Never trust a pitted olive 18



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So you thought all pitted olives were equal did you? In sublime indifference you munched into that tantalising orb of oliveness, knowing you would not have to negotiate that tricky olive pip with your tongue, and ouch, there it is – the olive pip that got away. The nasty little blighter that lurked among the green leaves of your Greek salad, hiding smugly behind that little bit of sun dried tomato, peeking out behind that bit of feta glistening with balsamic, this nasty little blighter that has you checking your tooth to see if it is still in one piece. It is? Well done.

I was thinking, as I often do, about life and the way it works. It is no secret that I do not like nasty surprises. Chaos, noise, mess and disorganisation gives me a stomach ache. Yes, I know. Probably anal retentive amongst many other things, but at least I know it. Yes. I like to think that when something is supposed to be the way it is meant to be, then it should be that way. Ah, but alas. We all know that is not true.

Ah, but alas dear reader. I am not perfect. I thought I might me, well almost perfect and yet several times lately I have made mistakes. I can’t believe it. I have forgotten things. My files at work were only 99 per cent correct. The horror, as Joseph Conrad might say in Heart of Darkness. I also forgot to do a couple of things which I said I would do. In spite of my lists, my diary, my iPhone calendar, I actually forgot to do some things which I had intended to do. Stricken, self examination, mere mortal Karen. Oh no. Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa (see I do at least remember some latin).

So as I see that I am a frail human being who also makes mistakes, why can’t I be more tolerant of other human foibles? Does it really matter that my longed for skinny flat white has a less than perfect crema. Will I remember in ten years time that there is yet another small dint in my car which I did not do. Does it really matter? Is perfection attainable in this life? Must everything go my way?

Does it really matter that I can make a cup of tea while my ‘high speed broadband’ decides to flicker into life? Does it really matter that the supermarket trolley has a left wheel bias and will not focus on forward propulsion? Is there really a subversive plot in place which causes the bird which has diarrhoea to always defecate on my car on Fridays? And why is it that the sun is extra hot on Fridays so that it bakes on really hard?

I say to myself sternly, “Karen, your life is not so bad. You live in a funky little place, full of things you love. You have great family, great friends and a job which is sometimes fulfilling. You live in a country where you can always eat and have the freedom to follow your faith openly and to share it with others”. I think sometimes we think that life is greener on the other side of the meadow. Hah, but I have met some of the people who came from that side of the meadow and they were looking at my patch of green grass with interest. Olive pits, car dints and bird poo will always be with us. As will middle aged spread and GST, but I am blessed. I can curl up on the 1000 thread count sheets which I got in Target’s last half price sale with a good book, cuppa and my cat for company. Inner peace as it grows from faith in God helps to dispel the outer discontents. I think in about 5 years time, I might be almost perfect then. Check this space for updates.


Do you sweat the small stuff or have you learnt to let go like Karen? What makes you happiest in your life? Tell us below.

Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

  1. What makes me happiest in life? My children and grand children being happy and healthy. And of course spending time with them and friends.

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