This still holds true for me.
My first love was mysteries, and Sherlock Holmes kicked my butt. I remember a game I received for Christmas one year. This was the gist of it: The player received a binder. In the binder was a copy of the London newspaper dated appropriately, interview dialogues, a map of London (also dated appropriately), and a book with the beginning of a mystery. The idea was to solve the mystery in the smallest amount of “moves” possible. Each time you read an article, reviewed the map, or read an interview, it counted as a move. Over and over, I would try each mystery and try to “beat” the score. I didn’t do very well, but I never gave up. I was hooked on trying to figure out the puzzle of the mystery! I did the same with a book on Jack the Ripper. Really, with today’s technology and advances in psychological studies, that would be a mystery easily solved, or would it?
This presented me with a puzzle. How do I meet the requirements for the degree without following the traditional path of sticking to one foreign language? I researched and, lo and behold, I found out the requirement was four years of a foreign language, with the last two years being upper-level courses. But! Those upper-level courses did not have to be in the same language. Sweet! I went to my favorite English professor and asked for her assistance. During the next year and a half, I took Old English (which required translating Beowulf), Latin (translating Aeneid), and Sanskrit (no translating, that was hard enough on its own!).
Another Life puzzle: Being a single parent also presented its own challenges. How do I stay involved with my kids as I work full time and attend school full time? Easy peasy. I tortured my kids with my homework! My son lucked out with Beowulf. Because really…what boy doesn’t like a story of a hero coming to save the day of a wounded town and frightened king? He also got drawn into Latin stories. Myths, Gods, treachery…he soaked them up. This led to video games and books of fantasy for him. And yes, mom had to reciprocate and learn the video games. Those wicked things can be addictive. Live interactive books. Genius!
Some folks call these challenges. I’ve chosen to call them puzzles. Why? Because eventually, puzzles can be solved, I believe. If one takes the time to look at the entire picture and then plunge in. That’s the scary part: plunging in. But, it’s also the most thrilling.
Have you had a life puzzle that you figured out a unique way to solve? I’d love to hear about it!