I was in college the first time I remember my parents advising me to “pick your battles.” I don’t recall what the crisis of the day was, but that bit of advice was the right thing at the right time to say to me, because it was a lightbulb moment. I realized then that I don’t HAVE to be a part of something negative, I am not forced to justify my opinions or my actions to everyone who may have a differing perspective. Our lives may have parallels, we may walk similar paths in life, but there are 6.7 billion people in the world and I’m bound to disagree with a few. Some are going to misread my words. Others will have a bone to pick with me no matter what because their brains are wired differently than mine.
But I have a life and a family, a career and friends. I’ve spent 37 years becoming who I am, and part of who I am is a woman with the presence of mind to turn away from circular arguments, political/office power plays, and toxic relationships. Choosing your battles means knowing the difference between what is important enough in your life to fight for, and what is merely static to be turned off.