My married name is a doozy.
Few people can say it, which means I’m usually referred to as “Melissa G” or “Melissa Gorzzzeh…” *trail off sheepishly.
That’s the life I’ve gotten used to since making Gorzelanczyk my married name more than 4 years ago. (For the record – it’s gore-zah-lon-check. Pretty much how it’s spelled, except for the “czyk.”)
My maiden name was Melissa Jones.
People still laugh over that one.
I took Gorzelanczyk because I realized that no matter how unsexy or complicated it was – I wasn’t Melissa Jones anymore.
I was a step mom.
In the same way, my life has experienced a name change of sorts. Most of it has to do with ditching my desire to “keep up with the Joneses.”
Just like I gave up Jones as my last name, I also gave up the common path to happiness. I decided to embrace a new American dream – one where I pursue the things that matter to me, and not more stuff. By quitting consumerism, we were able to get out of debt so I could pursue my career as a freelancer.
There are still times I wish we could afford a hot tub or go out to the amazing upscale restuarant every weekend.
Those desires fade fast as I look forward to another day of writing from home, instead of running out the door to fight traffic.
If I want 10 more minutes of sleeping, I take it.
If I want to take the day off and spend it with my family, I do. I can work anytime from anywhere. It makes vacation days a lot more convenient.
Hot tubs lost their appeal. My daily routine can’t be replaced by pork tenderloin. Ever.
Keeping up the Joneses, redefined
A couple days from now, I get to spend Thanksgiving with all of my favorite people - The Gorzelanczyks.
And my side of the family – the Joneses.
For the first time in my adult life, keeping up with the Joneses only means one thing.
It means I’ll be chasing my niece and nephews around the house while they laugh like wild things.
It means I’ll still be awake at 2 a.m., talking to my sisters, making the most of our time together.
It means we’ll somehow find the space to sleep in my parent’s house, where all 6 of us grew up with just one bathroom.
I can’t wait.
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Photo by Mike Peters