Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

Export My Content
FAQ

Tarrador Ahhgghh! The...grey?... banner of doom!

Keep A Day Dream Journal (read all 9 entries…)
Cogitati de Vacua Speculum

This time last year I posted a daydream about what kind of a Father’s Day I would have liked to have had. Of course it was all fantasy, but it wielded a sharp knife. I wonder if sometimes things aren’t better left un -said.

They say you don’t get the things you want until you are really ready for them. If you never get them, then does that mean you were never ready?

I think over the last year I’ve lost my stamina. It’s become too grueling. It’s depressing to see rounded female bellies when we go out. It’s hard to follow other’s posts and stories about wonderful pregnancies and happy, wrinkled little newborn babies. I want to be happy but I don’t feel warm-hearted anymore… I feel more and more like I’m being hit in the chest with a medieval spiked mace. Last year I fretted over my friend Linda’s baby, born premature, for four months. Then she retreated into near total seclusion with the child and I haven’t seen so much as a photo since. Just a few emails, “she’s fine, we’re fine… go on about your lives”. My wife’s friend from work got pregnant at the end of the year. At 42, she was surprised. She and her husband had given up trying to have more children after two miscarriages. She was quietly happy but wouldn’t get her hopes up. After the first trimester she began to be a little more confident. S. began to construct a baby box as a shower gift. In the fifth month her friend began to have familiar troubles. Shortly after she miscarried again. S. put away the box and hasn’t touched it since. We know a couple trying to conceive. They are not having success right now and that is hard to listen to; it reinforces my own feelings. But how much worse will I feel when they succeed where I have failed, and how awful a feeling is that to have about our friends?

Maybe it’s not something I deserve. But if the fates are going to remove the ability, could they not remove the desire as well? Does it have to ground out like sand in a wound that forms a callous?

Sunday, June 19th, Father’s Day

How can I love the idea of something that never existed? How can I grieve the loss of something I never had? Pictures never taken, baths never given, long nights never lost in worry, candles never blown out, presents never unwrapped and played with. Games of peek-a-boo never played, bicycle lessons never taught, hair never braided, dresses and gowns never bought. Plays never watched, matches and races never cheered, teeth never exchanged for quarters, grandparents never deluged with photos and videos and colored drawings. No camping trips or fishing expeditions or bowling or roller skating, no cartoons or video games or books with big letters and big pictures where everyone lives happily ever after. No beanies, bows, booties or Oshkosh B’Gosh or Fisher Price or Sesame Street. No dolls or plastic tea sets, no GI Joes or Matchbox cars. No Star Wars blankets or My Little Pony curtains. No doctors or dentists or karate instructors or ballet teachers. No homework, no summer school, no gymnastics, no scattered laundry or slamming doors or footballs and bicycles scattered on the lawn in the rain. No “because I said so” or awkward conversations about where babies come from and where we go when we die. No membership into the all-encompassing, all-understanding, all-commiserating club of parenthood. No dances, no graduations, no sleepovers, no grounded-till-your-eighteen. No snot to wipe, no tears or blood or poop or pee or puke or Kool Aid. No kiddie Halloween costumes or Christmas morning chaos. No Mother’s Day. No Father’s Day.

It’s not a dream about something I ever had, or something I ever almost had. It’s like a gap in my life with a bottomless hole and every shovel full of dirt just drops right through. So it never closes. It’s a wound that gets pulled open with every question from unknowing clods about children and fatherhood and it never heals and never scars. So it stays fresh and bleeding. And since the feelings are counter to everything a commitment-phobic, responsibility-darting, emotionally-hardened, freedom-loving man is supposed to be, no one considers the pain and loneliness and emptiness and sadness. Or the way it feels to see other men pour out onto the ground the contents of a cup I would die to take just one taste of. Their fear of their fatherhood astounds me, their disregard infuriates me, their carelessness breaks my heart.

I’ve tried to turn it off, tried to run, tried to live a different life. I’ve tried to fill the void with things and money and drink and work and women and experiences. But it is like a coat of paint over rusted iron. For a short while things look good, but then the corrosion begins to bubble and crack and flake the paint away. What lies underneath will always come to the surface. I cannot really complain, my life is fuller and happier and more complete than a lot of others. There is little I want that I lack for. But in the end it is just paint over iron.

I would give up my whole life to make things different. I would give up the air in my lungs and the blood in my veins and the heart in my chest and the soul in my body. I would surrender every ounce of myself and lay it on the altar of fatherhood if it would change anything. I would love without condition or consideration and all my being would be bent to being the best father, husband and man I possibly could. If wishing were what it took, if dreams were what made things real, if desire brought the things desired… then it is the one thing I would have.

But it isn’t, and I don’t. The dream ends and the halls are quiet, the rooms are empty, the air is still. No laughter, no squeals, no thumps, no crying. No splashing in the pool, no ice cream, no teddy bear surgeries, no Band Aids, no BFF bracelets. Not even memories or ghosts or almosts. Just nothing, just never.



Comments:

next page →

sitruunapuu loves ♥

This is heart-breaking...

I’m so, so sorry. My hear goes out to you… I wish there was something I could say or do.

(((hugs)))

♥ ♥ ♥

buffalosnowangel moving in three weeks (and freaking out!)

(((((Tarrador)))))

I’m so sorry. Agreed with sitruunapuu, I wish there was something I could say or do. :(

That hurt my heart, J.

I am so sorry for the pain you’re feeling.

I wasn’t here last year, to see the Father’s Day entry you wrote (I’ll go look for it now, though.). And I had no idea of the pain that was under all the kindness and caring we’ve all come to love about you.
I apologize with all my heart for not ever considering that my own mindless baby-bragging may have been painful for others. I have some lady friends who I rein it in for, because I know they’re struggling with infertility, and it was wrong of me not to have considered that men have those feelings, too.

I’m so sorry, you don’t deserve this hurt. ♥

(I hope you won’t mind if I ask a blessing of comfort for you when I say my prayers tonight..)

Tarrador Ahhgghh! The...grey?... banner of doom!

Thank you...

for your kind words and thoughts. Please don’t apologize in any way for being happy and fulfilled as you go through the amazing experience of growing your family. I have nothing but best wishes and support for you.

♥♥♥

dragonfly35 is @dragonfly35 on PopClogs.

(((((((a million hugs)))))))

I am so sorry for your loss, Tarrador – because it is loss, this grieving for a child who exists only in the world of your desires but who is real there, who is desired so much, and is loved in all the shadows of your being. The emptiness is greater because no one else seems to know it or see it… and yet sometimes the emptiness seems to dwell inside everything...

(((((((Tarrador))))))) I know one thing for sure, and that is that deserving has nothing to do with any of this, my friend. If the children who run and laugh in your dreams have not been born, it is not because you are not fit to be a parent; it is not because you have not earned the right. It is not because of something you did, or something you didn’t do. It is not a failure. It is not because there is something wrong with you. It is not a punishment.

And it is not about readiness, because I see a lot of evidence that children are born every day to people who are not ready… and because you are certainly both ready and deserving of this child. The Universe is unfathomable sometimes, and there are things like this that I struggle to explain. I cannot tell why your path has led you to such a dark place, but I know that it is not because you deserve it. It is not because you are unworthy or unready.

Life is bloody unfair sometimes. :( I know there’s nothing I can say that can even touch the pain of this day for you… but I’ll shake my fist at the Universe on your behalf.

Much love to you… may you find some measure of peace.

Tarrador Ahhgghh! The...grey?... banner of doom!

Deeply grateful...

for your support and thoughtfulness. Your kindness, as always, is soul-soothing. We were out just shopping and stuff today and no less than three people wished me a “Happy Father’s Day!” just out of the blue. There was not a kid in sight, either (unless they mistook my wife for my daughter!). Nothing like being kicked when you’re down… :/

It’s hard not to internalize the course things have taken. It’s hard not to fill the blanks with a myriad of “if only”. But those aren’t solutions, just regrets.

dragonfly35 is @dragonfly35 on PopClogs.

(((((Tarrador)))))

(((((Tarrador)))))

That’s all…

FireRainChild Dive down, drink deep, you will remember how to breathe

Tarrdor I love you

Logophile Will there ever be another place like this?

((((Tarrador))))

nicolasc will be out of the picture a lot. Please don't take lack of response or reciprocation personally!

This

made me cry. Because I went through it and know this pain (before and after ZH, and it doesn’t go away), and because I know so many people going through it and see their deep, deep pain. Every. Single. Month. They have to go through it all over again. It comes from the deepest part of your heart and your gut, this one.

(((Tarrador)))
(((S.)))

BeeQ, hangin round the 43'hood since 2006 BIG LOVE, THANKS & ETERNAL CHEERS TO THE ROBOT COOP & ALL 43ers!!!

It sounds like you would make a wonderful Father. I hope it does happen for you someday…....

littlesoul dark is.....dangerous ;)

thinking of you Tarrador. x

So

very sad…much love to you
x

Oh Tarrador

I’ve known a lot of women to grieve the loss of not being able to be a mother, but there are not many would-be/could-be fathers who’ve expressed those feelings in such an articulate way as you. My heart aches for you in your yearning/wondering/hoping, for I’ve come to learn how much you love children, how much you adore your wife, and how deeply considerate of others you are. May life reveal mercy and/or understanding in this one major hardship.

Tarrador Ahhgghh! The...grey?... banner of doom!

Many thanks...

for your thoughtfulness and good wishes.

(This comment was deleted.)

Man...

I hear you. You’re missing something major and it hurts bad. I understand. Not in this particular situation, but still missing something major and it hurts.

Hope you feel the love here. Sometimes, if not many times, it’s the best refuge from shitty things life can slap in our faces….

(This comment was deleted.)

Epiphany_7 is exhausted...

I SEE IT, I DREAM IT,

so I know that it will happen….......


next page →

Tarrador has gotten 25 cheers on this entry.

 

I want to:
43 Things Login