So far this week, I have been dealing with a number of “boomerang tasks” (a name I stole from The Happiness Project). These are tasks that you think you’ve removed from your plate, only to find them come back again…and even again.  I’ve never noticed these tasks as such before, until they were brought to my attention.

For example, I just moved into a new office.  Task: We requested additional keys so that my assistant would have a set.  A few days later, I received them (even though my assistant requested them, they ended up on my desk to deal with).  The set I was given from were for the storage room, not my office.  Boomerang Task:  We had to re-request keys to my office.  The keys I was given the second time appear to be the correct keys, however they don’t fit in the keyhole.  Boomerang Task:  We need to go back to Facilities to see why the key isn’t working.  So, to recap, I’ve had to deal with this key situation three times and it still isn’t resolved.  What a waste of (my) time if this is happening on even 25% of my tasks.

I have another example.  I asked our Marketing Department to send me art concepts in a pdf format.  I have the printouts, but I want the share the pdf’s with my clients.  The concepts I received were from two versions ago.  Boomerang Task:  I had to send an email requesting the correct version.  It’s afternoon and I still haven’t received the correct ones.

One last example – I’ve been interviewing contractors for a bathroom remodel.  This process began in June (I’ve actually been thinking about it for years) and 4 contractors came to my house, took measurements, listened to my vision and provided me with bids.  I chose a contractor; he came out again to refine the bid and was supposed to get back to me.  I sent him the list of fixtures to buy and the vanity I want, I gave him my tile samples to take with him and I ‘broke up’ with the other three contractors.  Well, needless to say, I haven’t heard from the guy in three weeks and he was supposed to begin demo Thanksgiving week.  I’ve called; I’ve emailed and nothing.  Boomerang!  I have to start all over with bids, obtaining samples, and checking licenses.  Boomerang back to square one.

I realize this seems petty – “just deal with it,” you are probably thinking.  But, it just seems such a waste of time.  How many times have I had to go back to the store because a part was missing from the box or something was out of stock?  How many flurries of phone tag and email tag could be avoided?  Why can’t these little projects be simple – one and done!


I’ve been re-reading The Happiness Project.  In the book, the author lists her 12 (she couldn’t stop at 10) commandments for happiness.  As I move through this process of potentially opening my own gelato business, I thought it would be beneficial to write commandments of my own (I borrowed more than a few from the book).   These are a combination of quotidien, life-enhancing reminders and more specific directives specifically for the business.   Here are my thirteen:

The 13 Commandments

  1. Appraise opinions accordingly.  If devoid of solution or accuracy, they are of no value.
  2. Connect
  3. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good – Voltaire
  4. Drive with the top down whenever possible
  5. Do stuff
  6. Talk to strangers
  7. Go outside
  8. Never bother with people you hate
  9. Make mistakes
  10. Imagine the eulogy: how do I want to be remembered?
  11. What would I do if I weren’t scared?
  12. Dry shampoo will give you 30 extra minutes of time
  13. Consider before saying ‘yes’ or  ‘no’


“The West End Partners, the redevelopers of the area along West Main Street, are planning a large market space to be built out over next year or so. It’s supposed to open in early 2014.

The idea is to have a dozen small-scale restaurants as well as coffee, beer and wine. There will be kitchens for smaller-scale projects, like incubators for people whose business models are too large for the cottage food law but too small for traditional commercial kitchens; a gluten-free kitchen and a confectionary kitchen.

The market part will emphasize local artisans, including a butcher shop to be run by a whole-animal butcher who moved West rose from in-house butcher to sous chef at Bouchon. Much of the food for sale will come from the commercial kitchens, and there will be a demo space as well.”

Fuck, I’m scared.  Isn’t this the perfect opportunity for me?  Is this what I’ve been waiting for?  I want to open up a gelateria downtown and here comes a space that seems almost too perfect – kitchen space, in my preferred area – and on my time schedule.  How can I ignore this?

I had placed the gelateria idea on the back burner; I haven’t worked on it in months.  I’m so easily discouraged by other’s critiques and comments – and my own self-doubt…probably my own self-doubt more than anything. In an attempt to combat it,  I’ve read dozens of quotes (and a book or two)  by successful people about how one must silence the critics to move forward, but I find it impossible to silence the voices of doubt in my head.

The first step is to admit the fear – I’M FUCKING SCARED!  Scared! Scared! Scared! Whew,  that’s out of the way.  The second step is to take one tiny tip-toe forward.  I will call the redevelopers on Monday. No procrastination.  What could it hurt?

Pack Light

This Summer, I lost my luggage somewhere between Calabria and Bologna on the worlds most unfriendly airline – Alitalia.  Really, I “voluntarily surrendered” it.  The luggage was more than 30 minutes late coming off the plain and  I had a choice between grabbing my luggage from the previous flight or making my connection. I chose the latter.  Where most women would be horrified by the prospect of having no luggage for an entire week, I decided to ‘go with the flow’ and not let the missing luggage ruin a trip I have been planning for months.  I found the local H&M, bought a few 10 Euro dresses, a t-shirt for sleeping and a few pairs of undies.  That was my uniform for the week.  I didn’t feel deprived.  I’m comfortable doing without.  Last week, I was traveling in the States and managed to pack one of those H&M dresses– along with 14 other outfits and 6 pairs of shoes. Why?  I didn’t wear most of it.  I prefer my Italian simplicity.


You would think, after four decades on this planet, I would have mastered the art of the breakup.  I envision one where we act like adults, say what needs to be said and no one walks away hurt.  Sadly, I think this resolution is possible only in my dreams.  Instead, I took the spineless way out and ended it with a text.  I’m appalled at myself. With my 20/20 hindsight, I realize that I should have at least done it over the telephone; 2.5 months does not necessarily require a face-to-face, but it does warrant more than a 3 sentence text.

Everything I wrote to him and the feelings I have today are more than a little reminiscent of my Ex’s breakup with me.  Am I no better?  There really is no good way to accomplish the task.

This guy SHOULD have been a good catch for me.  He was attractive and fit, kind and considerate, virile and gainfully employed, but I just never fell head-long for him.  I should want to see him the last moment before I depart on a trip and the first thing when I return.  We were apart for 2.5 weeks and I almost canceled on him this Saturday (I had already cancelled twice earlier this week).  I should be begging for him to spend the night so I can wrap my body in his when, in fact, I felt relief when he said he had to go home.  I know the depth of affection I’m capable of feeling – and I just couldn’t evoke it for him.

I realized that it’s not fair to continue – not to him by faking feelings as he becomes more entangled nor to myself but cutting myself off from other possible alternatives, convincing myself that “this” is better than nothing.

Regardless of whether I think I did the right thing (which I do), I still feel awful for having to do it.