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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Recent entries from jshell


I’ve been getting this done on weekdays, but not weekends. On some Saturdays, this is mitigated by attending a sit-in Sitting Meditation class. On Sundays this could be mitigated by attending Puja, but I’ve been overwhelmed by a full Tibetan Puja. Plus I’ve been busy on Sundays. But still – getting this in every weekday.

I’ve been struggling to sit for longer than 15 minutes, however. 2 years ago


I found a local guided meditation sit-in class about a year ago. Earlier this year I was doing it daily, then got a bit more into Buddhism, and then got overwhelmed by some of the daily Tibetan Buddhism rituals and stopped. Upon reflection, I noticed that I had been more engaged and engaging earlier in the year when I had been meditating and going through the rituals, so I decided to start again. This time I’m just focusing on the meditation.

For the past few weeks, I’ve managed to get in about 10-15 minutes every weekday morning and it’s actually starting to feel like habit. I’d like to expand the time I’m sitting a bit more, but my main goal right now is just to do it daily.

I’m currently reading “Mindfulness in Plain English” and read a few pages each morning before sitting and it’s helped. I learned of the book through the sit-in class which I still attend sporadically. 2 years ago

jshell 2 years ago


jshell 9 years ago

jshell 8 years ago

jshell 8 years ago

jshellStill down

I’m still holding about the same amount of credit card debt that I did 5-6 years ago, if not a little bit more. The good news is that it hasn’t gotten worse. But I’m mildly upset with myself that it hasn’t gotten better.

I had made some significant inroads earlier this year (2012), but a few things wiped those out. I’m glad I did manage to pay some debt down before these latest charges and impacts happened:

  • I ended up owing quite a bit in taxes this year, much to my surprise. It turns out that I must have changed my exemptions sometime in the past couple of years and just crossed an income line where the impact was noticeable. So there’s a big chunk of new debt. Not unmanageable, but it undid a couple of recent payments.
  • Adjusting the exemptions means I’m taking home about $120 less a month, which is money that I had been using for credit card payments. So I get a big new charge while having less money to apply to monthly payments. This will even itself out when next tax season rolls around, but is still annoying.
  • Had to do some big dental work this year with very little insurance help – $3000 in new charges. This is on a dedicated card and will be paid off in 2-3 more months, I think, which will finally free up money to go back to my main debt.
  • A few vet-related bills on that same dedicated card has slowed down the dental pay-off, but not significantly.
  • After a year of having cable tv and internet again, of course the promotional periods end and the bill jumped up significantly. I’ve pared down my service to make this more manageable. I wish there was a good high speed internet alternative in my area, but cable and its big bills seem to be the primary option.

Then, stupidly, I have made a few extraneous purchases that seem innocent enough on their own but add up quickly, particularly when there’s a little less available per month to apply to the main card(s). I’ve tried to practice austerity and will be good for a month, and then as a reward for myself I’ll get succored in by a sale and buy things I don’t really need. I’ve been a little better about this recently, but not good enough.

So – I did manage to pay down some debt just in time for it to balloon back up again. However, since I had managed to pay down a good amount, the debt level is back to about the same level it’s been over the past few years. And a couple of big charges will be cleared off the books within the next few months, which should hopefully make it easier to get back on track before the next crisis hits. 2 years ago

jshell 9 years ago

jshellKindof stopped

Recently I looked back at some old LiveJournal entries from 5-6 years ago, and I am definitely much better than I was then. Some of the issues remain – I’m still on the lonely side, and seem even more distant from people – but a lot of the bitterness and rancor is gone.

I think a big thing that helped this was that I went to therapy and even to a psychiatrist for a while. I was on Wellbutrin but only briefly, but it seemed to help me break out of the cycle in which I found myself.

Staying home a bit more and being around people less may have also helped as my jealousies and other stupid fits don’t flare up as much, and I think I’m now a better person when I am out. I’ve also cut down massively on drinking by not going out as much, watching my drinking behavior a bit more closely, and seldom drinking when home alone.

Finally, I’m trying meditation and have been learning about Buddhism. I have a hard time committing to anything religious, but over the past year since I’ve started this latest experiment, some things have gotten better. There is a strong psychological aspect to Buddhism that I like which has helped me to think more deeply about some of my own issues and things that make me feel miserable and to try to cut them off, to let go, or to just try to understand them more.

There is a dream version of a life that I wished I got to live, with dates and symphonies and travel and all that kind of stuff others seem to get to do with someone else; but for some reason I just don’t get. There’s still a lot to enjoy on my own and I still have good friends, even though I see them less as we all get older. Anyways, just because I don’t get to live that dream doesn’t mean I have to be miserable. I do think I’m much better off than when I made this goal so many years ago and can mark it as done! 2 years ago


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