Life Is Just A Jar Of Pickles

Day 23 - Pickle Jar Of Pickles Watercolor - Doodlewash

When met with a prompt of vegetables today, I first thought of cucumbers, but then realized they’re technically a fruit, like tomatoes. This always creates an interesting problem trying to juggle the definitions between botanists and the culinary world. So, I just pickled them instead. Not something you’d find naturally in nature, but definitely something you’d naturally find in the cellar of my grandmother’s farm. I adore just about every type of pickle except for the really sweet ones. Though, I guess they really are a culinary fruit version, but I like the salty and savory versions more. One can also find themselves “in a pickle” which is a cute phrase that alludes to being mixed up and disoriented. In truth, I find myself in this situation quite a lot as I’m never one to look before I leap. What I love about this phrase is that it’s not foreboding enough to describe anything truly challenging or awful in life. It’s really best used to describe all of the crazy little bumps that happen along the way. Those moments where no easy answer can immediately be found. Yet, life would be terribly dull were it only made up of easy answers. So, when I find myself “in a pickle,” I relish the opportunity to come up with a creative solution!

Once, many years ago, when I was starting my very first job as a Creative Director, I was thrilled beyond belief. I was so happy to be given the chance to do a job I just knew I was well-suited to do and at an age younger than most for that position. It wasn’t until my first day on the job that I realized something rather important. I literally had no idea exactly what a Creative Director was supposed to do. I’d been promoted so quickly, I never had the chance to work under a role model of any kind. Suddenly, my youthful exuberance turned to sheer terror and I was worried they would discover they’d made a huge mistake. I was in a pickle. Refusing to be daunted, I just jumped in and made up the role as I went along. I had no idea if I was doing everything correctly, but I was sure having fun trying to riddle it all out. I ended up putting the small unknown agency on the map, got our work published in international books and magazines and won a box of awards. I think that was the general outcome expected of the job, so I guess I was doing things correctly after all. Years later, I was having lunch with a friend in the same position who quipped, “literally nobody knows what a Creative Director really does.” Though years too late, it was still rather comforting to hear.

In high school, I was determined to become a reporter for the school newspaper. Another job I had absolutely no experience doing, but simply one I thought I’d enjoy. I’ve no idea how I managed to convince the teacher, but I was soon reporting for both the newspaper as well as the school yearbook. All of my early attempts were rejected, and I was told that I was burying the lead. To me, that was the coolest part so I would put it toward the end, but apparently I was meant to do the opposite. I was in a pickle. So, I just inverted my pyramid, won a news writing award and then promptly quit because it was so terribly dull. I’ve since bounced through life in a similar fashion. Always trying new things that come to mind and never letting a complete lack of skill or knowledge hold me back in any way. And for the most part, things generally work out just fine. Sometimes there’s a success, but really it’s just really fun to try and figure it all out as I go along. I’ve learned that every little problem is indeed solvable and can sometimes make the journey even more interesting, if not a bit fun. Life can be a crazy and unexpected ride indeed, but I find a strange comfort in knowing that, in the end, life is just a jar of pickles.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Pickle Jar Of Pickles Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
20 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 5 months ago

    I only like sweet pickles in little round slices, the kind you find on hamburgers. Yours look like dill, but still nicely sketched!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yep, I’m a dill pickle fan myself! hehe

  2. Sandra Strait 5 months ago

    Your post today is a real dilly! A really big dill – never a dill moment. And your pickles look dill-licious! ‘Ah, I’m just gherkin your chain, but … somebody stop me! I’ve been pun-sessed! Your friend beat me to the pun-ch (I didn’t mean that one – honest) when saying no-one knows what a Creative Director does. If they do as expected they aren’t being creative. I’m not the least bit surprised that you took the job and were rewarded – or should that be re-awarded?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe… and I snuck in a couple of puns and had to resist the urge not to riddle the post with them. Pickle puns are the best! lol

  3. Mary Roff 5 months ago

    Wonderful pickles! Life would be pretty dull without the occasional “in a pickle”.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yes… life would be terribly dull indeed!

  4. memadtwo 5 months ago

    We’re all making it up as we go along, whether we admit it or not! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      hehe! True! 😃 I prefer to not only admit it, but wear it with pride!

  5. LoriCtoo 5 months ago

    Those pickles look so real. I don’t eat pickles. Ever since I was pregnant, I haven’t been able to eat anything sour and that’s been over 20 years. Whoever said women like pickles while pregnant didn’t survey all of us. Speaking of making up jobs, parenting is pretty much like that. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I’ve never been a parent, but my friends who are say it’s just like that. Sounds like a fun job! And interesting that you lost the taste for sour. Something they certainly don’t put in the job description. hehe

  6. Lisa 5 months ago

    I like pickles too. I’m not much of a cucumber fan though. I did grow them one year just to see if I could. Goodness, I had a bumper crop and was giving them away to everyone.

    My first job out of grad school was as a director of a library. I was really not prepared. But goodness, my staff and I had fun. If you don’t know the rules, obviously you can do whatever you want. So we did. My second job was even better for that because I had a bigger staff. We had worm races, and I became one of the puppeteers in our newly formed troupe. We really had a ball.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      I wish I lived closer so I could have enjoyed your bumper crop. I love cucumbers! 🙂 And it sounds like you have a blast with your jobs. That’s how they should be. I couldn’t imagine ever having a job I could play at and make fun!

  7. That jar looks amazing, how did you do it?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much! 🙂 Just some ink and watercolor… lots of contrast, layers, and hope that it all turns out! hehe

  8. smzang 5 months ago

    Charlie said, “life is just a jar of pickles.”

    I love it! It’s way too early for me to be laughing this hard, but I love that too.
    Thank you…

    and the pickles … delicious, and the glass jar … perfect as always!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 hehe… glad ya liked this. I have no idea why it all came to mind, but I don’t question things anymore! lol

  9. Kris Hoffer 5 months ago

    I will share this post with my teenage kids, who also love pickles and are just about to embark on their own adventures in the world of work. Thanks for your wise words.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Kris! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this post. And awesome you’re sharing with your teenagers. And I wish them on the best on the start of their new adventures!

  10. Kelly Miller 5 months ago

    Nice one. I love pickles! Great story by the way. Quite inspiring. 👍

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