Mashed potatoes


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about getting from A to B. When things are good (i.e. I’m in a good mood, I’m not hungry and nobody is irritating me), no one can get to B faster than me. Combine my organizational skills and my time management skills, I’m a whirling dervish.

But – you knew there was a “but” coming- when things go sideways, rather than go directly from “A”, I tend to go to E, L and then the letter P before I wind my way back to “B”.

When do I do this and why?

These detours often take place when someone disappoints or  otherwise upsets me, or life throws me a big old curve ball.  Sometimes I  roll with these inevitable occurrences, but other times I can waste time stewing over the injustice, talking to Andrew about how I would never do such a thing, ruminating over the various ways I can express my displeasure to whomever may be involved.

Recently I’ve changed my perspective on these incidents by trying to completely and fully focus on getting from “A” (bad thing) to  “B” (desirable outcome).

“B” stands for what I want – a solid friendship, a working dishwasher, happy customers – whatever. So, to use the first example, if a friend lets me down in some way, by thinking about moving from A to B, I acknowledge that overall the friend is a wonderful person and I am just going to let the incident go, not think about it. I’m going to get to B without detouring to the  other letters of the alphabet.

If the dishwasher breaks after it was just repaired, going directly to B means skipping the whole tirade against the repairman. Yup, he didn’t fix it right, that’s true. But getting to B fast is most likely if I’m  friendly in my call to let him know it isn’t working yet.

And if the delivery professional has a fender bender, going into the  discussion motivated to get to B quickly (have our customers’ deliveries delivered and on time), I am less likely to do laps around the idiocy of the situation and more likely to just fix it.

Mashed potatoes – the title of this post- you’re wondering where they fit in.

On Christmas Eve I was working hard in the kitchen when I realized I still hadn’t made the damn mashed potato casserole. The potatoes weren’t even peeled! I have peeled so many potatoes in my life (I swear to God my mother made potatoes 7 days a week) –  and I have always hated it. So I decided I would just wash those suckers, throw them unpeeled into the  boiling water and see what happened.

When  they were cooked, I drained them, the peels SLIPPED OFF SO EASY, and I cursed all the hours I have spent in my life peeling potatoes.

So if it helps you to remember to get from A to B, just think about mashed potatoes. Maybe there are some unnecessary steps you can skip too.

About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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