Salad Days


By Sara Harrup

Each year some of my partner’s friends make the trek from Victoria to the Gold Coast for a three-week holiday. Each year they also head on up from the Gold Coast up to see us for a lazy afternoon of food, swimming and chats. This morning as I was preparing the salads for our lunch I was struck by the lessons one can learn from a seemingly non educational activity.

  1. Keep it simple. As I put together some beautiful basil from our garden with Bononcini and cherry tomatoes I realized that keeping things simple can yield great results. How often do we overcomplicate life? How much simpler could life be if we let it? This weekend we didn’t set ourselves any “jobs” to do! We just ambled through the weekend taking it moment by moment. It was refreshing and rejuvenating. How can we apply simplicity to our work week? Do one task at a time? Pause briefly between each task? Stop and breathe?
  2. Do something regularly that completely immerses you. Whilst cutting the ingredients for the salad I realized that it’s quite an “in the moment” experience. Activities which hold our attention in the moment and prevent us from ruminating on our worries are good for us. We all have something which captures us. Find a home version and a work version and do it regularly. For my partner it would be surfing and working in spreadsheets.
  3. As my Dad used to say “If a job is worth doing it’s worth doing well”. I was tired this morning but saw creating a delicious lunch that looked and tasted good as a way of honoring the effort my partner’s friends make to visit us each year. I felt good about the effort I put it.
  4. We all do things differently. Everyone makes their own signature salad. My mother’s salad always has boiled eggs in it. I think a salad isn’t a salad without avocado. We are all making salad, just in different ways. Tolerance and acceptance of our uniqueness can make our lives easier.

The afternoon was lovely and finished with a classic Brisbane storm to cool us down. The lessons from my salad making were illuminating and hopefully something to reflect on as I head into another week of a busy life.

Sara is a Cause & Effective Associate and a highly experienced not for profit CEO, Senior Executive and Board Member.

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