Procrastination, Dog Food and Gas Tanks

What is it about certain tasks that make us always procrastinate? Why do we avoid some of the most mundane – yet necessary – tasks? And by putting these things off, what are we hoping to gain? In my case, I’m talking about buying dog food and filling up the gas tank.

I seem to put off for as long as possible buying dog food. It’s not like this food purchase nearly every month should come as a shock to me. But for some reason, I seem to get down to the last kibble in the container before forcing myself out to buy more food. Why not buy a new bag when half the food remained? Or better yet, why not buy two bags at the same time?!

There were times when not even a kibble remained and I’d give Casey and Romeo leftover people food to tide them over. Of course that satisfies the dogs (and me) for an evening. But the next morning rolls along and I remember, “Oh SH$%, I have to buy dog food today!”

And if this isn’t bad enough, Tess the Cat will only eat dog kibble. Anyone who knows cats knows they are very particular with their habits. So whereas the dogs will survive a few days eating human food, Tess can’t handle the change and is freaking out at every turn. Now I’ve starved my dogs and I’m causing my cat to have a massive anxiety attack.

I recently learned this type of avoidance is not characteristic of just me. Sophie and I were enjoying a lovely Saturday afternoon with my friend, Kim, and her kids, when Kim remembered the torturous task of needing to go out after our playdate for dog food. Kim even avoided the dog food purchase for a few days by dicing up dog treats for her little guy. She realized she could no longer avoid the trip to Petco when she soon ran out of treats. I applaud Kim for her creativity.

This same act of procrastination is one I often feel about filling my car’s gas tank. I am SO bad about this one! I wait until the last possible moment to stop for gas. To the point in which the car is nearly running of fumes. And why — Why do I do this to myself every week? Is it because it kills me to pay nearly $55 to fill up the car? Partly. But even when gas wasn’t that expensive, I always waited until I was running on empty to stop at Chevron.

A friend told me she always fills up her car when her tank is half empty in case she finds herself in a car chase and doesn’t want to run out of fuel. I wish I had that same paranoia. But no. I wait, and then usually end up kicking myself when I’ve waited until before work to buy gas.

Perhaps I procrastinate because buying gas and dog food are not “fun” purchases. It’s not like buying Starbucks or food (although one could argue that gas is coffee for the car). Or maybe since I’m not the one starving, I don’t feel bad rationing the last cup of kibble between my dogs and cat. I don’t know. I may never know. All I do know is that I did buy dog food today (because we wouldn’t have lasted until tomorrow) and I have no gas in my car for Monday morning. Isn’t the first step admitting the problem?

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