One Piece at a Time - December 2023

One Piece at a Time - December 2023

I recently bought a Christmas puzzle as I anticipated needing something to keep my brain busy as I was recovering from hip replacement surgery during the month of December.  Well, let me tell you that puzzle has caused me deeply rooted frustration on so many levels.  I spent hours just trying to build the outside edges.  (Apparently, I am not very skilled at building puzzles.  Who knew?)  I want to use the puzzle pieces as a metaphor when thinking about self-care and refueling this month. 

First, I must admit that I make a terrible patient.  I want things to happen quickly, desiring instant gratification and wanting to control all aspects of my experience.  Yeah right.  Yes, I can be delusional at times!  Being a patient is a very vulnerable experience which some of you know firsthand.  I am strongly independent, so needing help and relying on others for getting my needs met has been a totally humbling experience.

Here is what the puzzle has taught me thus far…

  • Chaos is evident amongst the disconnected pieces; seeing the chaos and challenges ahead can be so intimidating


  • Patience is going to be needed, not one of my strong suits, but necessary all the same
  • Self-care, refueling and healing happens when connecting one piece at a time
  • Being vulnerable and taking a break from personal expectations is required
  • Consistency and determination are needed to make progress, slow but sure progress
  • Refueling and self-care doesn’t come easily or naturally, I must be intentional and take consistent action to see progress
  • Quitting is not an option if I want to see the bigger picture, and oh, how I want to see the bigger picture right now...


The lessons are too numerous to mention them all here.

Life is like a puzzle, we do not always understand how all the puzzle pieces are supposed to fit together, it just doesn’t make sense sometimes.  One thing I know for sure, is we must forge ahead one piece at a time.  Eventually, we will see the bigger picture all come together. 

What pieces of the puzzle are missing for you as you think about your self-care and your refueling initiatives?  How is it impacting you personally and as a healthcare employee? 

I would love to hear from you. What lessons has your personal puzzle and challenges been teaching you?

My challenge to you is to keep putting your self-care and refueling initiatives together one piece at a time.  It matters and it is indeed a part of your bigger picture.

Have a blessed holiday season!



Contact me:

Cella5 Cella Janisch-Hartline, RN, BSN, PCC Professional Certified Coach, Nursing Leadership Senior Manager for Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative has been involved in various healthcare industry leadership positions for the past 40 years. The majority of her career has been spent working in an acute care critical access facility for nearly 25 years. Throughout her work experience, she has learned most of her leadership skills and techniques through the school of “hard knocks”. Cella’s passion for teaching leadership tips and techniques earned her the 2018 Outstanding Educator Award through the National Rural Health Association. She is well-known for her humorous, engaging and personable facilitation style.
Refueling Your Heart Newsletters