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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.

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Loves her tortoise!

Recent entries from gottawonder
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gottawonderI feel so good

on the yoga mat sometimes, that I have an awful time getting up and going to bed. I am afraid to sleep on the floor, though, because of our gigantic 50 pound tortoise.

I don’t feel any pain from sleeping on the mat either, though I don’t think I could sleep on the bare floor with a sleeping bag. On carpet, yes.

I think I could sleep just fine in a tent with a sleeping bag, if I could just spread out enough. 4 weeks ago

gottawonderDennis Leary.

I was reading a bit out of a book of his, and was pretty taken back by a couple of paragraphs about women.

I always thought he was pretty ironic, that most of his asshole act was just to bring to light how awful people can be, and that HE wasn’t like that.

Now I’m not so sure.

He made some statements about basically women should stay home if they have kids, or go hard and pursue their career all the way (the way a man would). So, women would be in that terrible position of have kids, or a career, but not both. He made it sound like the world shouldn’t be expected to change, so that work could be more flexible to allow women to have families and still do something else with their lives.

He said he was open to women working and getting equal pay….but made it clear that he thought women couldn’t do the work a man could….because we handle stress differently..and cry.

He made it clear that if a woman couldn’t handle the cut-throat world, and the way that men harass each other (what a jerk, men don’t sexually harass each other and make fun of their period, or call them sugar tits, or hate them if they’re ugly or call them sluts if they’re beautiful) they should just go home.

Basically, he just felt they should take their crying, sensitive, menstruating asses home, or do jobs that they are suited to doing, like being nurses or teachers. You know, jobs that are good “woman” jobs.


I wonder if it has ever crossed his mind, ever, that he is describing that narrow asshole world of straight, able-bodied, Christian, privileged white men. That world that lets almost no one else in, unless they act like a straight, able-bodied, Christian privileged white man.

I wonder if it has ever crossed his mind that that hard-core, dog-eat dog world doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t have to be competitive, it could be collaborative. Inclusive. It could use teams, not just individuals.

Or, that women can be strong, intelligent, and competitive.

I just think that the world needs to find a place for everyone, and society (or maybe just Dennis Leary) needs to change it’s view of what success is, so that it isn’t about destroying or dominating everyone else.

Maybe it IS wrong to call your co-workers “sugar tits”, and then hate them for crying or hate them for demanding respect.

I also feel kind of sorry for Leary, because obviously his own identity is somehow wrapped up in his limited view of what being a man, and being a woman is. If he feels so insecure about women just going out and doing whatever they want with their lives, he must have almost no sense of who he is without a rigid role. Maybe he is really shaky on being a man in the first place, and is scared shitless of not having a really clear definition laid out for him.

It’s all sad, really. Sad that anyone feels like they have the right to tell people to just put up with “everyone in the work world” being insensitive and cut-throat. Sad that someone is put out that they can’t “joke around” freely with people (or, to call them racist, sexist things and treat them as second-class citizens that should never have real jobs).

If there’s any justice, he’ll come back as a woman. Maybe a black or Asian woman, with a disability, maybe a lesbian. 4 weeks ago

gottawonderThis bothers me all the time.

I know most people feel like this, at one time or another.

I don’t think anyone sees a loved one with poor health and thinks “he totally deserves this”.

I also feel deep sorrow when I see animals on the road. To me it is a great injustice that animals don’t seem to figure out the road/car thing, and that sometimes people don’t even try NOT to hit them. Or, in the case of domestic animals like cats, that their owners didn’t keep them indoors.

Although one could say that death is the fairest thing in the world, because every living thing will also die, I don’t think anyone feels that way.

Maybe this is just one of those universal things. We all have to die, yet we all want to live forever. We will all see loved ones suffer, yet we want to spare them.

I’m just sorry this kind of thing has to happen to anyone. 4 weeks ago

gottawonderWhile I agree with you,

I don’t know that it is quite fair to use Jessica’s issues as a reason for her to foresee something happening between those kids.

Maybe she sees this girl as a daughter, and cannot see past that. She maybe can’t imagine “siblings” having sex. Perhaps she always wanted a daughter, or she sees nothing but innocence, and doesn’t want to lump her own experiences in with the kids.

Maybe she’s kind of hoping they’ll fall in love, because she likes the girl, and wouldn’t mind them being together, and kind of romanticises their youthful happiness.

Either way, I do agree with you that she shouldn’t be sleeping over, or at the very least she shouldn’t be in the same room with him.

If they are wrestling, my personal remembrance of wrestling with boys at that age was that it was basically a way of being physical with them. A precursor to being sexual.

I agree that if they had sex and she got pregnant, it would be less than optimal.

However, from what I understand of some damaged people (like my sisters), part of them WANTS things like this to happen, because then it keeps everyone from leaving. The kids would likely end up living with her longer. She would get to be a grandma. She could get all of the things she wants, and still look like a saint for letting them live with her.

If you are in a position, you might have better luck talking to the girl’s parents, though they seem to approve too.

Can you talk to the girl about what might happen?

Long story short, you can disapprove, you can be unhappy, but if everyone else is determined to let this happen, then it will happen whether you’re unhappy or not.

Not your circus, not your monkeys (I’ve been wanting to use that one). 4 weeks ago

gottawonderJune 20

Today I am grateful for:

A nice shift at the library. It gave me the chance to see a few acquaintances.

A good phone conversation with my husband. We were funny and silly tonight.

An afternoon of doing NOTHING. 4 weeks ago

gottawonderWhat Clover means to me:

I always look forward to your kind, thoughtful comments.

You’ve helped me to be a gentler, more open person.

You’ve helped me see that my own worth is intrinsic, as I can’t help but recognise your intrinsic worth. To see someone else similar to myself as being a special and valuable person extends the logic that I too am special and valuable.

I think your art is beautiful.

I see that you are part of a loving union with your husband, where you appreciate each other and support each other, and look to build each other as people, to seek happiness for each other. I find that wonderful.

You see small, delightful things. You’ve written about lovely things you’ve seen on your walks, and it ignites a sense of wonder in people.

Your love and consideration for your animals helps to restore my faith in humanity.

Many people here look forward to reading your posts. You offer a welcome break from the daily grind.

I see you as an oasis. A person who offers…refreshment? Safety (no one needs to fear your wrath), freshness, a breath of fresh air so to speak. As an oasis, your existence is a gift to those who know you.

In a world fully of cynics, anger, dangerous people, closed minded folks, people who don’t care any more, people who don’t see anything special about anything anymore, people who have given up on joy, it is a special thing to find a grown person who can squeal….

“look, a frog!” 4 weeks ago

gottawonderIt's bastards like you

who are spamming the bejesus out of this site, and likely in large part responsible for it closing down soon.

Thanks for nothing, douchebags. 4 weeks ago

gottawonderIn general,

it makes more sense for me just to be at home too.

My husband makes a lot more money than I ever would, and when I do work, I never seem to make enough to get above that bracket that still makes me a dependant, and all that does is mean that my husband has less money he can deduct.

I am usually more valuable at home, making sure everything runs smoothly. 4 weeks ago


That we value children so much, and yet, they are more like potential somethings.

Retired people are often less valued by society, but you know, I’ve never considered my Mom as somehow less valuable as a person. Nor our older neighbour, because without his endless knowledge our lives would have been much more difficult.

I think it would be tough to think of someone who was more or less a complete vegetable as having a lot of inherent worth. Possibly because there’s no way of knowing if there is a consciousness in there or not.

Most people though, have ways of contributing even if it isn’t financial. They have a unique perspective, they often are part of a network of relationships, they usually “do” something whether it is art, or caregiving, or support in some way.

Yes, every person is intrinsically valuable. They don’t have to only somehow be useful to others (though almost everyone is, just by existing).

Obviously, to that person, they are a universe unto themselves. 4 weeks ago

gottawonderI suppose I should be kinder

about the home making thing.

I grew up thinking of a home maker as kind of an anti-feminist role. In truth, if a woman is happy in that role, that is also a feminist role, because it’s her choice. 4 weeks ago

gottawonderI suppose.

I’ve never been comfortable with neat labels or pigeon holes.

I’ve always said “I go to college” rather than “I’m a student”or “I work at a pizza place” instead of “I’m a waitress”.

The most comfortable was saying “I’m a librarian” because I felt aligned with the job.

Most of the time, I don’t feel that any one part of me is entitled to be the label others know me by. I’m so much more than a house cleaner or a wife, or the caretaker of our property.

I also know that labels can change. Jobs change. Where you live changes. Interests and abilities change. That core part of you, that changes much less, is very hard to name.

I feel that I am limited by only knowing another person by a label as well.

It would be interesting if one could say “I am Gottawonder, a curious mind who accepts very little at face value. I love animals, beautiful things, dancing (how rarely I get to dance), art and science and literature, and finding truer things than dogma and conformity.” 4 weeks ago

gottawonderJune 19

Today I am grateful for:

Some more work.

A good riding lesson.

General good health. 1 month ago

gottawonderI have this issue all the time.

I don’t know what to call myself.

I do art, but I’m not really an artist (am I?).

I garden, but I’m not a gardener.

I ride horses, but I’m not an equestrian.

I work at the library, but barely. I hesitate to say I’m a librarian.

I keep our household going, but I refuse to be a home maker.

I’m a Me, but that seems tough to present to the world as real description. 1 month ago

gottawonderThis place has given me a better idea of who I am.

When you actually have to write out your thoughts and opinions, you think about them more carefully.

When I first joined, I was more rash, and wrote things out less carefully. Then, when I read my own responses later, I saw how…raw they were and tried harder.

Although I still judge too much, this place has really made me try harder to be open-minded, and to see that even when people are different in key ways, they aren’t so different from me overall. They are also still people entitled to respect.

It’s given me a place to voice my thoughts and to be more authentically myself that anywhere I’ve been. Anonymity combined with consistent contribution seems to be a good path to being authentic. In the rest of the world, we all tend to be guarded, and afraid to give our real opinions.

This place is also incredibly supportive, kind, and open. Very rarely does one get a nasty response to anything. Even if one releases an angry outburst, generally people come with kindness.

People here tend to be intelligent, and write in well-spelled complete sentences. I like the articulation and intelligent dialogue here. I get so little of that in life.

People here seem curious. About everything. The random questions goal is the most fun I’ve had online anywhere.

I love this place. I feel like I belong here, like a character from Sesame Street. What on Earth would happen to Oscar or Snuffalufagus if Sesame Street just….shut down? 1 month ago

gottawonderJune 18

Today I am grateful for:

A few more work hours.

Spending some time with the mares, just hanging out and snuggling.

Some time spent in the garden. 1 month ago


because you could likely have bought those things anyways, you are waiting for the one big thing that you would really want that you know you couldn’t afford any other way. 1 month ago

gottawonderLots of people

mistakenly think that being a vegetarian or vegan means the best health possible.

I’ve met one or two though, that just eat a lot of potato chips and French fries, and low quality foods, and look close to death.

gottawonderJune 17

Today I am grateful for:

A less intense day physically than the last few days.

Finding Tim Minchin on Youtube. He’s kind of a musician/comedian. very funny, very talented. I’m really enjoying his material.

The things in my garden seem to all be coming along now. 1 month ago

gottawonderJune 16

I am grateful for:

Getting the other trees planted. I am hoping now that this can stop for this year. I am so done. We’ve done enough tree planting. I would like a break from digging in all forms for a while.

At least part of the day was spent not digging holes.

The parts of my yard that I don’t have to dig holes in. 1 month ago

gottawonderJune 15

Today I am grateful for:

Getting a very large tree planted. Didn’t know how we’d make out with that.

A nice walk with my sweetie.

Finding the endurance somehow to make it through a pretty tiring day. 1 month ago

gottawonderWhy don't you send him

this post? 1 month ago

gottawonderJune 14

Today I am grateful for:

Getting a few things at an auction sale that should be beneficial.

A good phone conversation with my Mom.

The experience of spending the day at an auction sale. It’s always interesting. 1 month ago

gottawonderJune 13

Today I am grateful for:

Getting to sleep in with my sweetie.

Getting things done in town.

Having time to be with the outdoor animals, some puttering, and to watch a movie. 1 month ago

gottawonder6 sisters and 2 brothers.

I don’t even think of my family as all that scary, since the drama has all been spread out over many years.

There IS usually something dramatic going on at any given time, but that’s normal with that many people (and now the many grown kids).

What makes it tough, is living away from the drama, only hearing bits and pieces of it, and then going home for a visit and getting it all in one shot as you talk to people about “how their summer went”.

As much as I love and miss everyone, there’s not doubt that my life is simpler with some space. 1 month ago

gottawonderJune 12

Today I am grateful for:

A little more work, and the wife dropped in and seemed happy to see progress on their house.

A good riding lesson.

My husband is home. 1 month ago

gottawonderJune 11

Today I am grateful for:

A few more hours of work.

Another good pasture ride.

Finding a funny movie on youtube. 1 month ago

gottawonderThree of my sisters

are a little on the train wreck side of things.

One of them is a hoarder, and used to kind of hoard animals (they weren’t neglected exactly, but there were too many of them to really be cared for properly). She’s had three kids by three different people, and basically led a drug-fueled, sex-addict kind of life through her 20’s. She’s a lot more settled these days, has a good partner (though they’re usually fighting, they do love each other), and mostly just creates drama by picking fights with one of her kids about his wife.

Another sister means well, and only wanted love, but kept picking the wrong people. She actually was married and happy, but he died in a motorcycle accident. After that, she was kind of lonely and freaked out, and tried to get men to love her by buying houses with them (she had a settlement from her husband’s accident) and then being forced to sell the houses quickly and taking a loss until the money was gone. Then she tried having babies with them, and after four kids by three different guys she finally stopped doing that. Her life is still kind of a shit storm, but only because she never has enough money, even though she works a lot. She is more stable, and seems to have accepted being single.

Another sister wasn’t TOO bad, but she had kids with a crazy man, and struggled with that for a long time. Her current partner was married, and refused to divorce his wife (I can’t understand all of that) so my sister had to live as his “mistress” in a small, judging town. They’ve lived together for over 20 years and everything, but his adult kids hate her because they somehow thought she ruined their parent’s marriage (which was dead) and he still went to family functions with his wife, not my sister. The wife is now deceased. This man keeps doing things like spending tons of money and not telling my sister, not planning to include her in his will, or doing anything at all to help her financially in the looming of a very poor retirement.

Most of my family isn’t really train-wreck-y, but when you have a big family there’s still a lot of normal drama. 1 month ago

gottawonderI've known too many people like this.

Just big, crazy, drama queens who say they NEED me….but there’s never anything coming back.

I’ve still offered tiny bits of help to people like this, but only what I can easily afford to give, and knowing full well that there will be nothing mutual forthcoming.

Usually they just go away when they realise you aren’t giving them anything more. 1 month ago

gottawonderThat's the one I liked too.

Very descriptive. 1 month ago

gottawonderOh no, respiratory infections suck!

Hope you’re feeling better soon. I hate anything to do with sinus stuff; my head hurts, I can’t breathe, I don’t sleep well because I can’t breathe, I wake up and my tongue is dry from mouth breathing, and I feel too disgusting to be around anyone because I’m horking up boogers and such.

I’d be bummed too.

Big hugs. 1 month ago

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