Unfinished business.

My life is littered with stuff I’ve started but never got around to finishing.  The big daddy of them all is that after all these years I’ve not got around to deciding on a career. That’s a work in progress, you might say, but something that I should well and truly have “finished” by now.

But, as a big time cleanup for the renovation looms, I know I’m going to be faced with more and more examples of little projects I once began with enthusiasm, but let fall by the wayside. Soon I will be forced to decide whether to to just give up and throw them away or set them aside and give them a realistic finish date.   Overall, I guess, there might be some lessons in there to take with me as I tackle the future.

Here are a few examples.

Knitting.  I did knit once – mainly when I was still at home and Mum (a fabulous knitter) could come to the rescue  when I made a botch of things. I never truly learnt how to fix up my own mistakes.  In my defence I did complete a few jumpers and the like, even some with fairisle (sp?) patterns.  I still have a vivid memory of some grey and pink leg warmers I started in the 80s. Never ever finished them and they are long thrown out, but whenever I think leg warmers I think of them.

With my first pregnancy I pulled out the needles and wool once again. And never finished a little pair of leggings.  Green they were – I was always going to be into unisex colours. (But imagine washing woollen baby leggings anyway! What was I thinking?)

It took many years before I pulled out knitting needles again, but with the feathery scarf craze, I did manage to knit up one each for the older two girls and a Sydney Swans red and white striped job for myself.  The youngest chose a different wool which took longer to knit up. And, um… four years later it’s still not finished, and another winter just passed me by.  Doesn’t stop me checking out wool in the shops – the other day I was eyeing off a green wool that was an exact match for the girls’ netball association colours with the insane idea of knitting up scarves for the girls for next year’s state age.  (Never mind the cost!)  Commonsense prevailed and I walked out of the shop without being tempted. This time.  But maybe.. if I finished Ms 10’s scarf, then I could try one of those? Knitting could be therapeutic. Couldn’t it?

I learnt to sew a bit. Once. (Mainly stretch, when the kids were little.)  I’ve now got two big plastic boxes full of material, and a couple of patterns already cut out. But I couldn’t tell you the last time I sewed any garment, and Himself keeps having conniptions over the amount of material just sitting there. But, you just never know, do you?  I might suddenly come over all clever with sewing, and use my machine for more than the resented hemming of pants, or running repairs. (I did make a cool mermaid costume once. And an Indian costume. I could sew, you know, I’d just have to put my mind to it.

My biggest DNF in sewing projects, though, mocks me every day. Curtains. (And some of you who have travelled with me through internetland over the past x years know just how long I’ve had unfinished curtains hanging on my windows.)  I don’t know where the hell I got the idea that you should hang curtains unhemmed first to let them “drop” – but it’s the worst idea EVER. If you’re anything like me DON’T DO IT. Otherwise you’ll end up with four windows in the house with curtains still sporting pins in their hems, that have been that way for years (not months… YEARS.)  And the pins have, of course, rusted.  And fallen out. And the curtains in the kids’ room have even ripped.  And now there’s no point to finishing them because they’ll all be coming down.

The curtains are my biggest shame.

I could of course go on and on. Cleaning projects are my natural nemesis, but you don’t want to hear about my cleaning procrastinations.

I can, though, feel a Part 2 coming on, because I’m sure some of you, if you are willing to share, will remind me of various other projects I’ve also started and not completed. And that’s a “please share!” – just to make me feel, um.. more normal? That I’m not the only one who has a long list of DNFs on her resume.




Filed under lost in procrastination

8 responses to “Unfinished business.

  1. I can totally relate. I have a huge 1/2 finished dollhouse (but no daughters),and about 50 pounds of assorted clays, and an enormous photo printer with plans to print marvelous posters. Also a 1/2 sewn together dress that probably won’t fit when I finish it, or will be so out of style it won’t be fit to wear. Good intentions, all that. There’s always little bits and pieces around the house- unframed things, a half weeded flower bed, a Pilates DVD mocking me from the shelf. You’re perfectly normal, in my estimation.

  2. There’s a big bag of crochet wool and some how to books hanging around here. I made a few items and then gave up.
    I gave away my knitting wool but still have some needles.
    I tried crewel work but never finished the project.
    I tried quilling…rolling thin paper strips..and had invested a hefty amount in supplies that never got used. I sold it over a local computer trade site.
    I keep thinking I might try quilting but remind myself that I don’t have a good track record with cutting and sewing material.

    I think I’m sticking with reading as my hobby and visiting good quality craft shops if I want handmade.

    and being a true friend I am not going to say anything about your curtain.

  3. Tracey

    A true friend won’t say anything. A bloody husband would.

    Thanks for telling me I’m normal, Rootie.

    I started knitting more of that scarf last night – got some raised eyebrow action from The Cynic.

  4. Ooh, you dig into my psyche and expect me to divulge my innermost secrets?

    I too used to sew – my daughter, who is now 10, has only ever had 2 things made by me.

    Still, I have 3 boxes of materials and a whole heap of maybe soons.

  5. Linda

    this story made me realise how much stuff I have hidden in cupboards around the house hidden from view…thanks a lot…that is another job I have to do

    I read this story the day that you put it on the web but it took me this long to c0mment because I thought that I should empty out my cupboards instead

  6. My secret shame: scrapbooking my first born’s baby stuff! loved the idea of it, got no enjoyment from it and have since discovered photobooks on snapfish (though have only created one)

    oh and a couple of years back I bought an eliptical crosstrainer machine thingy with the delusion that I could and would exercise in front of the tv. did it a few times and discovered it was actually quite hard work and I preferred to sit and watch tv as nature intended. It became a fabulous clothes rack then got relegated to the shed and then went to a rotary swapmeet.

    at the moment I am trying very hard not to let the house painting become a DNF project 😉

  7. Linda

    do not get me started on scrapbooking

    I snipped at all the photos, spent money on every gadget I thought that I needed, went on weekends away and only completed 2 pages that look so daggy now compared to those photobooks on snapfish.

    My crosstrainer was also something that was a waste of time, it was my first purchase as an auction item on ebay. It was so exciting, watching the clock and winning the bid. Actually using the bloody machine is boring. I went on it for 10 minutes and I didn’t lose any weight and then I had to have a little rest. They promised instant results, and I believed them..ha ha

  8. LOL, Linda. I shamed myself into trying to finish that scarf too. Unfortunately I didn’t get as far as the cupboards, and all that sewing material.

    Thankfully I never got hooked on the scrapbooking, because I know I’d have been exactly the same.

    Ah, now, the exercise machines. I have one too! It is serving as a very expensive but unattractive clothes horse, much to my husband’s disgust. Now there’s another topic for me for PRG! (You girls will be wanting me to pay you commission though won’t you!)

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