Your worth as a person is not based on your productivity levels.

I used to spend a lot of time obsessing over my work. Literally obsessing, with a medical diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I was a typical “old soul” gifted child growing up, which inevitably resulted in burn-out in both graduate school and the career adventures that followed.

As a STEM graduate student, I found the workload expected from academics to be impossible to maintain.

As an online entrepreneur, I found myself always having to be “on.”

My focus now is on balance.

Time for my family, time for my work and creative projects, and time for myself.

Using both my logical, scientific brain and my creative, empathetic brain to solve problems and be the best person and parent I can be.

Hopefully, my musings on all of this are at least entertaining to you, and perhaps they will be thought-provoking.

I’ve turned off blog comments but would love to chat with you on Substack, Instagram, or Twitter (@mallierydzik).

Tidbits about me

  • I never stay in one place for too long, but that may be changing now with parenthood. I was an Army brat growing up, moving from state to state my entire childhood.
  • I have OCD, depression, general anxiety, and binge-eating disorder. I gained 100 pounds between 2010 and 2015, then stabilized with the help of therapy and medication. I take a body-positive approach to my weight now, and I am actively focused on improving my mental and physical health.
  • When I was 30, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My quality of life is much better now that my autoimmune issues and inflammation are under control. Having a chronic illness is still draining, however, and it has made me even more committed to finding balance in my day-to-day life.
  • My husband (Matt) and I met while storm chasing for my graduate research. Now we have three cats, a dog, a toddler, and a baby.
  • Our son was born a few weeks before the pandemic was declared after a multi-year battle with infertility and miscarriage. Our daughter was born at the start of the Omicron wave in 2021.
  • After grad school, I took on various jobs and business ventures, including corporate technical writing, nannying, dog walking, tutoring the children of some of D.C.’s richest and most influential people, freelance writing and editing, and business coaching.
  • As an outgoing introvert, I found myself burning out again as a business coach, who always had to be “on” and promoting myself. The industry was too self-obsessed, and I found myself going down an unhealthy and narcissistic path that was not in my best interests.

I hope you find something that lights you up in your world and in these pages.

I’m not trying to monetize this blog anymore. I just want to talk to people about the things I’m reading and thinking about.

Topics to include:

  • Parenting, motherhood, and identity
  • Travel
  • Pet parenting
  • Food and recipes
  • Mental and physical health and wellbeing

Follow along on my Substack at to be updated on new posts and get new content on what I’ve been reading and thinking about each week.