey for at least, what? 6 years now? Something like that. I still haven’t figured it all out. I’ve tried the things, so many things… Some worked for a while, some were a complete waste of time and money. It’ s been frustrating to say the least. Why haven’t these “perfect solutions” worked for me? Am I doing something wrong? Have they worked for you?

Well, if they have, YAY! (But seriously, why are you here?)

If not, I’d like to propose a new way. Let’s scrap the one size fits all.

So back to this Life Is A Puzzle idea.

I’ve had this visual knocking around in my head for years. It’s me, sitting in a dim room. I’m sitting a small table, like a card table, or a cheap desk at school. I’m sitting in a hard chair. One of those cream colored ones with the metal legs, again, think elementary school. Anyway, I’m sitting there, and it’s kind of hard to see, because it’s dim. And I’m trying to put together the puzzle that is my life.

And it’s HARD.

I hate puzzles, by the way. And eventually, I make some progress. I start to build a routine, I get ahead something, I start to get some kind of traction. I’m putting the pieces together, and starting to see the picture. And then, someone comes along, maybe it’s someone I know, like my husband, parent, kid, IRS agent, whoever. And they kick the table. Maybe they kick it on purpose, maybe it’s an accident. It doesn’t matter. Because now, the Puzzle pieces, all go flying apart. Some pieces, land under my chair. Other pieces are on the floor, some are still on the table. Some fall through the heating vent in the floor and are gone forever. And then I start over.


Because, I already had it together. I was making progress, and now I have to start over. I don’t even know if I HAVE all the pieces anymore So that’s my visualization of my life. That’s the whole genesis of his project. Yes, It’s a project that I selfishly want to work on for myself, It’s also a project that I think could benefit others. Maybe you also feel like Life Is A Puzzle, and you would like some company as you figure out the pieces of your Puzzle? I don’t know. I hope so.

Rubix cube game

The 1 Million Piece Puzzle

The thing is, like a 1,000,000 piece puzzle, there are many different ways to solve it. Some people start at the corners, some people start with the edges. Other people look at the picture and try to match colors and shapes. Some people key into the shape of the pieces, and look for things that might fit together. There are probably just as many ways to put the puzzle together, as there are people, or as there are puzzles, Because quite frankly, you are doing your own puzzle. Everyone gets issued their own puzzle at birth. While there may be some similarities, they are not the same. So what works for me, might work for you, or it might not. We don’t know. We won’t know, unless we try. Or if you already tried, and it didn’t work.

So what I propose is the “Life is a Puzzle” project.

Where I will bring you my thoughts, along with research and experiences, about what I am doing, or have done, to put my Life Puzzle together. And you can share your Life Puzzles, what you’ve tried, what worked, what was a hilarious (or not so hilarious), epic failure. Hopefully , we can all learn something that will help us to not only put our Life Puzzles together, but maybe even find ways to actually keep them together, when someone comes along and kicks the table.

My Life Is A Puzzle… Your Life Is A Puzzle… Now What?

My thought is one Puzzle Piece blog post per week. It’ll take awhile to work through even the basic ideas that I have in my head. Along with that, a video on YouTube, for the visual/Auditory people. Once a month, I’ll send out a Newsletter with links to the articles, a journal prompt, if you’re into those things, a challenge, if you’re into those things… Maybe a list of resources, for learning more about the topics that I posted about. We’ll see. Ones of my… shall we say… “things”… is getting in over my head, promising too much and not delivering. Well, I’m at a point where I need to buckle down and get shit done. I need to practice what I preach. So that is my challenge to myself. Do It. Do It Now. Stop making excuses. Yes, give yourself some grace, if you need to . But Do It Anyway.


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