Things I Need to Ignore

Last night, after watching two football teams I like play poorly and listen to the sports announcers trash both, I decided there are things I need to ignore for a while. In addition, this decision arose after a week of trying to schedule my parents COVID-19 vaccine.

I am the type of person who gives 110% when charged with a task, whether personally or professionally. Like a bull dog with a bone, I refuse to let go until the task is complete or the options have been exhausted.

So, this coming month – I will work on ignoring the things that bother me. This list includes: 1) the national news, 2) sports announcers, and 3) my sister. Yeah, it’s an odd list but lately these three things can get my blood boiling.

My problem with the national news started long ago but was exacerbated by the pandemic. I’ve briefly written on this topic before. The tone used by our network anchors is sensationalistic and oft times, these days, opinionated and judgmental. The field of journalism used to be about reporting the facts. Now, the facts come with some kind of remark in a breathless tone to convey importance. I am tired of it. I’ve tried two different networks, and while I find one preferable to the other, I still cannot stand it. FOX news is definitely an outlet I cannot listen to as their argumentative discussions that include frequent interruptions and talking over one another makes my blood pressure rise after only a minute of exposure. I will replace watching the news with reading it online from a variety of outlets.

Our local sports announcers are fine, and while they can show some preference for some players, they are usually magnanimous to all of the hometown teams. Yesterday, during the divisional football title games, it was the play by play calling by a former but retired football player that was annoying. This was specifically true for the Buffalo – Kansas City game. I like Jim Nantz and recall listening to him years ago when we watched golf. But, the other guy?! Would it have killed him to say something nice about Buffalo? More than that, he just would not be quiet. He yakked the whole game! Several times, I said to no one in particular, could he just be quiet and stop talking. Yikes! It really was too much! I will take a break from sports now. This just reminded me that there were reasons we never watched many football games in the past. It seemed like a frustrating waste of time, in hindsight. This is what I need to remember.

Lastly, I have to ignore my sister. I love her but we go about things in very different ways. She delegates and directs. I prefer not to use those powers. For over a week now, she has questioned every thing I’ve done to try and get my parents a vaccine. She lives 70 miles away from them and has not seen them in a year. This is a work related decision on her part. And, they’ve gone along with it, reluctant to tell her they’d like a visit. But, in all honesty, it is what made our visit (900 miles of travel, one way) more pressing. We did not realize until recently that she had not visited them in such a long time. But, the inquiry about what I did to try and get them a vaccine has been annoying. I feel second guessed and inadequate. I know I shouldn’t. As I wrote above, when charged with a task I am a bull dog holding on to a bone. My search was extensive and took many hours during our visit. I read and watched local news outlets, scoured the internet, registered them on no less than four sites, and instructed them on how it will all work. But, then the questions started. She never asked what I did just checked to see if I did it. And, since we’re different people that work in different ways, obviously, what I did was not what she would have done, or so she assumed. And, there in lays the glitch. (Don’t worry, she does not read my blog.)

At home this week, it’s continued. An email containing a link to a national pharmacy chain with a message stating, “I’m at a conference and one of my colleagues got her parents vaccines using this site. It was easy.” Well, guess what?! That site was the FIRST that I had looked at last week for vaccine options. They had no availability of the vaccine and no sites near my parents house (within 50 miles). When I explained this, I was met with, “no this is a new site.” My response? No, it is the exact same site I was on last week! This scenario was repeated yesterday with a link from her to a NYS site that was just for eligibility not vaccine appointments. I’m not sure she even read what she sent me. We don’t need to check eligibility, they are 83 and 84 and New York opened vaccines to this population on 1/11/2021. I added this because there has been some local (Wisconsin) confusion about why I’m so worked up about this….

Although my sister and I want the same thing for our parents – vaccinations – I resent being questioned about what I’ve done. Several times I’ve reiterated that my search was thorough and I tried to determine the best options for them, taking into account many factors. Yesterday, I had it. I finally told her that if she wants to use the state site or explore other options, she is welcome to do that.

I am not the most assertive person, but when I feel I’ve done a job to the best of my ability and then am questioned about it, I get defensive. So, what have I done today? I got up and looked at the retail pharmacy site where I registered my parents for vaccine openings. Currently, there are still none. I will keep checking. My parents are also registered with their regional provider and their county health department (also set up by me). They are awaiting for calls from these providers. Truly, I feel like I’ve done what I can do. But, now I know I need to ignore the questioning by my sister. I’ll be thankful when mom and dad get their vaccines no matter how it happens or who sets it up. I just want it to be done.

As we enter the month of February, I hope ignoring these irritating situations will benefit my health and well-being, and especially alleviate some mental frustration.

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