Do What You Have To Do

Do what you have to do before you do what you want to do.

My Mother

This was a saying that Naomi and I frequently heard as children and teenagers. It was what Mum would say when she found me reading when I was supposed to be cleaning my room for example.

There is a certain amount of sense in what she said. We all have responsibilities that we have to fulfil and that’s what Mum was trying to teach us I guess.

However, in recent times it has occurred to Naomi and I that sometimes following Mum’s advice meant that we would often miss out on doing the things we wanted to do altogether.

Take housework, Mum would always do all the household chores, shopping etc before she allowed herself to sit down and relax with her favourite TV programs, reading or knitting. If she didn’t get to see “Days Of Our Lives” or “General Hospital” because she was too busy she would grouse about it but she still chose to miss out because she felt that the housework was more important. Would it really have hurt anyone if she’d sat down for an hour or two to watch them? Luckily the advent of VCR’s did help with that problem as long as one of us was around to record her programs for her.

Mum at home some time in the 1970s.

During the past winter, Naomi and I were often frustrated because the shorter, darker days made it difficult for us to do our hobbies late in the day. If I wanted to photograph dolls for our doll blog indoors I needed a good light and even the kitchen, the most well-lit room to work in, could be a bit too dark after three in the afternoon. Naomi had the same problem if she wanted to paint or draw. We decided that if we were going to enjoy our hobbies we were sometimes going to have to throw Mum’s rule out of the window. We’re not fanatical housekeepers although we don’t like things being dirty. We felt that as long as we kept on top of the chores it was fine to leave them if we wanted to spend time on our hobbies. As both of us were living alone and rarely had visitors it wasn’t going to inconvenience anyone else. Once we are moved in together full time we will negotiate what needs to be done urgently and who will do it.

Photography makes me happy.

This morning was the first day for about a week that it wasn’t raining or blowing a gale. I have a million boxes to unpack and chores like vacuuming to be done but I decided to take advantage of a patch of blue sky and sunshine and take Cindy to the beach. We had a nice long walk and it was just starting to spit as we headed for home. Now it is really windy again so if I’d waited till afternoon to take that walk it’s likely we would not have gone, certainly not for as long.

So I am sorry mum, but from now on apart from appointments that I must keep everything is negotiable.


I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

One comment

  1. We are getting older. I am not going to turn into a grumpy old lady. I am going to have fun and enjoy my old age and hopefully my retirement very soon. Stuff that stupid saying!

    Liked by 1 person

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