What. A. Week. It started with me getting the mail on my way to pick up the teen boy from school. I started this routine since he is super comfortable driving home from school, so I use some of the time to sort through the mail as I ride in that fun front passenger side seat. Imagine my surprise when I opened a letter from IRS saying we still owed over $9600 for our 2018 tax bill. We thought we were paid in full, well ahead of the Oct due date extension. I freaked out. Money was an issue from my childhood, so this is a huge trigger me. We never had enough, one parent would spend and hide from the other, etc. I own this, but we have been working so hard to live the lifestyle we want and still pay our giant tax bill on time. It felt like a slap in the face for all the hard work we had done. After double checking my records, I learned that the IRS cashed 3 checks totaling $8500 that were never credited to our account. The solution – mail copies of the 3 cleared checks to prove we still only owed $1100.
Next up, our pool. The water color has been off since Hurricane Dorian, but I attributed it to just that and cleaned it all up before the teen boy’s birthday party. Fast forward a week later, the water got progressively more green so I called the pool company. Lucky us, Dorian brought in mustard algae at the exact same time that our salt cell died. A perfect storm. We needed a new salt cell, which the pool company guy showed me how to install myself. In 24 hours our algae filled pool was back to its normal light blue. I never knew how important that tiny salt cell was until it did not work properly.
And because things happen in threes, our dryer stopped heating on the second load last Sunday night. I called the manufacturer first thing Monday and they suggested cleaning out the air vent (if a lot of lint is in the vent, it will not heat properly). While I appreciated the tip, when I called back to schedule an appt because the air vent was not the issue, the estimated hold time was 48 minutes. I immediately hung up and Googled “dryer repair near me” and stumbled onto a company that coordinates service repairs with multiple companies. After two no shows, someone finally came on Friday. It was a $200 repair, which was a welcomed relief.
What a week, right? The teen girl commented on Monday when it was all starting that “this is life, mom.” At first I was angry at her, but as the week progressed and I solved all the problems relatively easily, I realized she was right. Stuff happens, it messes up our plans, and I need to do a better job of being flexible and adapting when things don’t go my way. In some ways, I feel more rigid with age. Little things that at a younger age would not have made me mad, really irritate me these days. Not sure why, but I obviously need to work on it.
So fellow middle age parents, how to you cope when things don’t go as planned? Share some tips that I can try!