My head

The Fish Tank of Life

January 26, 2016
Image @matildatherabbit Instagram

Image @matildatherabbit Instagram

Often, when the kids wake up with their little sleep crinkled faces, and sweet yet sour breath, I’ll ask them if they had any dreams last night.

I love hearing about the things that permeate their sleep.

Sometimes, like yesterday, it was a man riding a really small pony. He wasn’t galloping, apparently, just taking a stroll.
Other times it will be giant spiders or cockroaches.

I wonder if that’s a symptom of living in Australia. I wonder if Dutch kids who live in virtually insect free Holland dream of giant multi-legged critters that steal into your room while you slumber?

I’m one of those people who is fascinated by my dreams. I like to try and work out if it means something or if it’s just some weird throw back to an acid trip because I have some pretty wacky sleepy time adventures like that time I pashed my own mother in a dream in some tricked out Oedipal oddness.

I’m going to tell about the dream I woke up to this morning. If you’re not a dream person, go make yourself a cuppa instead.

I dreamed I had this fish tank.

Not just your run of the mill slightly murky, hanging out on a shelf in the lounge kind of domestic fish tank, but a great big fuck off aquarium type number.

It stood ground to shoulder height, and it was the entire length of the landing in my extremely big house that I’ve never seen before this dream.

There were large fish and small, and it was beautiful. It glowed blue and green and was all shimmery and gorgeous and I loved it. Everyone who saw it was struck by its beauty and it was a source of pride….not like sinful pride that I’d end up dead for in a Brad Pitt movie, just pleasant pride.

So I was going about my everyday life, and this tank was in a major thoroughfare in my home so I was constantly walking past it. One day I looked in and I saw many of the fish were either lying on the little stones on the floor of the tank struggling to breathe and others were just generally failing to thrive.

I realised I had forgotten to feed them for…..God, how long?

I’d let the top grow over with something indiscernible and no air could get in, I was killing my beautiful tank just through sheer neglect.

I broke through the scum on top with my hands, and I put some food in, and slowly many of the fish began to move towards the air and the food (I do realise that fish actually breathe using highly efficient gills and shit, but this is a dream remember?) and I realised that I must never take my surroundings for granted.

I had walked past and seen the fish tank 10 times a day but I had stopping really SEEING it.

Obviously because I’m not some kind of wacky dream deciphering guru I don’t really know exactly what it’s about but it’s a pretty metaphor for life.

We stop seeing the stuff around us.

I’ve been trying to decide if I keep this blog or let it go.

Before I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to write a ProBlogger type of blog….. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is it’s the blog that turns into multiple streams of income and products and podcasts, and webinars, and funnelled email campaigns that draw more and more readers until you’re a stratospheric online God.

Simple, right? Except I don’t really have products to sell, shtick to teach in Webinars, or even a proper niche for that matter.

I tried to get my head around it and as I got busier with work at The Weekly and juggling freelance stuff, the blog- which makes me the least money- had to move down the rungs because, you know, mouths to feed and shit, and I realised that I probably was never going to be that successfully monetised blogger.

Once upon a time, I just wrote what I was thinking. It didn’t have to be helpful to my readers or heart wrenching. Or inspirational. It was just the minutiae of my rather ordinary yet strangely extraordinary life.

That’s how I first started. Stream of self-absorbed, slightly left field, but at times deep, thought.

And I loved blogging.

Times have changed and I have changed and I’ve realised that this blog will never that mega blog.

Maybe I don’t need to give up the entity which I still see as the mothership that created all of these other opportunities I’m now reaping…. Maybe I just need to give up the idea that the blog needs to be anything other than exactly what it is and not take that, or what we’ve built here for granted.



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  • Reply Nicole - Champagne and Chips January 26, 2016 at 8:57 am

    We sort of began this conversation at Problogger – I think your blog is wonderful for exactly what it offers, and I think it is true to what a blog is at its essence – a web log, a record of who you are, what you think and have to offer.
    I vividly detest huge monetised blogs. I stop reading them when they become that way. I don’t want daily posts and excessive list posts and newsletters that recap every last thing the blogger wrote about last week. Also, often the tone changes to someone desperately trying to sell something instead of just a cool buddy you chose to hang out with over coffee.

    Your blog has been your platform to a freelance writing career, a professional photography side project, a job that you love for an iconic Australian publisher. Dude, that is the stuff dreams are made of. So don’t you dare neglect her. She can be a little quieter cause you are busy but keep her sludge free, feed the fish and don’t forget to admire this portfolio of your growth and achievement.

    • Reply Danielle January 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Yeah, we did.
      I just got something in my eye. That was a speech worthy of Grey’s Anatomy, babe. Not even joking. Thank you so much.

  • Reply Michele McDonald January 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm


    Please do not give up your blog … it gives me something interesting to look forward to when I check out my small list of fave blogs. I love that you talk about your everyday life and do not hold back. So often I totally agree with what you are articulating. That cannot be bad!! (-:)

    Enjoy your successes and keep doing what makes YOU happy.


    • Reply Danielle January 28, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks Michele, it makes me happy that you look forward to my blog. I love that you get me. Two weirdos in the world 😉
      Thanks for letting me know. xxx

  • Reply AGrose January 27, 2016 at 10:08 am

    The previous comments articulate what I wanted to say but better, so I’ll just write that I love your blog just the way it is and I’d be sad if I never heard for you again but you need to do whatever is best for you x

    • Reply Danielle January 28, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      I’d be sad to let it go, I think. It’s become a part of my life… I’ll see how things play out this year.

  • Reply Glen January 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    LOVE your blog.Depriving us of it, is clearly not an option honey. We will lodge a protest!You are so interesting and unique.
    I also loved your interpretation of your dream. Hilarious. I sometimes have weird dreams like that. One was about a Lippizaner stallion that bared his teeth at anyone who came close. He overlooked a beach where kangaroos swam with dolphins. Go figure!

    • Reply Danielle January 28, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Sounds like nirvana. Was Heart Shaped Box playing in the background? 😉

      • Reply Glen January 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm

        Nup, I don’t think so, cos my heart was thumping so loudly in my ears. If I heard anything I think I would’ve channelled “Would I Lie To You?” by the Eurythmics. Lol xx

  • Reply Sam Stone January 28, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I love to just read what you are thinking.

    I too like to just write what I am thinking or what I am up to at a particular stage in my life.

    • Reply Danielle January 28, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Then so it shall be. Back to the simple days of blogging! Hope you’re really well, Sambo x

  • Reply San January 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! NEVER LET IT BE SAID, NO HOLSBYS BLOG??? Please don’t stop doin’ this wonderful thang babe, it’s such a highlight in my inbox and whenever I see a blog from you, I swear, my heart skips a beat. I know you’re mega busy and all that, but hey, we are your ‘DIE HARD – THE BLOG’ fans and we adore you :o). You, my dear, are the d’s b’s.

    • Reply Danielle January 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      I had to think about that one for a minute!

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