Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

2017 has not been kinder than 2016.  §

This has been the summer of broken things and unexpected expenses. Nothing has worked, nothing has stayed the same, nothing has been reliable or remained intact, and everything is costing me far more cash than I expected.

It is endless costly problems.

I am overwhelmed and exhausted.

And now to add insult to injury, my strategic lifeline—internet connectivity, which is basically the only resource I have for trying to overcome these problems—has been down for two days and will continue to be down for half of tomorrow because a tree took out my fiber line in a windstorm.

Major things:

  • My son had to have unexpected surgery at the end of spring
  • The car had to be unexpectedly replaced at the start of summer
  • The replacement car unexpectedly needed major repairs just three weeks later
  • My only remaining camera (also my phone) developed a buffer memory fault
  • The puppy tore the carpet up, and it will have to be replaced
  • The puppy has had multiple self-caused, head-scratching injuries requiring vet care, far more than her older counterpart at her age
  • The kids tore the puppy gate off the wall, leading to repair costs
  • The plumbing has been a mess, including multiple major leaks requiring service
  • Internet went down and I work online, requiring me to acquire tethering hardware and pay for tethering data

There are more, but these are the ones that have been intractable problems needing extended attention and major outlays.

I have tried to do as much of it as I can myself, but this still involves buying tons of equipment and tools in most of these cases. For example, the service costs on the “new” car so far are still at less than $1,000 as opposed to $2,800 or more, but there remains more to be done, and even “still less than $1,000” is a lot more than nothing, and this is on top of having had to buy a car.

I don’t earn nothing, so there’s a part of me that’s frustrated that I’m not better off right now. But I’m also not a rich man, and I have to pay for student loans, legal debt from the divorce, child support, alimony, plus the costs of having the kids with me every weekday and every other weekend, plus extracurriculars, school stuff, and then of course utilities and insurances (which I am reimbursed for in the case of medical, but which I have to account for in cash flow every month and it’s not a small amount), etc.

As a result, we haven’t done anything that we did last summer. No ball games, no trips to museums or cultural resources, no trips to amusement parks, no campouts, no fishing (because no cash for fishing license or fishing gear), etc.

And if the unexpected expenses keep up at this rate, I will sink under the weight. I cannot keep up at this pace. Already the queue of stuff still to be paid for has stretched me beyond limits and I am trying to find ways to make it all work.

In three years, when alimony ends, when the legal debt from divorce is paid off, and when a couple of the vehicles are paid off, life will be infinitely easier to pay for. But right now? Right now is financial whack-a-mole. Nothing at all is getting saved, and no “progress” is being made. I’m not even treading water successfully.

— § —

I have always been a person of unusual patience and perseverance.

Right now, however, both are wearing thin.