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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Proud is Thankful is doing 39 things including…

graciously accept what's freely given to me

17 cheers


Proud is Thankful has written 8 entries about this goal

People will help you if you ask.

Asking is hard sometimes, but I think it humbles me (in a good way) to be gracious and let someone assist me. I’m always slightly surprised when people go out of their way to help me understand something when I honestly am lost about it. Maybe it’s because I tend to overshare and say stuff like, “I’m new at dealing with this as my husband just joined the military and is away at training…” I’ve dealt with so many new issues in the past months which I never had to even pay attention to before – electronics, bills, automotive stuff, home maintenance and repairs, etc. It’s been okay.

How he surprised me....

He called me and woke me up Thursday night at about 10:45. I was already sleeping. I hadn’t spoken to him since Sunday, however, (since he’d been training “in the field” and couldn’t have his phone with him) so I was really glad he called.

He said our friends were bringing something over that he sent me. I started to ask him “What in the world? On a school night?” but he acted like his phone battery was going dead and hung up. I was clueless.

About 45 minutes later our friends rang our doorbell and were standing on the porch grinning ear to ear. They said, “We brought you something, but it’s too big to carry. You have to come out here and get it.” I was still clueless.

Hubby stepped from around the corner and I couldn’t believe it! “Honey” I grabbed him and kissed him, then had doubts, so I backed up and looked him in the face and said, “It IS you, isn’t it?”

Well, we only slept about two hours that night and he came with me to hang out at school the next day. This has been the best weekend of my whole year so far.

I’d better go make his pancakes before he wakes up. Next time I post he will be gone and I will be lower than a snake’s belly. But for now…. :-)

Hubby surprised me by coming home for the weekend!

I hadn’t seen him since early March and didn’t expect to see him again until another month from now. I was wondering how I was going to make it through.

I was wildy flabbergasted and ecstatic to see him out front Thursday night!

The best thing is I don’t have to share him with anyone like I did during his Family Day and Graduation – there were his parents, all his siblings, nieces and nephews, and some army buddies to contend with. I even had to share him at Christmas with family who came and stayed with us during his leave!

I love our family, but I want to be alone with my husband and not have to wait my turn. This weekend has been so great (understatement). I’m in denial about him leaving again tomorrow, though.

accepting at face value is hard

I get so tired of “nice” people’s wishy-washy BS. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If someone SAYS they want me to do something or not – I listen and accept that, as an adult, they CAN just give me an honest opinion/preference. It takes too much energy to try to second-guess what people REALLY mean or want!

My mom and sister went back and forth about every detail of Thanksgiving plans. Getting stuff finalized took forever. Just hearing about it wore me out!

Long ago, my mom always would give in to everything we want to do, but then we kids would tend to feel guilty and often not proceed, because we’d be trying to make her feel happy again. Absolute torture! Thankfully, I stopped that guilt-tripping thing a long time ago.

As a young adult I realized that I, too, was a difficult person to deal with like that. I’d always SAY I had no preference on things, but then I’d secretly hold a grudge about never getting my way (like my mom).

Thank the Good Lord that years and years ago I just accepted that if people asked my opinion/preference then they must WANT it, so I simply give it. I’m pretty easy-going and often I really DON’T CARE either way, but I learned that it helps others, often, if I just choose. Mostly because whatever they say THEY prefer might be based upon what THEY THINK I’d prefer, or want them to say. See how complicated this pathetic game came can get? I think it’s based upon some misguided concept of what it means to be kind….

Saying you don’t care when you do care is manipulative and cruel. I know people who try to do that mind-game with me still. I just ignore the heavy sighs and frowns, like I’m too ignorant to notice – and make my decisions based upon what they SAY they want.

I feel like I win that ugly game by just refusing to play it. It still bugs me to deal with people who can’t be straight-forwardly honest, though.

Vacation's a "go"

Our sweet friends gave us a travel packet of flight info, condo info., and a pre-loaded VISA for rental car and other expenses. I said I felt like I’d won on The Price is Right! This is an amazing gift! I guess the most gracious thing we could do is accept it in the spirit in which it’s given and ENJOY!

Friends who give "too much?"

How can Hubby and I be gracious acceptors, when we feel that the cost is too high (to them) for what friends want to give us? It seems insulting to keep insisting that they NOT do it when they’ve made clear that they really want to….

I know how much I hate it when people I care about refuse to let me do things, or give things, for them. I always WANT TO or I wouldn’t offer! I feel like saying, “don’t second-guess me!!!”

Another point (maybe petty?) is that we can’t reciprocate in kind. We could, if we were willing to dip into our retirement, which is what they’re doing – but we won’t do that. Considering that they’re not wanting to GIVE to us just to GET something in return – should this even be an issue?

"freely given to me"

This takes on a difference in meaning when viewed from the valley where I am now, versus the mountain on which I first wrote it.

I’m going through a rough patch in life, but I’m learning so much more than I EVER did when things were all just peachy. I can also look back and appreciate past lessons I’ve learned, instead of just settling into despair and feeling helpless.

For example – I know better now, just how strong I am. I have a certainty that I can find my way out of the apathy and pain in which I find myself, because I’ve done it before.

I know I have wise and caring people on whom I can lean; just as I’ve been a strong help for many of them in the past, and/or will most likely be, in the future.

I can appreciate what I do have. I feel like it’s more clear to me than in the past when I’ve had depression. My mind knows, even if my heart hasn’t quite gotten on board yet.

Even when I feel the most indecisive, unsure, and unworthy, I have the sense to just wait and pray, knowing that “this, too, shall pass.” I don’t make any rash decisions or judgements and ask God to protect me from the influence of bad thoughts (especially thoughts about myself, as I’m an expert at running myself down and undervaluing myself then). It does pass.

Apathy may paralyze me at times, but it doesn’t last. I can, again (sooner or later), resume the motions of life even when the joy and meaning are eluding me. Sort of being a phony, I know, but I have people counting on me (dogs, too). I can often get myself to go do for others when I can’t for myself. Also, shutting the world out doesn’t help anyone in any way. I know, unfortunately from experience, how destructive this can be.

The bad times force me to rely on God in a way that I normally don’t. I need Him and now I surely know it! Faith tested grows stronger. I know this to be true, because I lost my faith totally (or so it felt), at one time. When I get it back it was something stronger and more beautiful than before. It’s just hard that’s all.

It’s only pain. I can face it without fearing it. And, in so doing, I CAN and WILL work my way through it.

A lesson for me...

There’s a lot to be said for being a gracious accepter of what’s been freely given from others. In fact, that graciousness of spirit is one thing that really attracts me to someone as a friend. I have a strong need to give to and serve my friends. It’s my “love language” (have you read that book by Gary Chapman?). When people consistently won’t let me do that, for whatever reason, it can be like a slap in the face. It’s almost as if they constantly try to be the “strong one,” by not accepting anything at all.
I want to make sure I don’t do that to others. A simple thank you and words of encouragement go a long way toward making people feel strong, needed, or generous.

Does that make sense at all?

Proud is Thankful has gotten 17 cheers on this goal.


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