Did you know that if you are a Myers-Briggs ISFJ or ISNJ personality type, you might be a person who loves to do jigsaw puzzles. Puzzling, right?
During the pandemic, like many people, I thought, “Let’s buy a Ravensburger puzzle at the bookstore!” It took what seemed like forever just to turn the pieces over. Husband worked diligently on the border, then lost interest. I sat down looking at an insurmountable pile of colors and shapes and felt good if I found one piece that fit. I realized it was the same reason I never took up fishing — hooking one is infrequent. It’s the journey, not the destination, some would say. After another hour sitting without finding a single piece, the unfinished puzzle went back in the box.
An ISFJ (introversion, sensing, feeling, judgment) is a personality type that is described as relying on logic and facts, well-organized, great at finding patterns, and loves putting small details together to make a bigger picture. Sound like a puzzler? Or a bookkeeper? ISFJs can also stay in the present moment, a perfect attribute for working a complicated puzzle.
An INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judgment) is both creative and analytical, which is advantageous for a puzzler. INFJs are great friends and listeners, artistic, well organized with good intuition and sensitive to the emotions of others.
Not to compartmentalize ISFJs and INFJs as the only personality types that are avid dissectologists, those who study personality traits suggest that characteristics such as observant, detail-oriented, problem solver, organized, patient, goal-oriented, analytical, and visual can be developed — and working a jigsaw puzzle could help.
I recently learned that our neighbor here in Mazama is an avid puzzler. I sought to pick her brain about the hobby. Barb Clark spoke of how she had been around puzzles since her childhood. She described puzzling as her mother’s “saving grace.” She could escape her life issues while putting together a beautiful picture made up of hundreds of little pieces.
I also learned that there is a method to success for the accomplishment of a completed puzzle. First, the selection of the puzzle, including the number of pieces, itself is of utmost importance — which makes sense; you must receive some kind of visual reward for what you are creating. Barb likes colorful compositions and, especially, mountain scenes, usually with 1,000 pieces. (Her current work in progress is the largest she has done with 1,500 pieces.)
Rather than dumping the whole box of pieces out at once, she first finds the border pieces — the cardinal rule of puzzling, she says, “Do the border first.” Then she establishes groupings of certain colors after which she finds the place in the puzzle where the colors show up. She has a keen eye for nuances of colors and admits that a puzzle with a large portion of the same color is not her favorite.
Interestingly, once the puzzle is done, Barb shortly thereafter puts it back in the box. “Remember, I’ve been looking at it every day for a month,” she explains. If it is a puzzle that she especially enjoyed, she’ll bring it out again at another setting. She has a few favorites that she has done a record five times! Then, there are the few and far between puzzles that she abandons with no guilt after searching for too many pieces all the same color.
Barb explains her love of doing puzzles as being relaxing as well as stimulating. She sent me home with a very small wooden puzzle of a Labrador dog, mentioning that a friend put it together in a half hour. Ha! Not even close for me, but determined, I finished it. So many times, I was sure that there was a piece missing until I found it, with a hip hooray. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be an avid puzzler, but it was nice to know some new rules of the game.
The Mazama Store will once again honor Veterans on Saturday, Nov. 11, at precisely 11 a.m. Missy LeDuc, co-owner of the establishment, says of the moving ceremony, “We always try to include a historical, war-related tidbit.” All are welcome to attend and express appreciation for sacrifices made by those who have served in the armed forces.