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Adapting to ADHD --- It isn't good or bad, it just is what it is
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Posted 04-12-12 at 09:51 PM by KCTang
They say the universe abhors a void.

This I can believe, because the more problems I fix, the more seem to come my way.

Starting a few weeks back...
  • I find out in March that the gov't hadn't received my 2010 income tax return. Which was odd because I definitely filed it in August or September last year. (Late, but better than the previous few years that have gone unfiled ).

    Being the math person in the relationship means I'm the one filling out the returns. And I had challenged myself to do it on-time this year. Plus, we needed whatever money that might give us --- we're 2.5 people living on the income of 1.

    Now, unexpectedly, that amount of work went from 2 tax returns to 3. Not to mention there is repeat work involved, which I dislike. Blargh.

  • On the Friday that I unprocrastinatedly called the 2 hotlines to get the various 2010 forms sent over (go me!) --- I get home expecting a weekend to work on this year's returns and some time to relax, but instead find a letter in the mail. A registered letter. From the collection agency.

    Seems they're taking me to court over credit card debt I owe. They told me last year they bought my debt from the credit card company but never sent over the proof I asked for.

    [Of course, I owe this money because of some bad untreated-ADHD handling of finances in my past. And as I started to setup a payment system for that debt, a surprise bundle of joy turned a month long relationship into a family for me to support. And I stopped being able to keep up.]

    I look over the court documents and see that I need to file my defense within 20 days. Great. MORE paperwork.

Now I get all this done over the next 2 weeks, first completing all 3 returns over a single weekend, which is a big deal for me, considering how draining this type of work is.

Then I researched the details of the court process and different ways to handle the debt. And with a couple days to spare, I file the defense at the court office --- which took 2 trips over one lunch break, because the online instructions didn't explain they wanted you to bring 2 extra copies.

All's well, right?

A week or so goes by, letting the stress and hecticness settle --- and for me to feel good about my accomplishments --- and I start the car yesterday morning to find the battery light turned on.

No problem. I'm on a roll. I'll head over to the auto parts store after work and buy a new battery. Won't even have them install it --- I'll install it myself. No clue what's required but I'm confident I can learn. Can't be that complicated.

Actually, it was.

Turns out that the battery light coming on doesn't necessarily mean the battery's dead. Newbie mistake.

A super-awesome off-duty tow truck driver realized the real problem when I explained how the car lost power. And I was mid-installation too --- if he didn't stop to help, I'd have killed the new battery driving home and be back at square one.

I leave the car in front of the store's shop, and get a friend to drive my son and I home, then go pick up my wife. That was yesterday. Today would be a busy day.

Getting up early and taking the bus to my car, I get an estimate from the service counter of the store where I bought that battery. $60 just to find the problem. $460 to get the alternator replaced. And a bonus $150 if the battery was actually fried by the alternator. My heart sank. Anxiety starts creeping in again. I've only got $500 in the bank, and that's for the next week and a half of groceries and money put aside for rent.

My mechanic is about 3 miles away, and his estimate is $150 cheaper. But that would involve getting the car towed for about $100 bucks. And I'd need a cab to and from his shop, so no gain there...

That's when my angel swooped in.

My dad's girlfriend (they may as well be married) calls me to tell me that she has roadside assistance with CAA (the Canadian equivalent of AAA for those of you south of the border). She gets her dad to drive over with the membership card, so that we can get the car towed for free to the shop. Score!

Then later the mechanic calls and says that the reason the alternator wasn't working was because of a broken pulley that snapped the serpentine belt. So the work only came to $220, instead of the $500 originally expected. Double Win!

So, not all surprises are bad. And I'm quite pleased with how things turned out.

Although I had to reschedule today's original agenda --- a pediatrician's appointment and meeting the seller of a 2nd hand graphics tablet --- all-in-all I'm happy that it didn't turn out worse. Because it could've.

And it's good to know that when challenges do pile up, there are people around who are willing and able to help out. Whether it's giving a ride home 'cause you're stranded with a 15 month old, or calling for backup and being thoughtful about what you need.

I just gotta remember to ask.
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