Conscious Aging: The Joy of Old Friends Who Really Know You

My friend Phyllis is a great puzzler, and she’s adept at sending me online puzzles that are just about the right number of pieces — 50 or under, I’d say. Who knows what has moved me at this late date to try to improve my visual spatial skills while having fun, but here I am. I first realized how bad I am with visual-spatial challenges when I took driver’s ed around age 16. During a test drive, my instructor observed “You have absolutely no sense of how far away that oncoming car is, do you?” Nope. I’ve learned to compensate, but drivers behind me often get impatient because I have to wait for a really big opening in traffic before I pull out.

I briefly tried some of those online cognitive improvement games that are supposed to help you stave off turning into a doddering idiot, and I hate them. But I do like these virtual puzzles, and actual ones besides. I have a 500 piece underway, but the grandkids have been occupied with T-ball and baseball, and on my own it’s slow going.

I have to ignore how much time it’s supposed to take to complete the online puzzle. 🙂 I take longer.

I love Phyllis for giving me just the right encouragement at just the right time, without turning it into a chore. 🙂 Thank you, friend.

14 thoughts on “Conscious Aging: The Joy of Old Friends Who Really Know You

  1. You’re welcome! I’m glad you have become a puzzler and that you are having a good time doing them. Forget timing – they are for fun and not competition.
    It’s great when good friends can share the simple pleasures of life!

  2. for Phyllis: I’m gradually expanding how many pieces I’ll attempt. It helps that the rotation of each piece is fixed. Lots of options on this site. I do the daily Atlantic online crossword, and now have added a daily puzzle from here too. I love to watch Archie do puzzles. Amy and Sara have taught him their strategy, which is to isolate the pieces for a section and complete that section, then hook it up with other sections. Needless to say they choose puzzles to work on with him that have definable images, so the strategy works in a way it wouldn’t with a Jackson Pollock, for example, where all the pieces look the same. I’m sure skilled puzzlers have a lot of different strategies, but this idea of giving Archie a defined section to work on gives him entry into being able to hold his own on much more complicated puzzles than a seven year old might do on his own.

  3. Visual-spatial challenges? I used to have to draw the figure, if a test asked me to pick out the drawing that was the figure reversed. On line jigsaws sound great. What site do you use. I, too, have started on crossword puzzles, like to you did, fairly recently. Can do Monday to Wednesday with no help now. I’m working on Thursday! Sunday is a long way off, I fear!

  4. Yeah – more on-line puzzlers! On jigzone.com you have multiple choices of pictures and many piece-shapes to choose from. When you are signed up you will get a daily puzzle which you can do or switch to another one. Play around with different shapes and numbers of pieces and find some you like to do regularly. A good basic one is the 48 piece classic. Then test yourself with a challenge shape. Pam and Ada – enjoy and keep us up to date on your progress. I don’t think Ada and I have met.

  5. No. I don’t thinkk we have met and her name doesn’t ring any bells. But she sounds like someone I would like.

  6. for Phyllis and Ada: Rochester is such a small city in many ways I leap to the assumption that everyone I know also knows each other. Not true of course! You would like each other, by the way. 🙂

  7. for Phyllis: Rochester was a compromise for Jerry and me at the outset of our marriage. He’d grown up in Boston, and wanted something less crowded and busy. I’d grown up in Kearny, and wanted city life. He got a job offer in Rochester, and one with McKinsey where he’d be gone Sunday night to Friday every week. Didn’t sound like a good way to begin a marriage. So Rochester it was. Turned out to be a great place to start our business, raise a family, and find wonderful friends — like you and Ada. 🙂

  8. for Ada and Phyllis: I think we should do a ladies retreat for a few days someplace fun and warm where we can drink wine and have massages. Any takers for fall or winter?

  9. Sounds like a great idea. Can’t do fall and we don’t get back from Cayman until March 1. But after that.

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