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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feel like I am exactly where I'm meant to be


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Opera RiotOn top of a full work day,

we had an “after dark” program at the science museum. 500 kids from the Boys and Girls Club came in to our little museum and ran rampant. It was an absolute blast. I love my job in the first place—hanging out with kids and doing hands-on science projects with them is fun as hell and super-fulfilling—but I got my “start” working with at-risk kids & inner-city community centers. The wild event we had tonight felt like coming home for me, but not just that—I finally felt like I’d honed all of the skills that had been in their embryonic stage years ago when I began working with kids.

There is a particular pleasure to feeling—there it is!—exactly where you’re meant to be. 12 months ago

Opera RiotThings are coming together

I’ve been feeling lately like I finally have the opportunity to show what I’m made of. My classes are going really well—it’s a lot of work, but it’s all really interesting and really fulfilling. I’m reading most of my waking hours, or talking about ideas from the reading, or at work teaching people cool things about how the physical world works, OR spending my precious spare time with people I love deeply.

The instructor for one of my seminars contacted me to invite me to become involved in her research—or, at the very least, to get paid to help with some of the field work. This could be a HUGE deal for me—she’s much more involved in mentorship than the Dr. who heads up the lab I’ve worked with in the past. The new research is in a slightly different, albeit related field, and would give me a lot of relevant experience and as well as unique insights within my own field.

The only thing I could hope to do better is get more exercise, but I am biking or walking a lot more overall—just no concerted effort. That might be the final piece of the puzzle—creating a fitness routine within my work and study. 15 months ago

sitruunapuu 18 months ago

gitana17 20 months ago

Opera RiotA few big things:

1. The possibility of a “permanent part time” job as “land steward”
2. The possibility of owning a house
3. The possibility of owning a home with my partner

I sometimes feel like I’ve been standing in place for too long, sometimes because I’ve been traipsing around the same physical territories most of my life, but there are times when possibilities open up that reveal just how much has come to pass, how many invisible, intangible, invaluable things I’ve built. 21 months ago

Opera RiotHere's the thing I got my hopes up about the other day,

minus the part dependent upon somebody else:
Living in my old neighborhood, riding my bike downtown to work or to shows, collaborating and performing and showcasing projects.

The first times I fell in love, I was in love with how those people lived their lives. I wanted to be part of it. I had a better idea of what I wanted in my own life. 2 years ago

Opera RiotPut your head down and plow ahead

Things will not be great for a while—it’ll be a while before I can live on my own again—but I guess it’s a matter of making the best of things. It makes me feel a little despondent, but after looking at the numbers again… I have to resign myself to another year under someone else’s roof. I’ll be crazy-busy, so it’ll be bearable (if only by the virtue of being something I literally won’t have time to dwell on). It’ll be ok—home life is soooo important, but if I can’t change it, then I can’t change it, and it’ll be more worthwhile to channel my attention to the things I can control. 2 years ago

Opera RiotUntitled

This is such a challenge for me. When busyness drops away and I have time and space to really look at my life, I get anxious to be anywhere else. Lily Tomlin said that forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past, and I think part of it is that I haven’t forgiven myself for a difficult, drawn-out coming of age: I’m frustrated because I want to be done with school and have enough money to make choices out of something other than necessity, and it feels like this part of my life should’ve wrapped up years ago (as it did for many of my peers). I guess this is part of the Facebook abstinence—it’s easier for me to see my own progress and trajectory when I’m not tempted to compare myself with someone else (who started out with a very different hand to play).

Where I want to be? A rainforest, a sleepy beach town, a co-op house, a hot spring, a studio (a studio a studio a studio!), the middle of nowhere with a backpack, on a bicycle in her neighborhood, at a desk writing poems.

Where I am? Two miles from the house I grew up in, two miles from where ancestors on either side of my family settled before the Civil War, twenty miles outside of the city, fifteen minutes from my research site (40 minutes from my lab), twenty minutes from the bookstore, in a room with an open window in a house that the trees tower over and playing a CD mix I made 9 years ago with killdeer and starlings competing for soundspace.

I’m going to be able to go back to the sangha; I think sitting down to work on insight meditation is where I need to be. 2 years ago

DayDreamer37 3 years ago

DayDreamer37This is a good moment...

I worked hard today at work, came home to a healthy dinner. I’ll do some excercise, write a little then go to bed. First I think I’ll look at my vision board. 2 years ago

Opera RiotYesterday

Walking along the river, a chilly wind but a big blue sky. 2 years ago

Opera RiotToday

Happiness is simple sometimes, but it’s a delicate balance. Today: an unhurried morning, bright, clear skies, the beginning of something. It felt good—Steve and I were both much more deliberate and realistic about our scheduling this semester, so it should be challenging but not miserable. I’ve been making up large batches of food to heat up or pack for lunch, I’m getting exercise, I’m spending time relaxing… I think this might work. 2 years ago

DayDreamer37Eating breakfast...

and thinking about the day ahead: errands, work, the book I’ll read on the train, my to-do list etc—and feeling good about everything. 2 years ago

DayDreamer37There's nothing I could have done...

I sometimes think back over the last 15 years and wonder: what could I have done to ease the pressure and the misery? And really there’s nothing I could have done accept leave the situation—which is what two generations of women before me did.

I think I perhaps could have had a more lucrative career, but that wasn’t realistic for me. For someone like me with no parental role models, I HAD to take off 15 years to concentrate on motherhood. To be there for them.

I could have painted, but I didn’t know I had the ability to do that. I could have hired someone, but let’s face it there’s no way I would have spent the money on something like that…

I was where I was meant to be and I am also there right now. There’s nothing I could have done and there’s nothing more I can do now—except what I’m already doing. 2 years ago

Opera Riotjourney vs. destination

New Year’s Eve was a trip—I’ve been to punk houses and collective houses before, but none that have been rural, much less Christian. The collective we visited is a group of anarchist (non-hierarchical), primitivist (critical of interference with the environment, including intensive agriculture), radical-Christians (sort of like Catholic-worker collectives, but more green-and-black than red-and-black). The house members are involved in a habitat restoration project, initiated by a land-owner and funded by conservation grants (not purists, but they’re getting things done).

The food was good (potluck, of course), and the music was really great—I could get into the spirit of it (no pun intended), even though a lot of the lyrics were religious. I’d overhear people talking about collapse and freedom and wilderness, like an any other radical gathering, but Jesus was came up just as often. It was dreadlocks, dogs, half-feral toddlers, patched-up clothes, and tattoos of the cross.

It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in any radical community—a series of falling-outs with different acquaintances has led me to whittle down my social circle, and other circumstances (my move, upping the ante with school) have made it harder to commit to much activism. It was refreshing to go and party at the collective house—I still really want that sort of close-knit, value-centered lifestyle—but at the same time I was struck by being merely a guest, standing outside of their lives while looking in.

As much as I live for learning, it’s hard for me to take school as an end to itself—it’s training, it’s foundation-building, and it’s stressful. It feels like a trade-off—where I want to be in exchange for where I am. I have a hard time balancing living in a healthy and fulfilling way given the sacrifices involved in being successful in my courses. I’m confident that I’m on the right path and that things will get better with time, but in the meantime I feel isolated and sort of repressed: there aren’t a lot of outlets for other important parts of my life when I’ve prioritized my time and energy to school.

In a way, I know I’m selling myself short—it takes effort to connect to people, have fun, and spend time on things where the process is more important than the product, but it’s ultimately energizing. I really need to commit to process—it used to drive me crazy when I worked with people on projects and they neglected to address HOW something was done, focusing on ends instead of means, when how you do something is largely what you do. Now I’m the one who needs that reminder. 2 years ago

Opera RiotThere are times....

when I dip into a mood so brutal that my life is laid bare before my judgments. It’s a pretty miserable place to be, but the silver lining is the way it propels me into action, the way it makes it impossible for me to live a comfortably mundane life.

There are only so many changes I can make while I’m in school, but it’s really changes that affect day-to-day quality of life that seem to matter. 3 years ago

Opera RiotBad timing, ironically

I’ve been getting reminders for this goal in my e-mail lately, and it’s rubbing me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because it’s winter, maybe it’s because of the let-down from this last semester, I’m sure it’s a combination of things—but I feel very far from “where I’m meant to be” these days, and I’m having a hard time imagining where I’d like to be.

I’ve been hollowed out a bit, and it’s time to start bringing things back into my life. 3 years ago

Opera Riot 3 years ago

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