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

Absnasm in Gateshead is doing 2 things including…

Fall in love

67 cheers


Absnasm has written 17 entries about this goal

As some of you will know, HA and I have split up.

We broke up amicably in April of this year and have been living quite happily as flatmates ever since.

This morning at 3am he left with a van full of his belongings to move in with his new girlfriend, who lives 300 miles away.

The breakup has been a mix of traumatic and very very easy. Neither of us hold any ill will towards the other. We still love and like each other very much as friends. We just grew apart and changed, and found that our new personalities and lifestyles didn’t mesh as well as they used to. Our infertility problems inevitably put a lot of pressure on our relationship and, conversely, in the end they were pretty much the only thing holding us together. It took a crisis (which I won’t go into, far too complex and personal) to force us to finally accept that our relationship wasn’t going to get better no matter how much we worked on it or wanted it to, and that if we stayed together both of us would remain unhappy. That’s not what life is meant to be about.

The hardest thing about our breakup has been letting go of my best friend, the potential and our plans, and the chance to live the reality of what I wanted so badly – a family. I guess I’ll update that over on my have a baby goal.

So as of today I am living alone. I’ve never lived alone and I’ve always wanted to. It’s going to be a struggle financially, since my salary isn’t enough to manage on. And emotionally it’ll definitely be a struggle. HA has been my closest friend and partner for six years. I’ll miss him horribly. Waking up this morning to an empty house was pretty unpleasant. And my local close friendships have collapsed in the past few months too, some, I suspect, irreparably, so I don’t really have any support system in place. I’ll miss HA horribly and I fear never seeing him again. I hope that won’t be the case – he is still incredibly important to me, and I think I am to him too.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel though. I do have a new boyfriend and he is amazing. I shall call him GG, though that is not his name nor his initials. I met him a couple of months after the split and he’s just what I need – so much ridiculous fun, smart, interesting, motivated, outgoing, kind, supportive, loving, silly and utterly filthy. And ginger, with a beard, which is important. I love him very much, and he is helping to restore my faith in relationships after the long slow crumbling torture of my last one collapsing. I am concentrating on having fun, with or without him, and finding out who I am again. As much as I loved HA (still do, in a different way}, I became lost in our relationship problems, and in infertility. I’m looking forward to being myself again.

Even now...

..sometimes, when I look at his sleeping face in the morning, I feel like my heart is going to go pop.


I’ve just realised something. I wrote the first entry on this goal on September 24th 2005 – exactly one year to the very day before I ticked it off. How beautiful is that?

Some things defy logic and explanation.

Like how this can be so painful and yet so amazing.

Like how this happened at all.

But there’s nothing I can do about it.

I love him with all my heart. Case closed.

My bonny lies over the ocean.


Same as I wrote August 28th.

But worse. Much, much, much worse.

He’s even further away than normal. Thousands of miles away.

He feels like home. How can I feel at home when my home has flown so far away? I am displaced. I am distracted.

I feel pathetic for feeling like this. I’m a grown woman, not a stupid infatuated teenager.

I can’t even pick up the phone and call him. I don’t know when he’s gonna be able to check his email. And even if I did, an email isn’t a conversation, and even a conversation isn’t enough without the proximity. I want to see his eyes. I want his hand in mine.

Right now I feel like this is the stupidest goal I have ever worked on. It’s so worthwhile for the time we get to spend together, but my god, right now, it hurts. I wish someone had warned me. I was an idiot to think this would be all fun.

Afterthought: I don’t know. I’m probably also feeling a bit shit cos of other stuff that’s happening, or not happening, and I’m pinning it all on this. It’s an easy thing to pin my misery on and it’s probably unfair to give it all the credit. I need to be working on my other goals, and I can’t work out if I’m not because my mind is distracted, or if I’m distracting my mind on purpose.

I think I’m going a bit mental today.

What I wrote last week..., about enjoying missing someone… Today I’m not enjoying it one little bit. This morning, hungover, despondent and emotional, I got back into bed, curled into a ball with my cat and cried my eyes out.

I don’t think I actually knew what it was like to miss someone until now. It’s not romantic. It’s not fun. It hurts so much. It feels like a jagged stone twisting and scraping, carving a hollow in my stomach. The nearness of him both relieves and aggravates the pain.

There is nothing I can do about it. I need to calm down.

An observation.

I had a thought this morning in the shower.

In many, if not all, of my previous relationships, I’ve had a sense of… not exactly being open to offers, but being aware that there might be someone better out there. A sense that I might be wasting my time.

But this time that feeling is completely absent.

I feel like nothing and no one could even come close.

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone...

..for your advice and support after my strange flip-out yesterday. I’ve had a good think about everything you all said, and talked it through with someone close to me, and I feel better today. I’m not such a freak for not wanting to go for the all-out “hearts and chocolates and flowers and poetry in front of 500 close friends” romance. Love and affection can be expressed privately and in different ways. I was thinking of myself as cold and unromantic, till my friend pointed out to me several ways in which I had recently demonstrated myself, in my own way, to be an indisputable ball of mush. So that’s alright then.

As for defining my relationships with sexuality, I’m in a similar situation to where I was with my “man without issues” goal. I can’t deny my sexuality or its importance to me, but writing about it and the way I use it has encouraged me to think hard about ways I can keep my tendency to exploit it in check so as to avoid falling into the same traps I have time and time again. The problem is partly that I have been filtering my thoughts, blinding myself to my affectionate actions, maybe because they aren’t as traditional as many people’s, and by comparison the filth loomed large. So I’m not doing that any more. I’m gaining clear sight, and I’m going to put into practice what I have learned and express my affection fearlessly and in my own way. That’ll sort the men from the boys, and anyone who can’t handle it shouldn’t be in my life anyway.

I went to a wedding yesterday.

The couple read each other poetry and self-written vows, their voices cracked with emotion. They were both close to tears, gazing into each other’s eyes and, later, at the reception ceilidh, the bride sang to her new husband and he gazed on with undisguised adoration. I spent most of the day with my utterly loved up and newly engaged friends M and L, who were taking mental notes and excitedly planning their own wedding down to the tiniest detail.

The whole day was truly magical. I did cry – I always cry at weddings. But the whole experience has made me feel slightly disturbed and confused about my own capacity to love and be loved, and my mental block on the expression and the receiving of that love.

I want love. I do. But I walk around saying I want to be in love and I do eventually want to marry someone, and yet I have never thought about what it would be like. I’ve thought about the actual concept of being married, of spending my life with one person, legally committed to them, and this doesn’t phase me at all, quite the opposite. It’s what I want. I can’t think of anything better than finding someone I’d be happy to see every day forever.

But the wedding itself? I have barely ever given a moment’s thought to it. Where I would like it to be, what sort of dress I would have, the ceremony, how many bridesmaids, who… My friends M and L had been out the previous day sourcing tiny clothespegs for the seating plans. Yesterday’s cake was a layer of ginger parkin topped with cheesecake, combining the bride and groom’s favourite cakes. These tiny creative details are alien to me. And while pledging my troth sounds cool the idea of expressing my love for someone in front of over a hundred people with a self-written poem fills me with some kind of mixture of terror and nausea. When directed towards or coming from myself, the very idea of such public romanticism, traditional or personally directed, fills me with nausea and terror. I want it and yet it repels me. I can’t even find it within me. Why is that?

L’s had her wedding half-planned in her head since she was a young girl. Isn’t that the normal way for girls?

What happens? Do you reach a point when you’re in love with someone where a trigger switches in your head and turns it to mush? Where everything you see around you holds significance and potential for romantic expression? Where you cease feeling embarrassed by traditional or personal public displays of love, and start to actively plan them and seek them out? I discussed it with M, and he said that if and when I do get married I’ll understand. I don’t know if I will understand. I guess I really haven’t been in love.

My capacity for expressing and receiving affection is topsy-turvy. I do it, to some extent, through sex. I chase love, I want it so much, but I approach it from the direction of my pants. I have referred to myself on 43 as more of a “bend me over the sofa kind of girl”. I did it again yesterday, talking to M and L. Why do I do this? I am far more comfortable with sex than I am with love. I’m 31 and I’m driven by my knickers. Am I sabotaging myself to avoid what I see as the crippling embarrassment of exposing my weak, cold heart and opening myself to rejection? There may not always be someone around who loves you and wants to be with you, but there will always be someone who wants to do you. Am I so afraid of feeling something solid that sex is the closest I get to feeling true affection for someone? Am I limiting my options with my view of myself and by my actions? Have I been turning the relationships I’ve been having into a fuckfest at the expense of something deeper and longer-lasting, through fear? Sex is important to me – very important – but it’s not necessarily the path to true love.

I don’t know what to do about this. I need my needs to be met on all levels. I just don’t know how to get there.

Chuh. Stupid bloody tarot lady.

She lies. She lies! May is past and done, and I haven’t met my husband as she promised on my birthday last year. Waaaah!

Absnasm has gotten 67 cheers on this goal.


I want to:
43 Things Login