life, thoughts


Have you ever needed a distraction . . . a task or entertainment to get your mind off of something?

Well, I’ve needed a lot of distractions lately. If I didn’t distract myself, I’d be crying twenty-four hours a day. Those who read my blog know that we recently had to say goodbye to our boy, Max (I thank  readers for bearing with me, as I’ve used my blog to express my grief). I do need to move forward and not constantly have that missing piece on my mind.

My husband has also needed distractions, and his favorite thing is to have fix-it projects. He’s had plenty of those to do around the house.

For me, I’ve been writing more often. I also put together a little surprise 80th birthday party for my mom. It came up quick after Max’s passing, so I had about three weeks to get it organized. There were only around 20 of us, so it wasn’t huge or anything.

Our entertainment distraction has been a lot of streaming programs, plus a couple of movies at the actual theater.

The biggest distraction that has been helping the husband and me, is something that was inspired by Jill Weatherholt.

Jigsaw Puzzles.

Jill tackles much bigger puzzles than we’re doing. She can even do them without following a picture. Since we are novices, we’ve only been doing 500 pieces, and we’re constantly studying the puzzle picture. I have to tell you, these have been a welcome distraction. This is an activity that we never did when Max was around, so it’s the one thing that doesn’t remind us of him. He used to be included in everything we did, from going to visit family, to going on vacation. He even ate his dinner when we ate ours.Puzzles require a good amount of concentration. At least for novices like us. This is helping to center our minds and focus on something other than our grief.Take a look at the picture of the jigsaw puzzle we’re almost finished with this week. Because I’m a lover of books, this is my dream bookstore (full picture below).Two levels filled with the papery scent of pages, comfy wing backs chairs, and furry pets roaming around (cat on the chair and on railing above, dog down in front on the floor). The only added benefit might be a fireplace and a hot chocolate.I like to put together scenes of places where I can envision myself visiting. The cottages in this puzzle seem like a place in Europe . . . say England, France, or Italy. I imagine myself walking the gardens there and spending the night within, imagining the stories its walls could tell from bygone eras.

We must’ve planned to do jigsaw puzzles at one time, because over the weekend I found an unopened jigsaw box. It has five puzzles, so we have plenty of distractions for a while.

What have you used for distractions when you need them?



26 thoughts on “Distractions”

  1. Lori, what a wonderful distraction! 😀 I’ve followed Jill’s passion for jigsaws for years and she’s a master of the craft … are you sure she can’t do them with her eyes closes? I love your bookshop jigsaw … a have of reading and tranquility. My husband and I too needed evening distraction since my son when to university and jigsaws came to mind! We found a 500 piece Super Mario one that my son never completed so we’re finished this for him and thought we’d get it framed for a present for him … all those childhood memories! For our next one I’ll look out for a book one! A lovely tender post … and hope the distraction works a while as you mourn lovely Max. Hugs xx

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    1. I think you’re right, Annika, I think Jill can do a jigsaw with her eyes closed. 😆

      I didn’t realize your son was off to University already. Wow. Time flies. I can understand how empty the house must feel. What a great idea to do the Super Mario jigsaw and frame it for your son.

      Thank you for sharing and for your understanding about Max. 😊

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  2. I love doing puzzles as well! I find it calming and satisfying to bring order to a random pile of pieces and create a beautiful picture. I’ve enjoyed the hobby since I was a kid. I have one going right now that I’ve been stuck on for awhile. It’s the La Grande Odalisque painting, a 1000 pieces. There are a lot of dark pieces which are so tough. (The hardest puzzle I’ve ever attempted is one of a musical score, so just all black and white notation. It’s sitting in my closet unfinished at the moment. Maybe I’ll get back to it when I retire, haha.)

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    1. Hi Joy. Boy, you’re a hard core puzzler. It takes me some time to do 500 pieces of a picture, let alone 1,000 black and white musical notes. Very challenging. I’ll bet it’s super satisfying once you get one of those tough ones finished.

      Taking on puzzles is the one thing that doesn’t remind us of Max, and it’s been helpful to focus on something else. I love how you described it as bringing order to a random pile of pieces to create a beautiful picture.

      Thanks, Joy.


  3. Lovely puzzled, I am so sorry about the passing of Max. Please accept my condolences. Music helps me relax when I’m sad or remembering relatives who passed away. It helps clear my mind. Stay strong Lori.

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    1. Hi Seyi. It’s interesting to read what helps others to cope with distractions for a while. Thank you for sharing that music helps you. Thank you also for your condolences. Some days when I’m really missing Max, I don’t feel so strong. But, I’ve gotten through this before and I will again.

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  4. What an excellent idea! I’m glad you have found solace in that activity.

    I don’t really distract myself; I just keep slogging. Something I’ve done in the past is to work longer hours so that I’m occupied. I guess that’s a distraction.

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    1. Hi Lynette. I do think work can be a good distraction to get relief from outside worries or grief for a bit. The puzzles are also temporary, but at least they give me a break from the focus on loss (like work probably does for you).

      Thank you for sharing. 💗

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  5. So glad that Jill inspired you to do those puzzles, Lori. She also inspired me to get some puzzles. Glad also that you’ve been writing.

    When I’m feeling down (as I have lately), I like to have projects to work on (particularly crochet projects if my writing isn’t going so great).

    Happy belated birthday to your mom! 😊

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    1. Hi L. Oh yes, I know you enjoy crocheting. I imagine it to be relaxing. I’m sorry that you’ve still been feeling down.

      My mom reads my blog, so maybe she’ll see your birthday wishes. Thank you for those and for sharing. Sending you warm wishes. 💗


  6. I love doing jigsaw puzzles, but I do them online. The real ones are nicer to do but I have neck issues and it’s hard to be leaning over the table looking for pieces, so the online puzzles are perfect for me.

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    1. Hi Anneli. I have neck issues, too. It does give me problems after hanging over the table at the puzzle. Is there a link you can share for online puzzles? I could try those, too.

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  7. I’m so happy our puzzling has inspired you and your husband, Lori! It’s my go to distraction when I’m feeling sad, struggling with something in my current WIP, or when I just need to forget. Derek and I will put on some music and puzzle away. It’s the one activity that truly keeps me focused, not popping up constantly and most importantly, occupies my mind. I have to know, where did you buy that bookstore puzzle…I’m salivating over it!

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    1. Hi Jill. I didn’t realize before how much a puzzle focuses the mind. I’ve done a puzzle or two before this, years ago, but didn’t need it for the reason I do now. It really has been helpful. I remembered all of your puzzling and decided to try it, and it really does work. It’s temporary, but distracts me even for some time after I walk away from it.

      The library puzzle is only 500 pieces. You’ll be done with it in a half hour. Ha. We had gone to Walmart for a specific household item my husband wanted. While we were there, I suggested we stop and check out the jigsaw puzzles. We hadn’t planned on it, but that’s where we got the library puzzle. Believe it or not, we got the cottages puzzle at the dollar store. I’ve been looking at puzzles whenever I’m in a store that sells them. 😊

      Thanks for the inspire.

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      1. We got a lot of our puzzles from Dollar Tree. They have some great ones. In fact, I thought your cottage puzzle looked familiar, so I showed it to Derek and he said he’s done that one! 🙂 Then I remembered the purple roof. We each do or own puzzles at separate ends of the dining room table. I’m happy we got you hooked! Happy puzzling. 🙂

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        1. Hey Jill. I just thought of a couple puzzle questions for you. What do you do with the puzzles when they’re finished? Do you disassemble them right away? Do you ever do the same one and start from scratch?


          1. Years ago, we used to glue the puzzles and hang them in our garage. We had to stop because we were doing so many and our walls were getting full. 🙂 Now we immediately disassemble them, put them in the donation pile and start a new one. Derek won’t do the same one 2x but I have some holiday puzzles I like to do around Christmas. Thanks for asking! What are your plans?

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            1. I love the puzzle pictures and hate to take them apart so soon, but haven’t been sure what I want to do with them. I thought about framing them, but didn’t know how. Thanks for sharing what you’ve done over the years to give me some ideas. 🤔


  8. I do a variety of things. I exercise more although you can still think. I also enjoy a dose of retail therapy but that is short-lived or very expensive. Oddly I don’t do puzzles although my brother/sil do them all the time. We have vacationed with them and they always have a puzzle going. You do what works!

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