Anger, irritation

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I can quickly make a list of things that irritate me, like that piece of straw that is stuck in my sock. I sit down, take off the sock and look through it, searching to find that poking piece that has lodged itself into a spot where I cannot see it. I put it back on, only to feel it again. After several minutes of failing to find it, I am ready to throw it away.

The same thing happens when I get a thorn in my glove. I know it is there like a sliver. I run my finger back over it, with the notion I will find it sooner or later. All the while, I have stopped working and am losing my patience. These little things that scratch my skin and poke my fingers irritate me.

In the barn, the fans are blowing hard all day and night. We have one with a squeaky fan belt. It is hardly noticeable, until I am in that area near the wind it is creating to keep the cows cool. I sometimes get a dull headache. I surmise it is from that whining I hear but don’t put my finger on it until I leave the barn. The fan is doing its job. I will request someone to fix it, but it is planting time. Cutting hay is just days away. I don’t think it will get taken care of any time soon. The sound of the fan’s belt annoys me, but I walk out of the barn and forget about it until I return.

The windchime on our porch sounds beautiful when there is a breeze. It is a tuned chime that was purchased after my mother passed away. She had many in her yard. This musical chime can tell us how windy it is and when I need to put on a sweatshirt before heading out in the morning. There are times, though, when I am on the phone or having a quiet moment on the couch that it is simply too much. I get irked by the noise pollution and want it to be silenced. That can easily be done by taking it down. Piece of cake; no big deal.

Just recently, on my drive to Madison, it was raining, and I was behind a vehicle that was driving cautiously. She had her wipers going full force, and she was going about 45 mph. I stayed back and had ample room in case she needed to turn or slow down further. As the miles went by, there was a line of traffic behind us. The divided highway was coming up, and I made plans to pass. As I signaled to pull into the left lane, the car behind me did the same. He was experiencing frustration, as he beeped his horn for a long while, startling me back behind the slow driver. I looked over, and he was using the middle finger up hand gesture while swearing at me with his horn whaling. Clearly, he was having an emotional meltdown and feeling the need to show it.

The passengers that were in the car with me were thinking I pulled out in front of him as if it was close enough that I was going to be in an accident. However, my mirror signal that warns about cars surrounding didn’t light up. I shook my head and thought about the anger and rage that man had because he was behind two cars for a few miles going 45 mph.

Not two days later, my daughter, Anna, came flying into the house upset. She had come from the bank, and there was a turtle on the road. She pulled over with hazard lights on, and the car behind her swerved wide and hit the turtle, causing it to flip over into the oncoming lane. There was a car in the distance approaching while Anna was in the middle of the road picking up the turtle. The oncoming driver could clearly see she was in the road picking up something, but he refused to slow down and beeped his horn at her while going 55 mph and swerved into the gravel ditch as Anna was crossing back over the yellow line with the turtle.

Anna was shaking being that close to a fast car. The other driver that hit the turtle couldn’t believe the oncoming driver had such disrespect and did not slow down when someone was on the road. Anna was a short distance from the line and could have easily been hit. The turtle was saved and put in the ditch where it was attempting to cross.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This month is observed to raise awareness about depression and anxiety, and other forms of stress and mental illness. Road rage is defined as driving a vehicle in an aggressive manner that could endanger the safety or property of another driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian in an effort to intimidate or release frustration. Strategies include but not are limited to cutting motorists off, inappropriate honking, using obscene gestures, swearing, tailgating, brake checking and attempting to create fear with aggressive motives.

While I may get irritated and annoyed with drivers on the road, I am recognizing more drivers who are unable to control their anger. I ask all drivers to drive defensively and watch for all types of dangers while traveling. Drive safe and give yourself enough time to get where you need to go without putting stress on yourself or others. Everyone needs to respect others, even, and especially, if there is a person on the road picking up a turtle.

Tina Hinchley, her husband Duane and daughter Anna milk 240 registered Holsteins with robots. They also farm 2,300 acres near Cambridge, Wisconsin. The Hinchleys have been hosting farm tours for over 25 years.

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