Life with Moxie: Things we need to give up

In just 30 seconds of social media, radio, TV or even water cooler conversation, the energy around us is becoming more and more toxic. We are increasingly finding ourselves doing and saying things we likely never would have 10 years ago, and we’ve become deluded by convenience to the explicit destruction of our surroundings. What can we do to counter this downward spiral? Do you even want to…? As disturbing as it is, many are embracing this toxicity as a badge of honor, like they finally have a place to belong somehow.

At Life with Moxie, we focus on striving to learn, improve, grow and make a difference-a positive one. We have one life, why waste it damaging our overall health and well-being because we’ve elected to wade through life in the ditch of resentment and anger. To get back to the high road, we need to give up a few things. Some are simple- don’t mistake for easy, some are obvious, and others may trigger defensiveness- a not so obvious personal flag that something has truth to it- be honest with yourself about those.

Let’s get started!

Screen time. Regardless of whether or not we believe it, science has repeatedly shown that screen time is a leading cause of stress and an instigator for anxiety, anger and depression. Screen time is also (science again) a leader for sleep issues as the type of light emitted from technology tells your brain that it’s daytime and stops the brains naturally occurring production of melatonin, whose purpose is to put you to sleep. Let alone the inherent brain activity stimulation that regular exposure to provocation offers.

Stop arguing about things we really know nothing about. Hearing it on the news is not “knowing,” reading a headline is not “knowing,” seeing a meme on Facebook certainly isn’t knowing. To be clear, this has nothing to do with “facts” and I use the term loosely since actual definitions of words seem to no longer apply.

Knowing about something means you’ve gone out of your way to understand it well enough that you could teach some else and they would be clear in their understanding and capable of successfully replicating- let’s take wiring a new light switch for an example. If you can successfully teach someone else how to properly install a new light switch in detail, with all the why’s explained along the way- splice into existing line, pull down wall, install new box, pull wires through, connect wires, screw off, add cover and it works- then you “know” how to wire a light switch. Anything short of that is simply having an opinion, which we are all welcome to, but in the big picture, most people don’t care about anyone else’s opinion, nor are they interested in changing theirs, and opinions aren’t worth wasting precious oxygen over if nobodies listening.

Parlaying the above, just because someone says something you don’t agree with, doesn’t require you to answer. We are at a time in history where everyone is talking, attempting prove other people wrong, and no one is listening and it’s nearly 99 percent about opinions. We all have far better things to be doing than arguing over what, if we were really honest with ourselves, typically only have a general idea about, so let’s stop.

Staying inside all the time. Spending extended periods of time inside is bad for our well-being on many levels (science again). Indoor spaces are more toxic- think cleaning chemicals, furniture stain guards, acrylic carpeting, and everything else in your home. It also keeps us stationary and stationary is bad. Go for a brisk walk when you get home from work or right after dinner. Breathe the fresh air, see the trees, hear bugs and birds, meet a new dog, meet a neighbor… really get in sync with your true environment where you live.

If you simply can’t find your way outside, at least get those windows open, switch to non-toxic cleaners and load up on shade tolerant plants to help clean the air.

Stop with the reality TV. We’ve become addicted admirers of selfish people who offer no explicit value to society and that desensitizes us to the notion that this is not, actually, something to strive for. There is no fulfillment in these examples so why waste precious time that we can never get back in this short life- on that circus.

Stop using disposable everything. I know… convenience blah, blah, I’m too busy blah, blah… mostly we’re just not organized, and disposable supports that dysfunction and soon we will be building homes on landfills and our oceans will be irreversibly poisoned. We are better than that, you deserve better than that. So, if you take plastic utensils to eat work at lunch, bring them home with your Tupperware and wash them like the rest- remember your wine glasses are recyclable too but we aren’t throwing those away after every use.

Stop judging people on first impressions. Goes back to the “knowing” in No. 2 above.

Stop buying produce that’s been individually packaged or bagged at the grocery. The only benefit that comes from this is for the owners of the company making the packaging in China- that is in turn, destroying the environment while offering zero benefit to the shopper. It will also spoil faster being in it and adds even more chemicals to the produce than was already in it to begin with from the farming process. An apple is perfectly capable of making its way to your home in its birthday suit.

Put your phone away when you are with other people. Its rude, disrespectful, arrogant and is a declaration to those who chose to spend their precious time with you, that they aren’t worth your undivided attention. If what is going on in your phone is going to consume your attention- reschedule with your friends, they’ll appreciate the honesty.

If you simply can’t go the length of dinner without checking it out of anxiousness of “needing to,” you’ve likely got an addiction to your phone (science again). Check that, as it will start negatively affecting several areas of your life. If, however, you’re a criminal attorney with a client on death row that’s on his last day and just must be checking- then you probably shouldn’t be out with friends anyway.

Buying things we don’t need. Buying things we don’t need- especially with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like and who frankly couldn’t care less that you have said things. We often think more about what other people are thinking about us, than they are actually thinking- and they likely rarely, if ever, have thought about you and your stuff. Stop the madness!

Stop caring what other people think. In light of No. 9 and No. 2- As to what people think of you- you can’t control it, or change it, and you don’t have the time try anyway, so don’t give it a second thought. As to what people believe- they want to believe it and are dedicated to maintaining what they believe. You are not going to move that needle no matter how much you try, and- it’s not your job. Time to resign as General Manager of the Universe and let that stuff go! High road, here I come!

There is so much in our daily living that we are forever fighting against- laundry, traffic, crying kids, boss, nagging partner, bugs killing the grass, and the list goes on, we certainly don’t need to inadvertently be creating more by our own doing. Let go of what REALLY just doesn’t matter and give yourself a break in the process. Create boundaries against negativity and own your right to not get pulled into the rabbit hole. You deserve it!

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