protecting yourself from…yourself

Do you know what is super frustrating? Life. The end.

No, wait! Don’t leave. I’m just kidding. (Kind of.)

Seriously, though, what’s really super frustrating is how the things you think are problems are never actually the actual problems! I’m the actual problem!! We’re always our own worst problems. And that is seriously the worst.

But it’s not just you that’s your own worst enemy. About six months ago, I jumped into dog ownership–or more aptly, Puppy Patrol–without a really clear understanding of what it actually takes to turn a two-month-old dog into something that’s not a pooptastic crocodile.


Beast dog, small version. He used to get really cold.

Turns out that taking care of a puppy is all of the things I expected–mostly, lots of dog pee. But the most unexpected aspect of puppy training is preventing the small beast from killing itself on otherwise totally harmless objects. That dog can go from happily romping in the backyard to eating an aluminum can in about the time it takes me to pour boiling water into a teacup.

So now I spend some time preventing my dog from eagerly pursuing life-threatening hobbies. It’s not cars, or cancer, or escaping from the yard that is going to kill this dog, it’s the willing and intentional consumption of ten ounces of fluffing from the inside of his chicken toy.

But the thing that totally sucks about this is that I recognize this same pattern in myself. And before you ask: No, I totally do NOT eat aluminum cans. But I am really good at playing Plants vs. Zombies 2 instead of working on my personal projects or researching twelve different ways to cook egg salad instead of going for a walk with said puppy.

The good thing, though, is that the same strategies that work well for Puppy Lifewatch 2014 (anticipating the problems before they happen) are good for Brenda Productivity Initiative 2014, too–namely, uninstalling Plants vs. Zombies 2 and getting out of the house and paying for coffee somewhere so I feel guilty researching egg salad.

It’s not super easy to protect yourself from yourself, but once you know who the true culprit is, at least you can face the problem head on…right?

Or you could get a puppy. They’re really super fun. PROMISE.


  1. I came for the puppy in a sweater and stayed for the pep talk. Thanks for all you do, Brenda!

  2. Having a dog is like having a toddler… forever. They are cute and fun, but man are they a lot of work. I have a mastiff and a great dane and, while they are well beyond the poop and chewing stage, they still demand a ton of attention… and their own couch. LOL

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