May 8, 2020

Y'all!!!!! I've been on the Keto Diet the last couple of months to try and help reduce my migraines (speaking of which I have had ZERO in the last three weeks!  Whoop, whoop!) and have been in mourning over the loss of my Chocolate Chex cereal.  I seriously LOVE, our house usually looks similar to an episode of Seinfeld because we have so many boxes.  It is a given that at least once a week cereal is on the menu for dinner.  And while my family has gone through no less than 20 boxes of cereal during this quarantine I have been over here suffering and going through withdrawals.

On one of my random midnight mystery internet browsing sessions (tell me you guys do this too?) I came across Magic Spoon Cereal.  I was kinda hesitant to buy it at first because of the hefty price-tag.  At $39 for 4-boxes, I was thinking there better be some Pura Vida bracelets included as the prize inside...but it was a moment of weakness and before I knew it I had official...

May 6, 2020

This whole quarantine thing has my self-reflection mojo on hyperdrive.  I've spent the majority of the last six weeks somewhere between "Is it possible to watch two entire seasons of Tiny House Nation in one day?" and "Can I login to two separate Zoom sessions using one account while I cook dinner?" And despite which end of the productivity spectrum I'm currently camped out on I've been tossing around these questions in the back of my mind...

-Seriously, what is my purpose? 

-Am I really contributing ANYTHING to the world? 

-How am I defining success? 

-Who's voice am I allowing to speak into my life right now? 

-What is the freaking point to this life?"

So, bad news--I do not have definitive answers to all of these questions.

Good news--I have identified a few things that I no longer believe.

1. I need to be a size 2 to be happy, valued and desired.

I don't want to be a blimp or unhealthy but it is absolutely unnecessary to equate my worth with the size of my waist.  You may have realized...

March 24, 2020

One of my favorite stores is Hobby Lobby. Favorite as in the 40% off coupon is permanently clipped and saved in the photos on my phone, mobile alerts activated and Facebook posts pinned to the top of my feed. I seriously need an intervention. It never fails that I go into the store for like one roll of burlap ribbon and I exit with a new floral arrangement, hand-lettering pens, 4 skeins of yarn, an entire album of scrapbook paper, 2 kids DIY art kits, a wooden sign to hang in my bathroom and a random assortment of 75% off holiday decor for next year. Well, it just so happens that on one of these shopping experiences, I bought a HUGE wooden ampersand that I was determined to include in my current decor. I tried my hand at chalk painting the wooden piece a misty-eyed baby blue and then distressed parts with an antiqued bronze. The final result was as near perfection as I will ever get with my limited crafting skills.

I placed the finished product on a lonely looking shelf in my living roo...

March 17, 2020

Have you ever looked for something so hard and for so long that you give up hope of it ever being found? And then, one day, just by chance you find what you had been searching for?

Several years ago I lost my wedding ring. My. Actual. Wedding. Ring. I spent several days tearing up my house, my car, my work space in search of the symbol of my unending love for my spouse, all without any results. Well, unless you count some loose change, a couple of smooshy pieces of gum and several broken Happy Meal toys. Inevitably, I came to the conclusion that the ring was lost in the abyss of nowhere-ness and that I was doomed to have a naked ring finger forever. Fast forward two years, we purchased a new couch for our living room and in the process of moving out the old and moving in the new, my wedding ring ever so casually dropped out of a small tear in the lining of my old couch. I stood speechless staring at the ring for what seemed like an hour before bending down to pick it up and placing it b...

January 8, 2020

To My Husband:

I’ve marked time by arguments. I’ve kept score by compiling a mental tally chart of all the unforgivable acts we have both committed. I’ve screamed and yelled until all the hateful words have been used or until I know I’ve hit something tender, breakable in your spirit. I’ve retreated in silence and vowed to just let a piece of my heart die forever, never to be redeemed. I’ve begged for attention and affection…with my words and with my actions. I’ve badmouthed and vented to close friends and I’ve masked the hurt and looked past your shortcomings so that I could sing your praises.

I’ve picked fights because I needed to let out all of the feelings before they consumed me. I’ve avoided fights because I was emotionally bankrupt and could spare no more energy. I’ve run away with a fierce tenacity and I’ve hovered and become a helicopter wife until my mere presence is an annoyance to you.

I’ve used songs, books, notes, texts, and spoken words to try to accurately portray my wants...

September 30, 2019

Somewhere around preschool or kindergarten we start asking kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We host Career Days and encourage even the youngest learners to start exploring various options through “Community Helper” units of study. We inundate tiny brains with thoughts, hopes, goals for the future all in an effort to get a head start on a path that is best suited for their personality types and skill sets. This isn’t in itself a bad plan, after all we want our children to succeed and be happy in areas in which they are interested. But what if all of our planning, strategizing, categorizing and goal-setting actually gets in the way of our happiness, our joy, our purpose?

This is exactly where I have found myself over the last couple of years. Up to my eyeballs in selfish ambition, a long list of accomplishments, several degrees and on-the-surface fulfillment. But missing something. Not totally sure of what the something was, but left with it nonetheless. I especially notic...

October 10, 2018

One year.  12 months.  365 days.  8,760 hours.  525,600 minutes.  That sounds like a lot of time.  But in reality it has been a short interval that has encompassed the "before" and "after" versions of myself.  

A one year experiment to re-prioritize my life has turned out to be the catalyst for changing the trajectory of everything.  I have been accused in the past of being overly dramatic, so I will try to refrain from exaggeration and stick to the facts.  Here is the bare-bones basics of how my life has changed during Earth's revolution around the Sun.

  • I am more awkward.  I used to fill up all the space with conversation and quick transitions. I gave stellar advice and steered clear of topics that might have evoked contradictory opinions.  And when all else failed sarcasm was my crutch for the broken interactions.  Now... I wait in silence and allow time for other people to think and add (or not) to the conversation.  I look people in the eye...

September 11, 2018

I recently told someone that "depression is a beast" but that doesn't really do it justice...If you have ever been the person experiencing depression then you know full well the darkness that shrouds everything you do and don't want to do.  Everything you think.  All the decisions that you make.  It is ever-present.  Always clouding your judgment and forever forcing you into an exhausted existence.  Personally, I have battled with depression most of my life and have made it my goal to make sure that my depression isn't known or if it is known, that it disrupts other's lives as little as possible.  Here is what most people with depression want to say, but don't:

This is my truth. 

Please don't abuse my trust. 

It takes so much for me to get here...but I want you to know that I struggle with depression.  Not the bad feelings, kinda-down type of depression, but the kind where I can't eat.  Hide under the covers.  Avoid your phone calls.  Don't want to be exposed....

September 1, 2018

So this just happened...Offspring #3 created a loud guttural sound to indicate that he had ever so efficiently eliminated his bowels and was ready for some assistance to take care of his needs.  In other words he pooped and needed someone to "wipe me booty." (He is fluent in Pirate dialect.)  I proceeded to go into the bathroom to lovingly offer my help when I discovered the top of the potty seat was stuck to the bottom.  I then began to pull on the top until it popped off only to find that the lid wasn't the only thing that popped, or should I use the word plopped?  Let's just say that if my goal for today was to wear waste and a horrified expression then I definitely succeeded (green-faced puke emoji here). As I cleaned up I thought to myself, "I'm not cut out for this, like at all.  Why is life so overwhelming?"  

In my defense, this incident happened at the end of a frustrating day that served as the completion to an even m...

August 11, 2018

A couple of nights ago while making spaghetti (which is actually concocted with penne noodles at my house in an attempt to reduce the amount spilled on my kitchen table...but, I digress) my family did the cupid shuffle and free-styled to some old-school Ludacris (for those of you that just gasped at our music selection--don’t worry it was edited).  In the middle of our boogie nights rendition I realized something profound and yet utterly simple...I was having fun.

Fun is something that has been absent from my life in recent years.  Sure, there have been times of accomplishment, tears of joy over new babies and new jobs, family birthdays, church potlucks, and a slew of other enjoyable activities.  But, the undertones hidden beneath all of these activities were ones of striving, hard work, distraction, unfulfilled to-do lists and God-forbid “hostess syndrome.” However, over the last 9 months as we have slowly changed our priorities, said no more than yes, focused on what is important...

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Melissa Bazzell

© 2020 by The Unfake Life.