It’s ten minutes to 11pm and I should really be in bed, but I can’t sleep because I’ve got a toothache that I really shouldn’t have.
You see, I was hired in by my current company last October ending a long-period (20+ years) of working as a contractor and I’ve had dental insurance almost from the time I was hired. Not long after that I became aware of at least two cavities in my teeth that I’ve been meaning to get into a dentist to have taken care of before they got any worse as well as just generally getting things cleaned up after having gone so long without health insurance. Naturally this means I never got around to making an appointment. Now here we are some nine months later and one of my molars on the right side has started to ache which means it’s probably far gone enough that I’ll have to have a root canal and add another crown to my collection.
I don’t have a good excuse as to why I didn’t make an appointment back in October when I first got the insurance. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it since then. Every now and then I’d have something remind me that I’d been meaning to get to the dentist and I should really make an appointment. Usually those reminders occurred at times when making an appointment wasn’t possible because the office was closed. So I’d resolve to make the appointment first thing next morning after getting to work and by the time I got to work I’d have forgotten all about my resolution only to remember well after the office closed that night. I’ve had literally months of opportunities to get this done and I have managed to fail at it every single time it occurred to me. Now I have a toothache and will have no problem remembering come the morning. Assuming I’m not too tired to think straight. I’m a fairly intelligent guy. You’d think this wouldn’t be a problem for me. My knee-jerk impulse it to blame my ADD, but while that may be a contributing factor you’d still think that 9 months is more than enough time to get it done.
It’s not just dentist appointments either. Two weeks ago we spent nearly $300 buying me five pairs of much needed summer shorts and a new Hawaiian shirt from the local Tall and Fat guy store. In that time I’ve discovered that one of the pair of khaki shorts has the neat feature of having the front pockets sewn shut by an overly enthusiastic worker someplace in whatever overseas country they made them in. I was willing to let that slide until I wore a pair of jean shorts that lasted one entire day before the metal riveted button that holds them closed decided to pop off. And it wasn’t because they were too tight, I have to wear a belt to keep them up on my waist. I still have the receipt so I put the shorts back in the bag and set it aside to put in the car so I could drop by the store on the way home and get them replaced. That was last week. The bag still hasn’t made it into the car because every morning that I’ve thought about it I’ve managed to forget in record time shortly thereafter. According to the store, I have 90 days to take care of it. I’m worried that may not be enough time.
I say that because this past Christmas our string of wicked cool icicle lights decided to stop working just two weeks after we put them up. We’ve only used them two seasons before so I called the manufacturer to see if they were still under warranty, which they were as it was for three years. All I had to do was box them up and ship them back with a note explaining what was wrong with them (e.g. They don’t work) and they’d check them out and replace them. It’s July and guess where those lights are sitting. At this point they’re probably out of warranty. I keep meaning to check.
I think part of the problem is that I deal with my ADD in part by having a routine that I follow day in and day out. The weekends aren’t quite as routine, but even they have a familiar pattern. Anything that requires a deviation from the routine can be a major challenge for me it seems and I’m left feeling like I really don’t know what I’m doing. The fact that I’m aware of this shortcoming and have every real and serious intention of addressing it and consistently fail to do so is very discouraging. It means there’s a lot of things I keep meaning to take care of that never actually get done. This affects my professional life as well so I devote even more energy to addressing that part of my life (mainly through liberal use of Post-it™ notes on my monitor) and, for the most part, I keep the absentmindedness to a minimum at work. Which leaves that much less energy to do so in my personal life.
In the end I pay the price with the occasional toothache or by missing out on having things replaced under warranty and feeling kinda stupid for not being able to get my act together. I keep hoping that one of these days I’ll learn to do the things I keep meaning to do but don’t manage to and life will be perfect. Hopefully I won’t run out of healthy teeth before then.