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Unfinished business . . .

Women tackle procrastination

Dave Sullivan
Northern News Services

Hay River (Dec 10/01) - When two Hay River women hatched a plan to clear a backlog of work, they thought other procrastinators might join in.

NNSL Photo

Marilyn Barnes, left, and Marilyn Green, catching up on craft projects. - Dave Sullivan/NNSL photo

Perhaps that was expecting too much, considering the nature of those being asked. At a well-advertised "unfinished objects" night, nobody showed. Maybe they will next time.

Marilyn Barnes and Marilyn Green didn't seem to mind, as they gathered at the library one evening to catch up on things. Their procrastination had gotten out of hand. They were desperate, and had to do something to shed the craft project albatross around their necks. There were hangars at home left uncovered, and pillowcases without any embroidery.

"I've been working on this for two years," Barnes sheepishly admits while working on a pillowcase. She blames a "complicated color scheme" for the delay.

One problem is, the pair conclude, is they are constantly learning about exciting new craft ideas. Trying a new craft is the perfect excuse for putting the current one in a drawer before it's finished.

In fact, that's one reason they hoped others would show up with their own crafts - "we could look at other projects and get ideas," Green said "So you can drop your project and start another."

She says the unfinished objects night is an attempt to revive weekly "ladies" gatherings. Until about a decade ago local women who didn't get out much would gather to socialize and make crafts. They used to be called "stitch and bitch" sessions.

But then times changed. With most women working these days, craftwork is being pushed aside.

"You're too tired when you come home and you lose your creativity," said Green.

Barnes, the town's librarian who is raising a teenager, agrees.

"I don't know how some of these parents do it.

"Three quarters of the population of Hay River has a project they haven't finished," Barnes guesses. She's quick to defend Northerners, adding the procrastination here is hardly unique.