Finding Your Thing

I have a confession to make.


Lately, I have been a little bit difficult to live with.*


You see, when I don’t get to write, I get cranky. Writing is the thing that makes me feel like me. It fills me up and chills me out and it’s simultaneously my therapy and my entertainment. (We don’t have a television friends, so my imagination is all I’ve got.)


Lately, I’ve felt like I just haven’t had a spare second around here other than to put on my blue checkered apron and dutifully serve the members of my household. And so I don’t feel me. And when I don’t feel like me, I get very confused because WHO THE HELL AM I THEN and the only conclusion I can come to is that someone’s cheating me out of my happy little life because they want to take over. I secretly think this person must have seen Joel without a shirt on and decided to steal him away. And quite smartly too, because he’s in equal parts incredibly handsome and incredibly intolerant of Miss Cranky McCrankyton. I’m quite sure he is one Rachel Meltdown away from packing up his things and moving back in with his parents.


Anyway, the point is, I need to write. Then this whole problem will be solved. Then I will feel like I have filled myself up, ready to spill all my energy and love and time onto my partner and my baby.


This week has got me thinking about the thing that makes you you. Some people have had a thing since the day they spoke their first word. Brother Chris for example. He loved birds the minute he was born. By the time Brother Liam was mobile enough, Chris would drag him around the forest at the back of our house saying Look – a Zebra finch! And there – a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin! (yes, there is such a thing, trust me) and Liam would coo and repeat the birds back which made Brother Chris very happy. He drew pictures of birds, he learned all their calls, and he could spot a flicker of one in a tree far away and tell you exactly what species it was. And still to this day, birds are his thing.


Other people don’t have a thing, at least not that they know about yet. I never knew what my thing was until I wasn’t able to do it anymore. And I firmly believe that to find a thing that makes you you is absolutely crucial to your happiness.


Before I was with child, I was a massage therapist and an acupuncturist. The majority of my clientelle were women who gave up so much of themselves to keep everything running and meet everyone else’s needs that they had burnt themselves dry. Yes, they were wives. Yes, they were mums. Yes, they were employees. Yes, they were daughters and sisters and friends and aunties. But the fact is that they were so busy BEING all these things that all the things turned bad anyway. And it made me realize that you have to be married to yourself first. You have to mother yourself first. You have to work for yourself first. Not in a selfish, narcissistic way, but simply because all the other things flourish only because you’ve filled yourself up and actually have something to give, something to offer the world.


And that’s what writing is for me. That’s what this blog and the red tent is for me. It’s the place I go for time out. It’s the place I go to connect me to myself and make me feel like I’m part of something greater. And it’s the place that joins me to all of your lives and your stories.


Actually, now that we’re on the topic, could you do me a favour? If you come here from time to time and you like hanging out in this here tent – could you tell me so? Could you leave a comment at the end of this blog or like the facebook page or communicate to me somehow? Because, well, I’m insecure, and I spend an AWFUL lot of time at home caring for a small baby and the more people I know are inside this here tent, the happier I feel. After every post, I spend an embarrassing chunk of the day coming back to the computer and obsessively checking if any new comments or likes or follows have occurred. Like, every 10 minutes.


It’s my thing friends, it’s just the way I was born. I can’t really help it.


Anyway, we have gone waaaaay off track. Back to the story about me never having enough time to write and Joel being one meltdown away from leaving town with the circus.


Today, Joel came up with some new rules.


He tells me that some nights he will cook. I tell him how is that possible since most nights you are either at work or at aikido and I’m not waiting until 9 pm to eat. He tells me he will cook dinner in the morning if he has to – he will menu plan so there will be at least something in the fridge to reheat for dinner. I tell him that’s lovely but he has a hard time remembering to put the bins out so how in the sam hill is he going to cook us a meal as well. He tells me I’m being negative. I tell him he’s being unrealistic. He tells me that he cooked dinner every single night in his last relationship and that I’m just being controlling. I decide to just shut right up and let the man cook. Preferably without his shirt on.


Joel cooking shirtless. Me writing.


It could just be the revolution this little family needs.





This is the only picture of Joel cooking I could find – it’s a rare sighting and he’s not really cooking – we were in Bali doing a cooking class and his job was just to crush up the stuff. Sorry he doesn’t have his shirt off. I tried.


P.S I’ll ask for his permission to post this photo of him just as soon as he’s finished making his sweet little way out of the kitchen.



*This may be a slight understatement.

12 Responses to “Finding Your Thing”

  1. Caitlin Moloney

    Hey Rachel, I love reading your blog.
    I’m actually an old family friend of the the Delaney family from way back when us kids were all little and our parents all hung out. But that was a while a go now! Your writing is lovely and you give a brave insight into the world of parenthood and family life with a new little one around.
    Thank’s for sharing your world with the red tent folk, it’s a precious place indeed.

  2. rachwiley

    Thanks so much for writing in – I’ll have to ask Joel about you!! It means a lot to know you enjoy reading the blogs so I will add your name to my list of people to think about when I sit at my computer writing. Have a lovely rest of your night 🙂

  3. Melissa

    I’m sure I havent missed one blog you’ve posted Rach! It’s the best update to come up on my news feed xXx

  4. Sandy Scanes

    Hi Rachel
    Have been in your tent twice now. Your photos of your beautiful baby captured my interest the first time around. And I guess you’ve explained why you call this community ‘the red tent’ before – must say I’m intrigued.
    I think your amazing that you find the time to write yet I understand your ‘thing’ and congratulate you on being so insightful.
    As a soon to be nanna I applaud you for sharing this amazing yet exhausting and challenging time in your life through real experiences and honest reflections.
    Just keep on blogging! It’s good for you and obviously others too

    • rachwiley

      Hi Sandy,
      Congratulations on your soon-to-be first time as a nanna! I’m guessing you are Erin’s Mum 🙂 Thanks for writing in, the encouragement is very reassuring xx

  5. Sharon

    well kitten, what can i say? Raech, you are a gorgeous human being in so many ways. I feel very grateful to have known you and to keep abreast of your world through your posts…perhaps you will collect them into a book for new mothers one day…or maybe you’ll end up being a lifestyle features columnist in a newspaper or something. I tell you, I’m struggling right now. I don’t dream for much anymore. I’ve hit a real lull. I find the world painful and abrasive and I find myself pathetic and useless. The whole thing is really pissing me off today – but then I am sick, so maybe I’ll feel better soon. I thank you for your humaness and your humour little strong lady that you are. Sincerely your friend and admirer, Sharon

  6. Rhonda

    Look forward to your blogs Rachel. They bring back memories. I love when I see you have another blog. Makes my day. xxxx

  7. Jane

    Keep it Rachael. Your RedTent is my PRIME reason to go to facebook. Love your writing. I check in every day. XO Jane


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