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

Give myself space to breathe and grow on my own


People doing this

Recent activity

spreadyourwingsSprucing up my goals

My goals on this list have felt pretty static recently. I guess that it’s time I renegotiated them and reworded some of them. A lot has changed since 2006 when I first wrote a list of my goals down. Some of them are no longer relevant. Anyway, my list has now become bigger than the ones listed on my page- it’s got 403 things on it that I cross things off from every month. I don’t detail my plights there though, I just tick things off when I feel they’re completed. They vary from the utterly ridiculous “Get to know the Muffin Man” to “Watch Iron Man 3”. I work on them in a long term, medium term and short term and of course “HAHAHA” term.

Things like “Watch Iron Man 3” are short term, easily attainable (and will be completed by the end of this week).
Things like “Finish knitting my scarf” are medium term, achieveable longer term. I work on them now in dribs and drabs to get there eventually but they’re not pressing.
Things like “Be a Pullitzer prize winning author” are extremely long term and becoming further and further out of reach, every day that I stop writing (as one example).

I’m going to add some short term ones. And start breaking down the long-medium term ones so I could start: “Knit 10 rows on my scarf before June 5th” as an example? One to think about.Hmmm. 18 months ago

spreadyourwingsGetting there :-) xXx

The furniture has long been replaced in my room. My Grandpops made me a desk and I replaced the TV and many other electricals. The room is still my office-come-bedroom which is fine because it’s my own, cluttered space.

I bought a new bed this week which will arrive in the next 10 days and I have just once again tidied my filing.

Bank statements, bills and letters now all have their place in folders that are clearly labelled. I am, however, rapidly running out of storage space which is a sign that I should be saving more to get some-place bigger to live or to chuck more stuff out.

I’m so pleased with how I’m plodding along with this goal… although, currently I have shoe storage space and when I get my new bed (which does not lift up to make room for shoes)... I will suddenly have a whole heap of shoes with no home. 20 months ago

spreadyourwingsAllergies! HELP!

Someone is having a gigantic laugh at my expense with this goal.

I have been struggling to breathe through my nose since January. I put it down to allergies but I’ve now tried EVERY allergy tablet over-the-counter that I can buy right down to supermarket own brand and then brand names. I’ve had Loratadine; Cetirizine and a new active ingredient one owned by the big B company. It doesn’t really matter what I do, I can’t clear my nose. My head goes stuffy and it stays that way all day and all night.

I’ve replaced my pillows and covered them with anti-allergen protectors. I’ve hoovered every inch of sleeping space. I’ve bleached the mould from the cracks in the window. I’ve dusted everything. I’ve replaced the TV. I’ve taken all smellies out of my room. I’ve hoovered my carpet with the long nozzle. I’ve emptied drawers and swept spaces between and under furniture. I’ve put all my ornaments away and anything that’ll add to the surfaces in my living space that could collect dust. I damp-dust to collect any dust sitting on surfaces. I’ve literally done everything I can think of.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a new bed to see if that’s got anything to do with it. I am totally at a loss.

I went to the doctors and they said: “What do you want us to do about it?” I laughed a lot after I left about that. Something would be nice!!! If it’s not allergies then what is it? She said that I could try a course of anti-biotics. I had them for 5 days. They didn’t touch it either. I’ve now got to wait 2 weeks before I can go back to see a doctor because we’re over-subscribed in my area. They said “Come back if you don’t work it out.”

Anyone got any clues??? 20 months ago

spreadyourwingsI feel like I am getting somewhere.

I am in a bit of a mess at the moment but… as with a building site, you often have to destroy the broken foundations and pull out old systems before you can make something better.

I’m getting there! 23 months ago

spreadyourwingsHis Birthday

Today is Luke’s birthday. Here’s a little note to celebrate because I can’t say it to his face.

I’m marking the occasion now at 1:30am because I can and because it seems only right that I come back to somewhere that… if he was still around he’d have seen and been vaguely amused by. Happy Birthday to my Lukeybellerina.

My life hasn’t been the same since he decided that being around me was too difficult for him to handle or that he wasn’t strong enough to be just my friend anymore. I don’t really understand his decision. It came out of the blue. Sadly, I was totally blind to how he felt or naiive or stupid; I’m not sure which.

We’d never have been a couple, even if I had known about how he felt. I didn’t fancy him enough… he was too much like my big brother and my best friend all rolled up into one man but I did love him. It’s a love I’ve never felt since and I doubt I ever will again. Not a passionate love, or a great love but a love that was deep and familial I guess.

I mourned him when he emailed me to say goodbye like a death. The email was what hurt the most to be honest because he didn’t have the guts to say it to my face and I felt he owed me that much. I still mourn him today even though his family only live doors away from me. I mourned because I had no idea that it was coming and then I tried to clutch onto him, saying that I loved him which I realise now was only cruel. I will never know if he read my reply.

He sent me a message with his new telephone number in it once since then but I deleted the message because I felt I owed him the ‘clean break’ he’d asked for at the beginning. In a way, I’ll always wonder ‘What if?!’ but I guess that’s better than making him suffer or his girlfriend suffer what he was putting her through for any longer. Why prolong it when he’d decided what was best?

His mum speaks to me sometimes in the supermarket but it’s awkward so I try to avoid her. His dad has just started dating one of my friends which is equally awkward. I told her that I hate him so she didn’t ask again but that’s not true at all. I just can’t handle the conversation because he’s a wound that wont heal, particularly when people keep opening it up when I’m unprepared for it.

Anyway… to cut a moaning cow short.

Luke: I miss my best friend but wherever you are, I wish you the best. I hope you’re happy and have found what you have been looking for! I will always look back on happy times. May your 25th year on Earth bring you much love, luck and happiness always! x 23 months ago

spreadyourwingsQuick Update of Goals

I’m still up marking and over-thinking because Ofsted are in again this week. I have more books to mark with a fine tooth comb than I know what to do with because we’ve just swapped classes around to make up for the sheer number of teachers who have left or been promoted. I hate my job but when I’m marking and I can see their progression from step 1 to step 4 or whatever I’m so glad I chose to be a teacher because I know I’m making a difference. In fact my horrible Year 9 class are no longer horrible and I actually like teaching them and they’re making tremendous progress. Then again there are still STUPID classes who think it’s ok to colour their margins and draw penis shapes on the front of their books. There are children who refuse authority and throw things. There are even children who don’t care about themselves enough to try. These things leave me downhearted.

Then I go back to the sheer ridiculousness of marking so closely for everything. It’s ridiculous and banal box ticking for some people who have been out of the classroom for the last million years but who get to mark me and check up on me and my kids.

I note how many hours I spend planning and re-planning every week because my school has decided that the only way to improve is to check up on the teachers ALL of the time even in their planning. I note how I waste many sleepless nights wondering if the children will be engaged enough in their learning and how much money I waste on buying stuff to make learning ‘Fun’ and I think “Learning by rote and practice never hurt me. I didn’t expect novelty.” and it makes me bitter because I can see how much of my life I waste on children and on the anal education system of this country.

I note how little I see Ben and how when I do, I just have to tweak this or that so I don’t actually see him. I note how my house is littered with the ephemera of teaching and the ghost of my life that I once had prior to working at a failing school that is collectively fighting back against its own failings. It’s a slog. It’s killing me. It’s making me angry and I can’t see a way out except to leave and do something different but I know that I don’t want to give it up because I love the job and I get wrapped up in it because what I do really does matter!!!!

New Goal: Get a life and leave more of my job at work! 2 years ago

spreadyourwings2 week trial

Ben’s been living with me for a 2 week trial period- now in its third week. It’s been weird if I’m honest but we’ve sort of fallen into it nicely. I like having someone to come home to. I love that that someone is Ben. I love sharing a bed with him, cooking dinner for him without the pressure of other people being around. I love lots of things to do with just being with Ben.

Ben asked me to marry him some time ago and I said that he should hold that thought because I’m scared of committment and because I’m sometimes so passionately angry at him that I’m not sure we’re a stable element. I’ve always been this way, I dream of being committed to someone but the minute someone tries to pin me down I do this rabbit-caught-in-headlights face and I try to run or sneak away or force the other person to dislike me. I will never admit to settling or being happy. A college friend and ex-lover said to me when we parted company, “You’ll never be happy because you’re always going to be looking for the next best thing. Knowing that makes me happy! You’re always looking for the test; the problem and the drama. That’s why you’ll never settle in life.” That sound often bangs around in my head and often, I think that he spoke the truth.

Anyway, after having a tough time with my job and my life in general, Ben is what makes me happy. I’m still not 100% committed to the marriage thing but we’re getting there in ‘small pigeon steps’ as Ben says. I want to make him happy. I want to be happy with him. The thought of not having him with me is unbearable. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsDo you ever feel like you want to start again?

I’m not a clean slate and to want to pretend I am is silly. I need to build on what I’ve started, even if that means knocking walls down and breaking down things that need rebuilding and restructuring within me.

I wrote a whole post on this and then I talked myself out of posting it.

Tomorrow: Back on the healthy eating, back on the exercise, back on the tidying and new systems in place-ing. Back to finding out how to become a better, stronger, and more versatile me… by building on what I’ve got. 2 years ago


So, today I have worked about 10 hours of the day away. I didn’t realise how little time I would have in my life where I don’t think about being a teacher, about bettering myself for the greater good of children and about how I can really give my kids the best start on their journey to adult-hood. At times, like right now, I find that the guilt of not being enough for such a role topped with a sprinkling of pressure and perfectionism and the new Ofsted criteria based on the idea of perfect leaves little time for just being a human being. When I let myself relax and have a life I am made to feel totally guilty for doing so because in that moment I took my eye off the educational-ball. I let your son or daughter down by not spending an extra 10 minutes on creating a whizz-pop-whizz-bang lesson.

Is it just me or are teachers all becoming like hamsters penned in by a code of professionalism? I distinctly remember being told that I needed a work-life balance during my training and that some lessons would have to be merely satisfactory so that when a lesson is truly outstanding it stays in a child’s mind forever and so that you have the energy to do that 2-3 times a week… They called it “sustainable teaching” but you tell that to my failing school and the workload required to make ‘good-outstanding’ and it’ll laugh in the face of your statement. According to Gove Satisfactory is not good enough.

Then look to the Satisfactory and read between the lines that anything that just involves kids writing, reading or practicing their spellings is distinctly frowned upon. Well tell that to my First Class Honours Degree, all As and A*s qualifications. I was fed on an educational diet of that and it never did me any harm. Stupid rules and new fangled crap can kiss my arse!

Apologies for that rant! I feel better now. I would never say any of this to my fellow teachers because like everyone else in my profession, if I dared to say it I would face a firing squad. But a good vent every once in a while feels good!

-as a side note… it’s the summer holidays… 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsMy soul has been replaced

It’s been an eventful few days but nothing I could write home about on a post-card. I’ve realised a few things that I’ve stated a million times before and I’ve started to act upon them.

Last night I took to an old habit. I got in at about 1am. I climbed into bed and for the first time in 2 years I reached for a late night read. I chose Birdsong and I just opened it up and was engulphed. The next thing I knew there were birds singing outside the window. There was an icy hue on the horizon and the sun was coming up. A milk truck bobbled down the road like a cantankerous old man on an early morning stroll and I stopped there. I now have a ‘book hangover’ where I feel like the world is altered somehow. I love that feeling. I don’t remember when I stopped reading but I think somehow it coincided with when I began teaching. I think that teaching somehow sucked my soul out and replaced it with a placebo soul. Particularly teaching at a failing school where I don’t have time to eat properly, exercise, sleep or spend time with the people I care vehemently about.

My soul is hidden somewhere in a maze and I have to re-discover it like a child on a treasure hunt. I found a little bit of it yesterday! But I feel that sense of impending doom because summer is like a net that ensnares all manner of things and school-time is a knife that rips a hole in it and lets everything else escape. It’s like the sudden rushing of a tide, deserting me on an island and leaving me to struggle with only what I can carry. I haven’t yet developed the maturity or dexterity with which to hold on to some parts of myself when lesson planning, detentions and disgusting classes ensue in September. I am struggling with this above all else. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsYesterday I finally walked away from my friends

My friends and Jules were all cracking jokes because Ben had decided not to celebrate our anniversary with me. There was not one person making excuses for him. Carol stepped in and had a go at him for me. But in his words “what’s there to celebrate?” They proceeded to threaten to bring Harrison over while Ben was there too and sent text messages like “You’re gonna be with Harrison in a tree KISSING”. This went on for several hours before I just turned my phone off and went off on my own. I settled in and watched a rubbish film with Anne Hathaway in it who redeems all films by being so stunning to look at.

When I returned my friends made some half-cut attempt at an apology. I made like I wasn’t phased and told them that I had gotten bored of their juvenile attempts at entertaining themselves and had turned my mobile off. They seemed disappointed. Jules said “What was I doing? Did I annoy you?” and fell about laughing. “I thought I was funny!”

Next week or the following we’re all having a ‘end of summer’ party. I’ve finally decided to bring Ben with me which means Harrison is off the guest list. I’m not sure it’s the right decision but considering Ben and I are off on holiday together the following week I’m going to make an effort. Carol has planned a host of spin the bottle, truth or dare style games that we played when we were teenagers and they’d all love to have Harrison there. Which is why it’s a bad idea.

Anyway… I returned to Ben and he had cooked me a meal and we had it outside of Carol’s flat on the green. Carol ran out and lit candles so we could see and it was most pleasant. Ben then told me why he fell in love with me in the first place and I guess I was placated for a little while. But I have realised that any decisions I make in the coming months will have to be off of my own back because my friends don’t have a clue about being ‘grown ups’. They are still happily in the throws of teenage life despite being married, having kids, their own homes etc. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsI'm in a foul mood

...and so I’ve decided to go through my book and look at the things I’ve achieved in the last few years. I’ll add them to my ‘goals completed’ bank and then spend the rest of the day focusing on what I want to achieve over the next week. I need to start to focus again and stop stressing about everything so much.

  • Perhaps I’ll just do a few… get bored and then go and find something else to do to cheer me up… like shopping!!! Haha. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsI don't know

Watching the countries come in on the TV and the opening ceremony on BBC, I drifted asleep because let’s face it, there’s a LOT of countries passing through the stadium and after a while it’s boring! I fell asleep, half naked and on top of my sheets in my underwear- just trying to escape the heat. I’m British and I love to moan about the weather. It’s too hot and I don’t own a fan so the next best thing is to remove layers. I can only have been asleep for maybe 2 minutes when I hear the clicking of a camera. I spin around and there’s Ben taking pictures of me. He’s come in and taken pictures of me while I’m asleep. Is it wrong for me to be utterly offended by that?

It’s becoming a bit of a pattern. He keeps taking pictures and film footage when he doesn’t have my permission at times when I would consider them intimate, private moments. We’ve had a similar argument previously so he knows how I feel about it.

I want to punch him in the face.

He voluntarily deleted the photos from his camera and iPhone but he’s a computer expert and I know he can easily restore the pictures if he wants them. I can’t believe he’s so disrespectful.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The old me would have kicked him to the curb the first time he filmed me without my permission. I didn’t do anything tonight and that’s the second time he’s photographed me without my permission. I mean, I kicked him out but then almost without thinking gave him a kiss goodbye. I need help! Am I wrong to feel so angry? Probably. Maybe I should feel flattered that he finds me that attractive? Either way I don’t feel particulary cheerful today about him or my relationship or myself.

I’m scared to let go. I don’t want to let go. At the same time I’m scared not to let go. I’m scared of staying where I am. I’m scared of moving forward because I don’t know what to do or where to go. It’s not just Ben. It’s everything. I’m having a mid-20s crisis. It’s ridiculous and I’m ridiculous! 2 years ago


I want: romance; fast cars; speed boating; a hippo; adventure; a ride in a hot air balloon; a gondola ride; ridiculous photographs in a photo booth; a real best friend again; to ride an elephant; cruise the fjords; sing at the top of my lungs; plant a vegetable garden; pick my own strawberries; snooze in the sunlight under a tree; read poetry with a lover; watch an itallian opera in the style of pretty woman; be rescued by a knight in shining armour; to look and feel gorgeous; a big pair of fluffy slippers; a wild one night stand; a long lasting romance; to dance under the stars with my lover; to wear my skinny jeans again; to graffitti a wall and be able to call it art; to meet robbie; to have a candlelit dinner; to go to the cinema; to live my life outside the box marked “pathetic” that I have shoved myself into; to buy a house of my own; to drive and own a VW camper; to be driven fast around a race-track; to eat a snow-cone; to eat chips, holding hands on the beach; walls arctic roll; to lose weight; hot sunshine, a shaded space and sunbed; creative writing to flow again; publication; a big mac; to be able to swim faster, stronger and longer; to adopt a big brother; to wear lip gloss; to kiss a stranger on a park bench; learn how to make a tequila sunrise; dazzling eyebrows; venice; tractor ride; to wear bright red lipstick and blue patent heels; to be an international spy; to try sambuca; noodles; hot waffles; warm clotted cream, tea and scones; to learn to skim stones; to driver better; to drive a VW golf with confidence; to knit a scarf; make a rag doll; ride on a river boat; watch the last episode of CSI with Grisham in it; get a hair cut; raise £100,000 for charity; grow a carrot top cress doll; to blow bubbles with bubblegum; to trace someones tattoos again; closure; sand between my toes; to visit london zoo; to go to legoland; conquer my fear of rollercoasters by getting on one; ski; paint my toenails with the union jack; make hand-print art; find out the answers and have adventures that I can add to my list before I even know they are my dreams. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsLife is something I crave

I keep a diary of just random jottings. I hide it beneath the chest of drawers. Only I know that it is there… and anyone else who reads this post. I recently wrote the following in it:

“I am always waffling about the host of ridiculous things in my head. Harrison offers me adventure on a plate (no-strings adventure, the thing I have been moaning and ‘stuck-in-a-rutting’ about for the last year) and although I have looked… I said no for the 5th time. I’m scared he’ll get bored of asking and then I’ll be back to just being me. That’s such a stupid thought! Yes… how awful to just be me!

I back off because despite everything I say about him, I love Ben- even when he ditches me to do his own thing, stumbles, says the wrong thing, goes nowhere nor offers me an exciting life he is the thing that has kept me alive (and sometimes smiling) for the last 5 years. More importantly, though the idea of Harrison’s exciting thrill-ride excites me, I respect myself and I know that I am more important than one night that I’ll beat myself up over. I need to keep reminding myself of this mantra (even when it comes to Ben). I am still important. I still matter and so does my happiness.

I have been down in the dumps for a long time and only able to see the negatives in all areas. This kind of thinking of course casts all of the diamonds, emeralds and rubies in my life in shadow and prevents them from drawing my eye. Of course things aren’t perfect but I have some positives that I can and should dwell on for longer. I should be more thankful for the things I have achieved. When I tell myself these things I know that I have been a lucky girl and it’s only when I tell myself why that I feel this way…” 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsPleasant evening

I don’t have a lot of time now because Ben and I go away tomorrow with his best friend Carl to the seaside. Both Carl and I have made a strong effort to be nice to each other and find common ground for Ben’s sake. He’s actually a decent bloke when he’s not talking utter rubbish about WoW… a subject I’m sure he finds scintillating. He hasn’t actively put me down in about 8 months now.

After yesterday’s encounter with Harrison (AKA my “stalker”) I was feeling low because part of me wants to give in to him just so I have something to feel guilty about and just so I stop whinging. Ben did other things today that show how little he respects my wishes and that made me angry. I cried after he’d left and I went out tonight on my own for a few hours before he came in from work. Harrison did not turn up tonight (and I was glad) so I didn’t have to put on my fighting face. I sat, drank coffee and talked with my girlfriends. It was most pleasant. I wasn’t stressed or angry. To my amusement, Ben popped up half way through the evening just to give me a cuddle and brought me some fish and chips in case I was hungry.

Ben and I have a big anniversary of 5 years rapidly approaching (since we rekindled our friendship). I still remember the “date” vividly in my head. Ben has told our friends that he doesn’t believe in celebrating it. We’ll see what he does. I’ve never had a card for our anniversary. It’ll be interesting I’m sure because people keep telling me that 5 years is a milestone that I should expect a text or a card or something for but they evidently do not know Ben! I will not be holding my breath. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsI give up

Today I was feeling ok. Ben hacked me off yesterday by telling his friends that I had been moaning about how they treat me and because of that they should step off. I don’t understand why you’d do that particularly while we’re all about to embark on a pleasant evening as a group of people? I thought a 5 year relationship was something you’d be working at together to smooth the cracks. Us against the world. But it’s not, it’s us in everything that suits him and when he doesn’t want it to be ‘us’ it’s just me on my own being a moaning myrtle. I don’t feel particularly special at the moment.

Anyway, I went to a BBQ after he’d gone to work. I got there and within 21 minutes my stalker had arrived. The pretty guy that entices me in with his looks, charm and wit. I was not amused. I got up and went for a walk. He stayed away as I made it clear that I didn’t need him around too. My friends encouraged him to come near and he took the gentlemanly approach and asked them to leave it. He said Hello, asked how I was and left it to pleasantries. Then as he left an hour later after saying very little to me he shook my friends hands and then took mine and shook it, turned it over in his and kissed the back of it. He winked at me and then left without looking back. After he’d left, my friends announced to everyone at the BBQ that we’ve got a thing going on and that his charmingness makes me smile and never fails to light me up. Several gags later about how I shone brighter than the sun for him and how my smile grows massively and how he makes me feel good (at which I just sat there like a dummy). Following this Jules announced loudly that “Not every man is like Ben.” I’m annoyed with myself but I can still feel my skin bristle. I don’t have the space to think things through because I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I need support and space to talk things through not someone pushing me to act rashly and without any sense of responsibility.

I’m so annoyed with Ben and I’m worried that our relationship won’t last and I think that’s where my uncertainties stem from. How do you know when something is right? How much fixing and working at something is too much? How do I know if it’s my problems and not his which are ultimately causing arguments? How will things get better? Will they ever change?

I really need someone to decode my head right now. I’m certainly not in a “certain” state of mind. Changeable! But why? And how do I change it? 2 years ago


There is very little space to do anything at the moment. I am in the midsts of a very busy time at work and my social life hasn’t been so busy in recent months. I’ve got training for next year, Ofsted visits, reports due, a birthday party, a birthday meal, a trip to the theatre, the leavers meal, my Grandfather’s birthday, a sleepover, another theatre trip, clubbing, a wine and cheese night with my boss which is looking set to be very scary, prize-giving evening and a host of other events all stacked up over the next two weeks. I am enjoying the busy-ness although it is tiring me out an awful lot more than I thought it would.

I’ve not had much time to think about a lot but I have realised that I have the power to make my life the way I want it. I have the power to say no. I have the power to make people feel happy or sad. I also have the power to make myself happy or sad. And most of all I have the power to make sure there is balance.

If I want to spend a day in bed to feel rested then I am allowed to do so because I’m my own boss- despite my pay-check saying otherwise. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsHigh Praise Indeed

I have had a really pleasant day today. I’ve been making more of an effort to look good in the mornings which helps me to feel better. I’ve started wearing contact lenses and doing my hair. The kids have, of course, noticed. One asked me “You’ve changed. Did you do it for Ben?” and I replied “No, I’m still the same. I just did my hair differently because I wanted to.” I also got told that I look like a teenager without my glasses on which is a little bit scary.

I was told by two year seven girls who don’t know me yet that they think I’m beautiful… and that made my day. I know that’s sad but it’s easy to forget how much a compliment can make another person smile. I am thankful for youthful comments from mouths that aren’t too scared to say what they think or to dish out praise willingly to an old hag of a teacher yet. They will have those delightful ways squashed out of them by peer-pressure in a year.

My mission is to give out more praise to children because if I feel good when they say nice things then imagine how they feel. I think I am going to do award ceremonies and really praise those who absolutely deserve it because they go above and beyond. Moreover I’m going to just praise them ALL until they feel like those kids being fussed over by irritating aunties, pretending they hate it but really loving it. Kill them with kindness so to speak! 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsLearning to breathe on my own

Have any of my mini-goals come to fruition? The answer is probably “No!”. I have to be honest and say that the last couple of weeks haven’t been very productive. I’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook and a lot of time thinking but not a lot of time doing anything permanent.

I said I had a lack of romance and quality time. There is still this but we’ve had a couple of nights together where we’ve just talked til we’ve fallen asleep, watched romantic movies and Ben’s even cooked me dinner- TWICE. Over half term we went out for a couple of romantic dates. Ben’s asked me to move in with him but I’m being hesitant because I’m just not sure that it’s what is right for us right now. I told him everything that I was feeling from this box, we both cried and I think we’re now back where we should be. I saw Harry again at a party but this time he was just a pretty face, which goes to show that my weaknesses came from the flaws in my relationship with Ben. We’re on the up at the moment- or so I think.

Obviously I went out more because I met Harry through friends who don’t like Ben. It was a deliberate ploy for their entertainment. I’ve made some new friends now but this is still somewhere I need to work things out. I do go out more often on my own now. I planned visits with my Nan (shes’s my favourite person) and I went out with work colleagues a couple of times. I also plodded off out with some new girlfriends and went to the theatre with my best friend. I’ve got some diamonds in there.

I’m doing more and this is reducing the arguments. I did the required amount of ironing, washing and cleaning over the last couple of weeks to get them to shut up. I have realised that the spending time together is a two way street. BUT I hugged my dad over 5 times which is more than we’ve done in 2 years. I’m making an effort not to ignore him or yell back. So far, touch wood, it seems to be working.

Takes over my life. 98% of the time I spend is on work. <—This is still the case! It still drives me nuts that I work all the time. Yesterday I worked from 10am to 7pm and that was a Saturday. Today I’ll be working a good 2-3 hours, despite the fact that it’s Sunday. I do need to work out my work-life balance but no one has told me how to do this yet. I guess it’s one I’ll figure out with time and careful planning.

Don’t really have any anymore. This is still the case BUT with some careful focus in this area I’ll do more.

Leisure Time
Still no big adventures. I have, however, recognised my need to have things to look forward to. I’ve booked some Shakespeare tickets for next month and some West End touring tickets to see Grease. I’m really hoping that scheduling in some ‘bigger’ events will make the difference here.

Charitable donations
Charity work has fallen by the wayside. I am less motivated and can’t find the time. (Still the same).

Personal growth
Fits and bursts at the moment. I still do this through my little blue book and my black book and 43things but I’m making a lot less progress.

Alone Time
I had yesterday on my own but I spent it on planning. I’ve begun having 2 nights a week to just do whatever I choose, while Ben does the same.

Chores and Homework
Always working and I resent it.

I have enough so I can’t complain here. I’m shorter than I’ve ever been due to the theatre tickets that I booked on one whimsy and a host of other purchases to keep myself happy. I’ve almost paid for my very expensive dental bills and I’ve almost saved enough for a small deposit on a house. I’m beginning to set longer term goals here and I know that after the summer I’m going to begin putting £200 a month into savings, all being well!

Health and Fitness
I went through a couple of days, eating healthily and doing exercise again. I got back on the Wii fit and I really stopped the chocolate. Work became stressful and I stopped. I AM going back to this tomorrow. I would say today but I had Frosties for breakfast and I don’t think sugar-coated cereal can really count as healthy… can it?! 2 years ago


So… I am here again. This seems to be my number one goal at the moment and I suppose rightly so because it kinda sums up all the other ones and shoves them under an umbrella.

I spent a couple of hours compartmentalising my life. My friends told me that it was a bad idea because I’d only be able to focus on the negatives but I think this was really helpful. I’ve identified the things that are making me unhappy which conversely will help me to forge on with making my dreams happen.

I got these areas out of my little spider diagram:

Lack of romance and that I want more really desperately. Lack of quality time. Computer games do my head in. Ben’s debts. That I’m still waiting for something to move us forward. That we don’t have things in common. That we are living different lives entirely. That at times I don’t know if we’re going to make it and I’m tempted to look elsewhere for the things I want.

Very few friends since I began working longer hours. Don’t have time to keep on top of their news. Missed a few key dates this year which makes me feel bad. Still missing Luke 2 years down the line.

Feel guilty continuously for not having enough time to spend quality time. Arguments with parents because I’m living at home.

Takes over my life. 98% of the time I spend is on work.

Don’t really have any anymore.

Leisure Time
Once upon a time I made adventures happen in my leisure time. Now I don’t.

Charitable donations
Charity work has fallen by the wayside. I am less motivated and can’t find the time.

Personal growth
I still do this through my little blue book and my black book and 43things but I’m making a lot less progress.

Alone Time
What’s that?

Chores and Homework
Always working and I resent it.

I have enough so I can’t complain here. I’d like a new car or to buy a house in the long run. Ben’s money worries me though- if we’re going to last it out, he needs to stop hiding things.

Health and Fitness
Fat, don’t do exercise, don’t eat the right things, don’t look after myself and I need to do so. 2 years ago


This goal has been stagnating recently. Not because I haven’t been thinking but because I’ve reached a kind of aporia. I feel like I’m a stuck record.

I started reading a book some months ago and I was making good progress on developing my inner-self with the help of this book. I’d become positive about the things I was doing. I think that’s truly what I mean by “Give myself space to breathe and grow on my own”. But suddenly everything has stopped and I’m not sure that I know why.

I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday; by this I mean that I sat and I cried to myself about how lost I feel in my life. There’s this voice inside that tells me I’m a waste of space. Then there’s this voice that, like a 1950s housewife, wants the world to think that all is perfect. The contradiction is truly overwhelming. I love Ben but we’re not happy and he can’t give me what I want. Moreover, he doesn’t take my goals seriously and he says that, when I talk about goals and moving forward, it gets his back up. We’re a contradiction in ourselves because he’s a computer-geek who works in customer services and hasn’t changed in the last 5 years while I’m constantly moving … at least i’m trying to. Then of course I’m tempted by Harrison who is dynamic and individual but I know I wont go anywhere near him for fear of losing what I’ve got. And let’s face it, the thrill of an evening with someone like Harrison wouldn’t be worth giving up on something that at one point could make me happier than anything else. But in being tempted I am questioning the foundations of my relationship. I told Ben things have to change but I don’t know where to start and I can already see that we’re going to brush stuff under the carpet.

My job is making me miserable because it takes over every inch of my life, while I know it’s one of the most rewarding careers I’ve ever encountered.

Living with my parents is driving me nuts but I’m too scared to commit to being a grown up person on my own.

My friends are virtually non-existent because work took over and I became unreachable.

I know it’s all mine to change, but I am incredbly lost in a world that doesn’t ever stand still long enough for me to decide on my own what I want to change and thus by moving fast, I am standing still. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsI am LOST

I don’t feel very much like me anymore and I don’t really know what that means as a statement… I just know that I’m changing and I don’t think I can keep up. I started drinking again for fun. I started going out again. I started dressing up. I started arguing with Ben.

I went out on Saturday night and the Heath look-alike tracked me down. He’s called Harrison. He was suitably charming the whole evening and despite my avoiding him, he found me. I was ever so slightly flattered by his persistence. This is what? 2-3 weeks of knock-backs now.

On Sunday night he was at a friend’s house and he sat there and did card tricks for me. At the end he said “Come back to mine and I’ll show you how they’re done.” I really wanted to go but I didn’t because only dangerous things come of going back to attractive men’s houses when you are tipsy.

On Monday night Ben and I went to the pub. We were eating our dinner with some friends. Ben finished first, got his mates and moved pubs to somewhere else without me. I’m beginning to feel like we’re living separate public lives. He’s not the same outside our house. I was still eating. It was so incredibly rude that at first I just tried to laugh it off. One in a long line of offences this week on his part. Anyway, instead of trekking off to find him my friends and I went to a house-party. It was a small gathering of 10 people. As the evening went on I got increasingly drunk. Then Harrison came in. He did some more awesome optical illusions and then avoided my eye for the first 20 minutes. The deliberate aversion was alluring in itself. I was laying on the floor watching his every move like an awed school child. Eventually he sat on the floor with me and made polite chit chat but he held my gaze intently all of a sudden. It was really sexy. He got me a drink and then said, “I’m really tired. I’ve been told your boyfriend’s being a dick so I’m not going to take advantage but do you want to come back with me? I want to play you a song on my guitar.” It was like cat and mouse for a good 2 hours. He then asked my cousin if he would “Woo me” on his behalf very loudly. I was the talk of everyone, watching to see if I’d bite. I liked the attention. |My cousin said, “He’s a decent lad… but he is a lad.” People began to leave but Harrison did not. I was watching TV with my cousin’s girlfriend at this point when he did the whole ‘yawn-arm-round-me’ thing and then flopped his head onto my knee. I stroked his hair and we talked some more utter rubbish. He seemed like he’d gone to sleep when he said “Darling do you want to come back with me now? I just wanna hang out and get to know you.” and he looked up with these big blue, puppy dog eyes and I said “I’m drunk and angry at Ben… I would regret whatever I did if I left here with you.” and he then replied “I’ll keep chasing. I’ve got to have you.”

I’m liking the thrill of the chase. The thing that scares me is I’m in a relationship. I shouldn’t be enjoying myself this much, flirting with a beautiful man. And he is that… beautiful. But I’m sure he’s more of a player than Shakespeare. 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsI pulled LOL

Do you ever wonder how things would be different if you had walked another path, taken a different exit or simply said “Yes” instead of “No!”? Sometimes I do and then I decide that it really doesn’t matter. We can’t change the choices we’ve already made. I am really quite happy with everything in my life right now- except my job and I suppose there’s always the possibility that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side? Maybe?

I met a stranger at a party the other week who was the spit of Heath. Ben had decided to ditch me for the evening and said I should party alone which was fair enough. I need my space & so does he. This strange Heath-like man made a direct beeline for me at a party and it was as if a lot of hidden memories and hidden feelings came back to haunt me. I drank a little which I haven’t done for a very, very long time and I was having an amazing time with my girlfriends. I laughed like I haven’t laughed in a very long time. Anyway, it got to about 2am and the party began to wind down. I began to sobre up and I scoffed a chocolate bar. When I moved away, the guy moved nearer. We had a good conversation going and it was all very interesting, him telling me how chocolate is bad for you. He’s a DJ, as Heath was. He even had the same tatts as Heath had. He properly checked me out when I walked into the room- top to toe look and then when I took my jacket off he let out steam. It was kinda gross but at the same time totally flattering. It’s been a long while since I’ve been out and had that kind of attention. I thought I’d gotten too old at 24 to have blokes with their tongues hanging out, fauning. Then my friend Jay said “Ben doesn’t look at you like that anymore. He’s not good enough for you. He’s a…” and I took as much of ‘slate Ben’ as I could before I walked away and shut the door in Jay’s face. He followed, apologised and asked me why I loved Ben still and I replied “He opens doors for me. Behind closed doors he tries so hard to be sweet and sincere. He sends me little love notes and he knows my facial expressions back to front. People don’t think he’s good enough but they don’t know him. I get the same from my Dad but… that’s OK Jay… you don’t have to understand it. He’s lovely and long as I know that that’s all that matters!”

I returned to the party and ate another chocolate bar. This guy asked me about my boyfriend, staring intently and I avoided him as best I could. As I walked away he put his hand on my leg. He then said “Do you want to come back to mine and get to know me? You’re lovely. My bed’s really comfy. You should try it out.” Killer chat up line. NOT. I got in a taxi and went home to my own bed LOL.

An interesting evening. But I choose Ben. It’s always Ben, even when I’m thinking it’s not. He’s the one I come home to. The one who puts up with me even when I’m in full PMT sob mode. The one who catches my chin like I’m a child when he wants a kiss and the one who, despite all his silly little quirks that are irritating beyond belief, I love. He is the one.

I was having a week where at points I too forgot why. Wondering where the fun and frivolity in my life has gone, I realise that it’s always there just in different forms sometimes. Life is, afterall, about choices. When I chose between Heath and Ben, I made the right choice. That is a certainty. 2 years ago

Bente2012 2 years ago

Bente2012Hmm, I guess this is also me

Today I said something loud & stupid…sorry studio-people 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsToday I've been successful...

I have successfully rejigged an old scheme of work so that it looks like it might work with my Year 9 class. I have done this all day from the comfort of beneath my duvet as I ‘recover’ or continue to wallow in the stinking cold/chest infection that doesn’t appear to want to go away. BLEH!

I have bought a brand new dress from Warehouse on the internet for a grand total of £8.25 (bargains are awesome) and I’ve sat and looked at stuff on Facebook/YouTube/ebay/other random sites.

After deciding that laying in bed, going through boxes and boxes of Kleenex because of my streaming eyes and nose and scowling at various internet pages, was not doing me any good… I cooked some dinner, made up a side plate of fruit salad, washed up from last night, hoovered the downstairs and cleaned the kitchen floor (in between gasping for breath and berating the germs!)

I need to do something because I’ve been ill on and off for the last 3 weeks which I guess tells me I’m a little bit run-down and that I’ve allowed myself to relax a little bit over the last few weeks and that’s caused this massive onslaught of sicknesses/viruses and bugs. Needless to say I feel utterly pants but it’s just cold/flu viruses and I could plough on with my day. For once thought I’ve decided to allow myself some time to kick back and rest. I’m going to go to bed in 20 minutes. Might watch some TV and do nothing else.

Of course then when I do get better I’ll have treble the workload to catch up on. But I think I need to allow myself time to get well again before I worry about getting a million pieces of work marked or whatever! 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsAnother evening

of watching trashy films, cooking dinner for Ben and others and doing not a lot else has passed me by.

I keep a little blue book of my dreams by the side of my bed. The things I long to just go out there and get and they are growing rapidly which I suppose is a good thing because I’ve still got dreams. Time was I’d cross one off for every new dream I had still to grab.

Things I wish to do in my life vary a lot but I haven’t read them in a while. There’s in excess of 300 things. Some of those I’ve crossed off and a vast majority are still there for the taking. Things like: Try star-fruit, watch the sunrise over the ocean, have my palm read, see a firefly, learn to play poker, climb a tree, wrap my body in bubblewrap and roll down a hill, get a massage, finish my novel, throw a paper aeroplane, go to the ice hotels, see snow fall in NYC, watch the sunset in the skyscrapers of Calgary, learn to sail a boat, send a postsecret, celebrate Halloween like a kid, watch a thunderstorm, get a tattoo, have an un-birthday party, go strawberry picking, sing, have a picnic in my bedroom, help to make someone’s dreams come true, learn more mythology, make my own fimo jewellery, book a holiday with Ben, slide down a slide, try a cosmopolitan, send Luke a message, volunteer at a soup kitchen, go rollerskating again, successfully complete my induction, kiss a prince, go to my first prom as a fully fledged teacher…etc

Last week I crossed off: Complete my Phase 2 induction and survive my first Ofsted inspection. I also crossed off “Send Birthday Thankyou letters” and go to the opera again because I saw Madama. Butterfly @ the theatre with my Mum which was most pleasant! I also had my last implant appointment for a year. I have crossed off (provisionally) “have my implants done”!

This week I will aim to: make/ practise making a piece of fimo jewellery; sing to some awful rubbish on my way to school. Possibly take some random pictures. Go for a walk with Ben and maybe build a sandcastle if the weather picks up. Hmmm. Here’s to an interesting week! 2 years ago

spreadyourwingsToday I watched Hairspray

...and a host of other ‘feel good films’. I watched Link getting close to Tracy and I felt all warm and fuzzy. I’m not usually a Zac Efron fan but I am partial to his singing voice. I found myself oggling at him like he was Prince Charming with his colgate-white smile. In every film there’s some male totty that I find myself swooning over (of course there is because that’s why they’re there!) while sipping my luke-warm tea and scoffing rich tea biscuits as I grow ever more miserable that my life is not like a movie.

I’ve sat for a while pondering the human condition in this manner. Simultaneously marking a ridiculous pile of homework where kids can’t spell and more to the point do not care about it, wondering what other things I could be doing instead of marking homework that no one really gives a sod about. What resulted was a general feeling of melancholy and despair. The Conclusion:

Disney films gave me an unrealistic view of life when I was little. I have walked around waiting for Prince Charming to swoop down and save me from myself and to make it all better. I’ve held onto that ideology for a very long time. I still believe in romance though I have never really seen romance for myself except in films. Men have bought flowers, teddies, chunks of the past, food, chocolates & Ben once offered to fly me to the moon but it’s somehow not enough LOL.

Hear me out- I sound like a psycho here. I think we always want what we can’t have. We want perfection and we can’t have it because it doesn’t exist! I’m on holiday at the moment but because I’m not away in some far off place I have nothing to be particularly excited about except more time to mark and watch TV that makes me feel bad about myself. Waffle, waffle, waffle. Put bluntly I’ve just realised how little I have to do in my life, how little adventure is left and how little I go out of my way to get what I want. I don’t have passion or excitement.

When I was chatting to Jules the other day (a complete idiot of a bloke but a good conversationalist) he said ‘You really don’t have a life. You don’t have hobbies. You should go out and get something!’ All of the above is true.

And ALL OF THE ABOVE scares me! 2 years ago


I’m sat here looking at holidays online. I’ve just realised that there’s no hope of Ben and I affording this again this year because school holidays are always so expensive to go away during. Then of course there’s the need to actually get time off together. I want to go away really desperately. I don’t care where we go. It could be skegness or cuba, alaska or bognor… I just don’t care.

Ben mirrors this but he just isn’t interested at all. He couldn’t give a flying monkey about holidays at all. In fact when I ask him to sit and look with me he stares into space and makes no useful contribution. He says “Whatever- just book something and I’ll turn up.” There’s nothing quite like being on your own with something like this. I could book something and then he’d say ‘I never said I’d go there.’ and then where would we be?

Ben’s been away this weekend with the boys racing/watching racing. He got back and was supposed to be popping by. He text me instead because he’s tired. It’s lonely being the only one who wants to do stuff as a couple. We were going away for 3 nights this week… nothing’s booked. In truth- nothing happens because Ben is holding me back. I get annoyed at him but he has never pretended to be anything he’s not. He’s always been apathetic. I knew what I was getting into… now I’m trying to change him. I know that’s wrong of me. But someday I do hope he’ll at least get interested in doing something romantic/coupley again. 2 years ago

See more:   Entries

People doing this are also doing these things:


I want to:
43 Things Login