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

catherineaq in North Easton is doing 5 things including…

Dress better

28 cheers


catherineaq has written 14 entries about this goal

I'll never be a fashion plate, but...

I’ve accomplished the “better” part. Since I work at home, I don’t feel the need to dress especially well when I’m just going to get snagged by cats, or decide to scrub the sink, or whatever. Old clothes are fine for time when I’m not seen by anyone outside my immediate family. But I virtually never wear sweatpants anymore!

And otherwise, I’ve been slowly upgrading my clothes. I’ve started to pay more attention to what people wear. (I’ll never follow fashion slavishly but since I don’t have a strong personal sense of style it seems wrong to be oblivious to what is being worn. I think I’ve gotten in the habit of being more aware of what’s being worn.) And I’ve become more careful to choose things that fit me well because I can see how that’s more flattering.

So, time to call this done. It’s a lifelong project but I’ve changed my approach to it enough so say I’ve accomplished it.

I dropped my focus on this

because I really am losing weight—really slowly, but I am doing it. And I decided that I/we just don’t have the money for me to buy a ton of transitional clothes. Plus it’s hard for me to find time to shop, and I am really, really, really picky, so it’s hard work for me to find things I like enough to buy. (Which is ironic, because then I end up wearing “subprime” things just because I happen to own them.) When I get to an acceptable (to me) weight and stay there, I’ll start working on buying things again.

Anyway, I’ve bought very little lately. Honestly, the only things I think I’ve gotten myself recently are things for my mom’s wake and funeral. I just had nothing suitable. I didn’t even have a dressy winter coat, and as a pallbearer, I was very visible coming into and exiting the church and at the cemetery. But it worked out. For example, the first store I went into for a coat had only one dressy winter coat left—and it was my size and marked way down. And then I had a huge problem finding long-sleeved things, since it was right before Easter, so despite being early March, everything was flowery and sleeveless. But then I remembered a catalog outlet store near us and found a simple black dress, absolutely what I wanted, again in only one size, and since they were closing right then and shoving us out the door, I bought it without trying it on. And though it was marked a size higher than I usually wear, it fit perfectly when I got it home. Such a relief.

Anyway. That was all a tangent. My update on this goal is this: I went through my closet and cedar chest and dresser and everywhere I keep clothes, and tried everything on. I got rid of some junky stuff, then sorted the rest:
  • nice things I just don’t like (I may take them to a consignment store)
  • things too small for me still (only 5 or 6 things!)
  • things now too big for me, now hidden in an inaccessible place but kept in case of major backsliding. (disappointingly few fit this category, but still, yay that some did!)
  • things I now fit into easily that were stressfully tight before (many things, a big relief!)
  • things that are kind of too big for me, but won’t actually fall off my body if worn. I need to keep these and keep wearing them if I don’t want to spend a lot on transitional clothes.

Even though I haven’t added to my wardrobe, I sort of have, by returning items that were too tight to the rotation. And now I really know what I have, rather than things languishing around, forgotten. I feel much more able to dress for any occasion now.

Oh, and I eliminated all the wire hangers from every closet in my house. Like Mommie Dearest: “No wire hangers!”


Today I bought a little black dress. It was a steal ($22.49 after all the massive price reductions were applied), is flattering, and has the evening formal look without being strapless or having spaghetti straps. This is a big deal to me: I can feel comfortable but look right for formal occasions.

We’re going to a formal evening wedding in March, and I’m not sure if we’ll be going to a rehearsal dinner or not, and if we do, how formal it will be. But if they do invite all the out of town guests, and I get the sense that it is a formal rehearsal dinner, does a black dress strike anyone as wildly inappropriate? I wouldn’t wear black to the wedding (though I know that it’s more accepted now than it used to be) but I don’t know rehearsal dinner protocol.

so I went to this party Saturday night

and I felt like I looked good, which is a good thing, of course.

But it got me thinking.

One thing I realized is that everything I was wearing was a quite recent purchase. If I’d have had to come up with something I already owned that would have felt as appropriate and as flattering, I’d have been in serious trouble. And the other thing I realized is that what to me was a big deal (appropriate, flattering clothing) was normal for other people. No one, and I mean no one, at that party would have bought clothes especially for the event. Not even the honoree.

Clearly, I need to spend a lot more time out there shopping.

Oh, and the other thing I realized was that liking how I looked is good motivation for losing weight. I want to spend more time liking how I look.

Of course, I also need to maintain that motivation. Because, um, I just ate a bunch of malted milk balls from my Christmas stocking. But hey, it’s 1/20 and I just opened them. That’s good, right?

some purchases

First, an update: OK, so I tried on all my bras the other day. Threw out 2, found two with tags too faded to read. Those two fit OK so stayed in the drawer. A few others fit so-so but I made note of the brand/model # so I won’t buy them again—they aren’t so great. And then I had 2 of the same model that I like. And I hunted online and found that, as I predicted, that model is discontinued. So it’s back to square one. I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and go to the Hanes/Bali/Playtex outlet store near here. Not my idea of a fun time.

Anyway. Today I bought four new items of clothing! I have to go to a party Saturday night (yes, have to—I’d rather stay home!), and I was worried about what to wear. So I got a black blouse that I think exactly meets the not-too-dressy, not-too-casual, sorta good for an adult party kind of look I want. And it’s fitted, not loose! Go, me! And I got black pants with subtle blue stripes in them. And a thin silky (maybe actual silk?) cardigan in an apricot color (bright for me!) and another shirt kind of thing I can’t describe, but which looks fashionable and unlike things I normally buy.

It’s unheard of for me to buy 4 things in one day. In half an hour in one store, even! And these are less boring than the things I usually buy.

I still need a new wallet, though. I’m still using one that ripped a week or two ago. It’s kind of embarrassing. So that’s my next step. I have a Macy’s gift card and I’m hoping to have some time Saturday morning to do this.

This won't be very visible :)

But I think the next step is to get my bra situation updated. I have a few that have paid their dues and then some. They need to go in the trash. And then I have a some I like (because they fit well and are comfortable), and some I don’t like but wear anyway.

So my next step is to gather together all my bras, try them all on, write down the maker & model number of my favorites, then try to order more online (since I know I won’t go out to stores for them). I’ll probably find the numbers too faded, or the models discontinued, but it’s worth a try.

I did purge my shirt drawer. Some got tossed, some got moved to the box of work clothes to be worn painting or whatever. I also threw out some underwear.

I need to purge my socks, too. Too many are threadbare.

next step

I wear old clothes around the house so I don’t have to worry about the cats snagging them, or getting cleaning fluids on them. But there’s a limit to how shabby these clothes should be. Go through my things and get rid of things that cross that line!

no time to shop

but more and more of my clothes are getting old and unwearable. So I’m forced to wear the nice stuff in very casual situations, so by default I’m dressing better. This can’t last, though, or those clothes will get stained, ripped, or worn out too and then I’ll have nothing to wear!

Must keep this on my list and find the time to do some shopping!

a bit better

It’s been a bit of a trade-off. I did a little shopping, so I have a few new things now that I can mix into my existing wardrobe. I think I look sloppy a bit less than I used to. On the other hand, I don’t want to let the cats snag or shed on my new things, and I don’t want to clean in them, or cook anything that might splash. So, I’ve been spending more time than usual in pajamas. Maybe I just need a cute apron. :D

positive reinforcement

Saturday I ran errands all day. Not what I’d originally planned, but once S and I started making a list of places I should go, I ended up having to go to six different places in addition to shopping around for a birthday gift for my mother. So I was gone about 7 hours. :(

Anyway. I wasn’t supposed to be shopping for myself, but while I was looking for a sweater for my mom, my sweet husband called to remind me to eat lunch. While I was talking to him, I didn’t want to roam around in case I lost the signal, so I stood by a rack of cute corduroy jackets. Then I tried one on. I loved it! It was a great price! I bought it. It’s fitted and has a v-shaped collar—like a blazer, but much more outdoorsy. In the same store, I also bought 2 blouses. I am so picky. I never find so much to like in so short a time! I must go back to that store when I have more time.

Then yesterday, we visited a corn maze with E, one of his classmates, and the classmate’s parents, and I wore my new corduroy jacket. It’s dark brown, and I wore a dressy dark brown t-shirt underneath, jeans, and hiking shoes (corn mazes are dusty and have bad footing). I felt so pulled-together! I just loved my outfit.

So now I’ve recaptured a little of the magic of shopping. I am now excited to go out again and see what other great new things I can find!

catherineaq has gotten 28 cheers on this goal.


I want to:
43 Things Login