Gail's Blog

Mox Nix (slang for “it doesn’t matter)

I think we need to adopt the words “mox nix” more. I remember as a child I used to hear this term all the time. Although I am not German it is from the German words “es macht nichts” or “it doesn’t matter”, “it’s not important”. As we travel through life, it is so helpful to mox nix a lot of stuff. It just doesn’t matter. It helps us to stop getting stuck in the grind of something. We go over and over some pretty stupid stuff that really doesn’t matter. We agonize over being right or getting upset that someone forgot to call on time. We live with all of these “shoulds” . We should make a certain amount of money or live in a certain neighborhood or associate with certain people and not with others. We expect to find no dog poop on our lawn (that is a nuisance), we expect that if we expect something, we get it.

But then life begins to show us how little we understand how the grand scheme of the powers-that-be operate. We wear ourselves out doing everything ourselves, we forget the rights of others, we look down on others and we think we control our lives. That is a joke. Half of our lives is mox nix. We start out in a gorgeous home, husband, kids, dog and cat. Overtime, unexpected things happen, like a loss of job, a divorce, a dramatic illness or death. The house gets sold or worse. The spouse struggles along. The kids become more challenging and the choices become harder. Weird gets moreso and suddenly words like therapy, depression and fear take on more meaning. If we live to a ripe old age, we can look forward to fear of being alone, getting ill and, of course, running out of money.

Then the lightbulb goes on. How much importance have we given to stuff that really didn’t matter? We don’t need the fancy car, or the latest whatever. We actually just want to be with our family on a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and not a bunch of presents. We just want a good night’s sleep with peace of mind. We stop worrying about stuff we can do nothing about. We downsize our wants and needs. Some people, who never dreamed it, have moved from the big house to a modular home (called back in the day a trailer). Some people buy their items used or barter. Some people just realize what was important all along.

I remember an acquaintance who lived in Fresno. Both she and her husband were school teachers. In one week’s time her husband got very ill and died. Before the week ended her only daughter, who was a school teacher in Compton, was murdered. Now what do you do? How do you survive? Within 6 weeks, she put her house on the market and moved out of Fresno to Morro Bay on the Central Coast. It is a lovely area and a place both she and her husband had planned to retire to. She bought, you guessed it, a mobile home on a hill overlooking the bay. The last I heard she was doing volunteer work and the town had adopted her. At Christmas, a restaurant gave her a wonderful Christmas party gifts and all. In telling me all of this, I was speechless. There is nothing you can say but to listen. Everything gets put into perspective immediately.

I recently did a session with a client in Florida. Her daughter is trans and she is fearful to go out and get employment due to the anti transgender atmosphere in Florida. The daughter is forced to create work inside so she will not be attacked.

I have story after story of such painful moments of the human condition. A caretaker, who is cheerful, and helps take care of my husband, mentioned to me that at this past Christmas, it was the first anniversary of her daughter’s murder. Her only daughter, 24 years old, shot dead on Christmas day by her boyfriend. You can say nothing to this except feel the pain of another human being who is suffering. Hugging helps but listening is very important.

Mox nix to dumb stuff. The power goes out, the plant dies, the traffic is awful, the heat is miserable, the doctor is late, the store is out of a certain item, the plane is late, the restaurant is closed, somebody is rude, nasty or harmful.

We here in the United States are more confused than anything else. The resentment, the anger, the need to be right, the dumb gamesmanship, the loudness, the exhaustion etc. have forgotten the words mox nix. It should go on a Tee shirt. It should go on the 24 hour news cycle. Most of the stuff is just not that important. What is important is how we treat our fellow humans and how we treat ourselves. We need to go around the block and meet ourselves–many of us for the first time.

8 responses to “Mox Nix (slang for “it doesn’t matter)”

  1. B. Lauger says:

    Decades ago I read one of the most important articles ever in the humble Reader’s Digest entitled, “The Three Most Important Words.” Those words are, “It doesn’t matter.” The lesson was that if it really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things, let it go. If it does matter, handle it right away. I have never forgotten that and try to live by those words. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Judy says:

    My husband’s dad was in the military, so the family spent some of his growing up years in Germany. That is the only word he remembers, and uses it all the time. We have it written up on our little bulletin board in the kitchen.

  3. JP says:

    Mix Nix 99% of what happens in our lives.

  4. Sharon Warren says:

    I’d never heard the term mox nix but shall adopt it now as an energy that keeps things in perspective.

  5. Vikki P says:

    Gail, As usual you are on point. You have to mox nix to get to what really matters for you, right here and right now. Thank you for the spiritual connection and the reminder. Much love, Vikki

  6. Stephen Dynako says:

    I interned as a hospital chaplain and was present to many people on their death beds. For those patients fortunate to have family, that’s who they wanted to be with in those final days and hours. Not one spoke of regret over missing material things or wished they had been more successful in their work. Humanity is the only thing that mattered to them at the end.

  7. Kim Midanik says:

    I agree. Don’t get caught up in the many things that don’t matter. It’s a good phrase to remember. Thanks!

  8. Gail Natzler says:

    “We live with all these ‘shoulds.’”

    “Could have and should have are words we never use.
    They just depress us and give us the blues.”
    Wisdom from a Carol Burnett sketch.

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