unspoken rules

Christmas night after a truly enjoyable day, when the boys had both gone home and it was just me and the husband, I decided to start a puzzle for the first time in a few years. In doing so, I recaptured a really good childhood memory. Every Christmas the adults got each other puzzles and many cold winter evenings were spent around the card table working those puzzles. It was a good time when we worked together quietly and efficiently but also praised each other for finding that “missing piece.”

My husband took me by surprise when he started helping me with the evening entertainment. In my adult years, I’ve generally worked puzzles alone because they don’t interest the guys much. (I blame Todd for passing the not interested in puzzles gene to our boys 😉)  A peculiar thing happened as we worked to separate the jumbled pile into a chaotic mess of right side up pieces.
I found myself feeling resentful.

I mean seriously…
Everyone knows you’re supposed to separate the edges as you turn all the pieces right side up.
Everyone knows you’re supposed to get all the pieces separated before you begin putting them together.
Everyone knows you’re supposed to build the frame before starting on the rest of the puzzle…
Say What?
Who am I, the puzzle police???

Unspoken rules.

I have lots of them. Unfortunately, I tend to expect those closest to me to follow those rules. If they don’t… I get resentful, and it taints the moments I ought to treasure.

There are probably a million ways do a puzzle, just like there are many ways to do just about anything. Thankfully, I was able to remember this fact and adjust my thoughts.

I’m grateful for the time we were able to spend together building a puzzle. I’m grateful my husband was willing to do something that isn’t his natural choice because he cares about my heart. I’m grateful I caught the resentment and changed my attitude before it ruined the evening.

Am I alone in this struggle or do you have have unspoken rules too?
How do you get past them in order to be able to more fully enjoy your loved ones and the precious life you have been given?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.



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