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.

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Harmonygirl as a Meez is doing 9 things including…


27 cheers


Harmonygirl as a Meez has written 19 entries about this goal

Iriquois Park

My guy reminded me this weekend of how I try to do something almost every day to better my situation or at least maintain the status quo.

On Sunday, we found this park and there was this moderately tall hill he wanted to climb.

I was afraid, really afraid! But how could I say ‘no’ to him, my sweetheart man?!

At the top of the hill, there was a gazebo and a big bench, overlooking the city. There were cut-out steps in the hill, but there were no guardrails. I was scared I would fall again and a) not be able to walk or worse b) make a complete fool of myself and embarrass him in public.

Instead, he offered his body as support, and together, slowly, we made it up the hill. We sat together in that bench, overlooking the valleys of the park below. He told me how proud he is of me for trying as hard as I do, and he promised that one day, the climb I did today will be a lot easier. He’s my biggest cheerleader in all areas of my life, and I’m so grateful!


More progress

Today, I tooled around in the yard with one of the neighborhood boys who came looking for an opportunity to earn money doing yard work. I bought myself $15.00 of labor, with the hope of another $15.00 worth of work later this week – I try not to assign too many tasks at once, because G. tends to forget. In this way, he has a short list and can complete one area or set of tasks at a time and feel accomplished.

I ended up doing a lot of walking around the property with him as he prodded me for anything he could do to earn money. He wants to buy a CD player, and he knows I am a good payer and not that great with the lawn maintenance myself.

My sweetheart man does a lot for me, he honestly does – but sometimes I think spending the money on the yard and giving him a break is the best present I can buy for him. He gets to rest, M. gets closer to earning his coveted CD player – everybody wins!

I also win, because I was not planning on walking up hills and teaching 13-year old boys how to dig and break up root balls on potted plants. However, it is good for me as well, to push myself and force new air into my clustered and clotted alveoli.

It was also very nice to enjoy the new coolness of the evening, as most days here for the last several weeks have been unbearably hot and humid. I can sense that autumnn is approaching, and that means my breathing should get easier as well.

A setback

I am very happy to be home from my business trip, but I still found that I couldn’t shake the coughing, tiredness and shortness of breath even though I was taking all of the medications prescribed by my doctor. Thank goodness my sweetheart guy was around when things got really bad yesterday, he called my doctor on Sunday morning, and it was decided that I had to go to the hospital.

The doctor ran some tests and ordered a chest x-ray. My guy held my hand and stayed with me the entire time in the hospital. The only time we were apart was during the x-ray, but he waited right outside the door of the radiology department.

The good news is that every test performed came back clear, so my heart and enzymes (whatever that means) are just great. However, my chest x-ray wasn’t that great, so the doctor thinks that I still have some pneumonia hanging around. I got three new prescriptions including a new antibiotic, and so now I feel like a pill factory. My sweetie has been keeping careful track of my prescriptions as well, and he even called the hospital so the doctor could call the pharmacy and fix a mistake with one of my new prescriptions.

Nevertheless, I’m planning on going to work tomorrow. I’ll be up early anyway because my sweetheart guy is traveling on business, so I’m taking him to the airport. Tonight, he’s been making sure I have groceries and clean laundry, and he’s even been doing some housework. He said he was even going to take the big rolling garbage can down the hill to my curb for trash pickup.

Sighs, I’m really going to miss him.

Very tired

Today, I’m laying fallow. I think the medications (7 of them, ugh!) are starting to finally work. However, I’m still so very tired. I have today and tomorrow to rest, and then I have to pack for my trip—I’m supposed to fly out around 5 PM on Monday.

The dogs would go to the kennel on Monday morning, but I still have a hundred things to do and find and buy before then.

I really hope I can rally by then.

I also have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Monday midday, in case I need a recheck to determine if I can fly.

I really hope I am doing the right thing ….

Pneumonia, again

Originally, I thought this goal would be for the commemoration of my healing leg and all its trials. I never did close this goal, even though I felt myself getting better each day. I guess I like seeing it on my list, and frankly, the leg is still stiff and doesn’t cooperate that well on stairs.

Then, this happened.

I got sick. Just a cold, I told my sweetheart man on Saturday.

I have a business trip next Monday – I have to fly – to Florida, for a week. During hurricane season, no less.

I pleaded, joked, and half-threatened that I wouldn’t go. No dice.

Did I mention that now I am sick, Sick?

So today I saw the doctor, asking to be fixed, whatever that took. I knew that my ears were hurting, and yes I have a cough, but I’ve only had this going on for a few days.

I don’t normally like to prescribe antibiotics for respiratory infections, the new doctor in the medical practice told me.

I understand, and I normally wouldn’t ask, but… as I let my voice trail off, watching the doctor flip through my sordid charted medical history.

She looked in my ears and pronounced that my right ear is “inflamed”. Great, sighs.

She then took a listen to my chest, and frowned as she listened on the right side, then the left, then the right side again.

Well, now I feel better about prescribing you, she explained.

It’s official. In addition to the ear infection, I have “a small amount of pneumonia” in my right lung.

To the back of the class I go, Healing 101!

Sta(i)ring down the well

Lately, I’ve been frustrated with my progress. I talked with my fella about this. He says that I don’t realize how much better I am doing as the weeks pass, but I have a hard time believing in that perception.

He recommended that I try more work on stairs, since that is where I currently have the most trouble (and on slopes). Towards that end, today I did the following stair work:

  • At work, I stayed late and went down one flight of stairs (out of three) after everyone else had gone home. I was so tired that I took the elevator down the other two flights.
  • I had to stop at a hardware store for a mystery shop on the way home. The items I had to find happened to be down a flight of stairs, so I went down and then up that flight of stairs.

I also walked around a different shopping mall trying to do another mystery shop tonight, but no stairs were involved. That’s about it – I was going to do some laundry tonight, which is downstairs in the basement, but I am getting rather tired. How did I do?

Waiting on my new idea

I recently bought a pair of Curves leg toning sandals. I got these not (just!) because I want to start exercising my muscles more, but I was hoping that they would help me regain the lost flexibility in my injured leg. These are a neat idea in a shoe; the sole is bowed in the rear, near the heel, to emphasize a slight rocking motion when one walks, to work the muscles a little more.

I’m not taking any pain medications now for about two weeks, except for the occassional ibuprofen pill. Still, my primary doctor seemed a little peeved that I didn’t come back for a follow-up visit (even though the medical student assisting on the case told me if I was better I could “blow off” the next visit).... so as penance, I agreed to get my annual bloodwork done immediately.

On Thursday morning, I went in for a fasting blood test, and was just in time before about a dozen people showed up for pre-employment drug screenings! The last time I got bloodwork done, I had a few readings that were slightly abnormal, and they called me the next day to give me the results. This time, I’ve received no ‘rush’ phone call, so I am hoping for the best. (I tend toward anemia, ever since the hurricanes back in 2004, so I am being monitored for that and some other things.)

In any case, I did a dumb thing last night … I was sleepy and didn’t hoist myself out of bed to take my nightly medications, including my asthma stuff, so today it feels like someone took a sledgehammer to my chest and back. It feels like I coughed all night, probably because I did. Even having a conversation on the phone is wearing me out today.

So I sent my sweetheart man out of the house to have his fun, because I just don’t have the energy right now. Meanwhile, he is taking pictures for me of trees, himself, whatever strikes his fanciful fancy! He knows it’s hard for me to talk, so he is texting and IM’ing me at every pass, and including me in the beautiful day that God has made.

Earlier today, I was sort of feeling sorry for myself. I was thinking about all the things I can’t do today: mow the lawn, break in my new sandals, bop around town, and so on. However, now I am thinking about how lucky I am to have a comfortable bed to lie in, technology to assist me, and a sweetheart guy determined not to let me feel lonely.

blows a kiss to him

The trash can dynamic

Lately, I’ve been measuring M.’s willingness to interact with me by one simple metric: the position of my trash can.

I have a large rolling trash can, a dumpster model really, as it holds about 60 gallons in volume. It’s very cheery in a bright green and has sturdy wheels. However, when it is loaded with trash, getting it up and down my steep driveway ramp (I’m on a large treed lot) since my leg injury has been varying degrees of difficult. At first, I just couldn’t do it at all and offered to pay a neighbor boy to do the task for me. When M. found that out, she took umbrage at that and started taking it upon herself to do it for me.

This was very nice and a relief, on the surface. However, it forced me to interact with her on a regular basis, if only to say thanks and then politely inquire as to her well-being, etc.

It’s funny, the doctor’s recommendation of considering an enrollment in physical therapy did not phase me. I knew that I would get better, on my own preferably, because I decided that my independence was a non-negotiable condition. I want to take my own trash can up and down my hilly driveway.

On Sunday evening, my boyfriend lugged the overfull trash can and collapsed boxes and wrappings from a fun weekend of shopping to sit at the curb. He was going out of town and wouldn’t be there on Tuesday, which is my usual trash day. So, today came and went, and after work I raced home – determined to bring the empty trash can up the hill myself.

I realized that as I raced the way home, I was hoping to ‘beat’ M. to the punch, so I wouldn’t have to send an obligatory email or phone call to thank her. I realized that I really had nothing to say to her, and that I didn’t want to inquire about her well-being, because I was afraid she’d actually tell me!

Anyway, I got all the way home, and I saw my trash can sitting empty at the foot of the driveway. M. had probably been home all day, and in any case no one had hauled my trash can up the hill for me. Hip hip hooray!

I took baby steps, as my ankle still does not have the degree of flexibility as before my injury. I have to take a half-step with my good leg, and then use my bad leg to meet it, and the steps need to be small and even to keep my balance. I kept a long-distance line on the phone open with my sweetheart, so he could call someone if I fell. However, I didn’t need any help – I felt a little self-conscious, having to take such little steps all the way up my hill. The important thing is that I did it myself, and I didn’t have to feel obligated or trapped into a conversation with M. that I didn’t want to have.

When will normal really return?

I’ve been feeling kind of blah for the past week or so, despite my healing leg. I thought maybe it was PMS or allergies, even a cold coming on. However, the other night I started to realize with the advent of a solitary and intense panic attack, the causal factors contributing to my malaise. Within the bland sobering safety net of my office at work, my suspicions were confirmed as angry afternoon thunder clapped

I’m grateful to not have a window office like many of my peers. (I confided in my manager early on, and she will ensure I won’t ever be moved to one.) Nevertheless, I can see the trees flinch and clouds shift as I walk down the hall. I try not to actively seek out the sights that terrify me, even to this day.

Still, it’s like the tip of a tongue burying itself in a small oral wound in the back, like behind the molars. The vulnerable pulpy spot is not visible from an outward smile; but it influences every nuance of expression on the face.

Today, I was told at work to keep the last week of August through the first week of September open. My manager wants to send the whole team to a technical boot camp training event. I’ve wanted to attend something of this for years; I should be thrilled. I’m not, not at all; the catch, you may wonder?

It’s in Tampa, Florida… during the height of hurricane season.

My ability to be sane, calm and semi-rational overloads its circuit breaker on or around June 1st every year, when I was a Florida - captive - resident. I thought last year, well, I was still so new in Kentucky, I’d surely be all adjusted by next year.

However, I feel like I have failed. I still have trouble sleeping, and I follow the weather reports as if my life depends on it – even 1,000 miles from ground zero.

When will I ever let this go?

Spend it all, on what is the choice

Today, I have been walking without the cast, crutch or brace. I am still wearing very large sandals left to me by my sweetheart guy, which are huge and adjustable for when the hurt foot swells. They are not fashionable at all, but quite comfortable they are!

What weighs heavy on me is that both the doctor and my sweetheart guy agree, that PT (physical therapy) may be the next step if my leg and ankle don’t start healing. (Also, the doctor said more tests, meaning a bone scan and/or MRI may be required. I don’t do well with any medical test that uses the contrast solutions, so I shuddered at that thouhgt!)

Anyway, I don’t really want to do PT. I don’t want to be in a supervised setting, in boring workout clothes, being told to “STRETCH! WALK! BEND OVER!” by some crazed manic therapist in stretch pants!

So my method is simple: retail therapy! I’m walking stores and rewarding myself with material pleasures, sure … but I figure, I can spend it on dresses or medical copays – my choice!


Harmonygirl as a Meez has gotten 27 cheers on this goal.


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