Prison Pete

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
  Slowing Down.
I have been figuring out how much time I need to devote to getting things done. I have always been someone who felt as long as I had a task on my plate, I was covered. It did not matter if I had more tasks than I could ever complete; as long as I started it and maybe moved it forward once in a while I was making progress.

One example of this behavior was clipping out the daily crossword puzzle from the New York Times. It made sense. I was going to do them at some point. I had already paid for them. [Okay, Mom and Dad paid for them, by covering the cost of the seven day a week mail delivery of the paper.]

I had been religiously clipping and filing the puzzles for over a year. On a very rare occasion I would pull out the envelope full of puzzles and put the latest batch into date order and maybe take one or two off the top and attempt to do them. It would be fair to say this effort did not happen more than once or twice a month.

I was collecting puzzles at the rate of twenty-four or more puzzles a month and maybe completing two, three or four. I am not going even to mention the Sunday puzzles! Doing the math, over twenty-four puzzles coming in and maybe four getting completed each month, which is certainly not a good ratio.

For the last two months or so, I have been completing the crosswords as they arrive. The way the papers arrive, I get Monday's on Tuesday, and Tuesday's on Wednesday, etc. I am proud of the fact that as a result of this daily effort, not only am not increasing my puzzle collection at an alarming rate, I am also learning!

Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, by spending some time each day my ability to complete each puzzle without looking up clues in the puzzle dictionary, increases. There are still some days I need more help than others (speaking just about the puzzles ha ha), but I can see progress.

I can successfully complete most days up to Thursday. The puzzles get progressively harder and I am still collecting the Friday and Saturday puzzles, but that is certainly less than in the past.

It sometimes takes over an hour to complete some of the puzzles, and often I look at them two or three times during the afternoon and evening.

I certainly understand that I had accumulated more puzzles than I would ever complete and was not gaining any knowledge by saving the puzzles for a rainy day.
I can not do more than a partial monday puzzle. Your piece has inspired me to try harder. thanks.

Mitchel Gratwick II
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