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The Pugs of Procrastination: Harnessing your power to decide

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Ella strutin’ her puggy self in her new flame enhanced harness of power.

The days of using a training collar had long past. It was time to graduate to a harness. Some people buy harnesses because their dogs pull. We buy harnesses once our dogs have learned leash etiquette and respond well to voice commands.

Because pugs are fairly little guys compared to our neighborhood bullies and the off-leash-dog-park thugs, we occasionally have to YANK! them to a position of safety. To do so on their little necks would be cruel, not to mention, painful…and expensive. Our family chiropractor is a generous individual, not charging us for the adjustments he gives Jack and Ella, but we don’t want to test his character.

We arrived at Sophie’s Touch, a local pet boutique here in Gig Harbor, with the intention of picking up a couple of harnesses and new leashes. Two hours later, after multiple try-ons, fretting about matching each leash and harness, choosing a combo that reflected each pug’s personality and, of course, verifying the safety of the equipment, I sat in the car exhausted, with two very ordinary sets of dog walking gear. Much to my chagrin, a life lesson bubbled up to the surface.

If you haven’t gathered it already, Ella is the flashy one. Jack chooses to be more dignified and reserved in his standard black harness.

What had happened that suddenly, it now took me two hours to make such a simple decision? I ran down the list of usual suspects.

Was it my hormones? According to author, Gabrielle Lichterman (28 Days: A Daily Horoscope for Your Hormones), right around day 25 of a woman’s 28 day hormone cycle, we find it difficult to keep our attention focused, especially while performing certain boring tasks, such as reading an instruction manual or watching whatever Hilary Duff movie is on TV. When it comes to making decisions, declining estrogen and testosterone make our moods subject to change without notice, so making biggies that can’t be reversed, like accepting an invitation to be an MTV Real World housemate thinking it will boost your credibility or scooping up a great deal on a  faux zebra stripe skirt off of EBay before you realize it won’t go with your leopard print wardrobe, is a no-no. Best to wait until days 6-10 to make those kind of decisions! Whew! I was in the clear.

Was it sensory overload? Only in America do we face the dilemma of too many choices, too much information, and too many truly good options. Shopping for me is less about retail therapy and more about a reconnaissance mission…get in and back out, QUICK! I know exactly what I want, where to find it and can park strategically for optimum accessibility. Sophie’s Choice has a plethora of doggie goodies, but come on, we’re talking about a leash and harness here. There’s only so many to choose from.

Was it distraction? I know myself well enough to understand that, if I have something boiling away on the back burner of my mind, my attention to the details of the here and now will be diffused at best. Had my usual nemesis of using the pugs to procrastinate on my writing quotas jumped up to bite me in the butt? I genuinely didn’t think so.

As a result of all this self analysis, I began to wonder: In what other areas am I paralyzed in decision making? No surprise, a few things rose to the surface…for your enjoyment…or consideration…depending on your perspective. Here they are:

  • Method of publishing When I Woke Up, I Was 10: A Practical Guide for Transforming PTSD
  • To pack or not to pack, in anticipation of moving in four months
  • Pulling out of the stock market
  • Swearing off carbs…forever
  • Surgical mommy makeover (Yes, my son is 23. It’s about time, don’t ya think?!)
  • When to replace my 12 year old car
  • What to make for dinner

Pugs of Procrastination Challenge

  • What areas of your life would you like to harness your power to decide?
  • What decisions are you putting off?
  • Have you created a Pros/Cons list surrounding the issue?
  • What’s the very best that could happen? The worst?
  • Does a decision really need to be made? By you or someone else?

Like The Pugs of Procrastination?

Admittedly, Jack and Ella are my BIG excuse for not meeting my quotas. At any time, I can be found snuggling, napping or wandering around the yard with the pugs instead of wooorking! My only salvation? They’re homebodies and can sense a lap forming from half a mile away. If I’m disciplined enough to at least sit! stay! the pugs will do the rest – literally dog piling me with their bodies – keeping me in my seat doing what I do best…writing.

So, be sure to subscribe! Along with practical advice about healing from PTSD, you’ll see an occasional Pugs of Procrastination post…just to keep things in perspective. I’d love to hear from you! Tell me about your decision making difficulites! Here’s how to connect (handy buttons at the top of this page):


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