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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Publish 50 blog postings in 2012


Recent activity


Holly 2 years ago

Holly52. My customer service motto

Today we had a great discussion about customer service. I always forget that I have a bit of an odd resume in terms of serving customers. I got my first job (where I paid taxes) when I was 14. It was too young by legal standards but no one seemed to notice. So at a relatively young age I started learning the difference between features and benefits and that some customers just can’t be pleased.

I worked for McDonald’s and The Bay among other jobs. Both had some form of customer service training and these trainings sunk in at a really impressionable age. I learned that when serving the customer you don’t get to have a bad day—you put on your game face and go out there and smile and serve.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

Holly51! My Secret Starbucks Habit

I recently forwarded this book list of the 10 Best Philosophy and Psychology Books of 2012 from Brain Pickings to a friend. She’s looking for a job and thinking about starting her own business.

In my email I said that sending her links on looking for a job or starting your own business would probably be more useful – but that I’m enjoying thinking recently. Things have settled down: parenting, daycare, new job, commute. I have time to think about things. It’s a good thing I have so many things to think about. I’m thinking about leadership and work balance. I’m thinking about ways I can be a better person – better as a member of the human race and more effective in living my life.

This week I’m still mulling over The Power of Habit. I’m looking for habits I have. I’m pretty happy where I am, so I’m not looking for change, rather I’m looking just to observe. It’s like when you read an article about the meaning of the relative length of your index finger you can’t help holding your hand up.

Read the rest at 2 years ago

Holly49. My Saturdays have chnaged

I woke up this morning, threw on some clothes and left the house. I barely brushed my hair and didn’t take my usual care putting on make-up and showering. I was going into work to wrap presents for a party I’m organizing at work.

It reminded me of all the times I used to be able to do such things—and more fun things when I woke up. I used to, for example, get up early and go for a long walk at Terra Nova. I’d do my shopping afterwards and come home at noon with a full day under my belt.

Read the rest at 2 years ago

HollyNo Kill like Overkill... or Why My Feet Smell Like I Stepped on the Donair Man!

On Friday, Baby was sent home from daycare because he had a fever. Yikes! After going to the doctor and all sorts of warnings of febrile seizures, we gave him Advil and waited.

His temperature went down and in seven hours or so he was raiding the cupboards like always. Whew!

Saturday I was at my course and dear husband stayed home and got totally infected with whatever bug had bitten the baby. Sunday the husband was cold and hot and fevered and freezing and achy and grumpy all at the same time. The baby was just great.

Yesterday husband was still sick. He stayed home from work and last night was even worse than the night before. He was a furnace and tossed and turned and coughed and moaned.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

Holly42. Better service, same great staff

As I turn from Bridgeport to my job, I often have to wait at the light. One of the furniture stores has a lighted sign out front that tells passers-by the time and temperature. It also has small advertising on it.

Last week the sign said, “Better service, same great staff.”

It made me groan on two fronts. One reason is that I can just imagine how they “improved” their service. Did they tell everyone to “be nice, or else?” Did they spend some money training their staff? Did they change their policies? Are they admitting that they used to have bad service?

The second question I wondered is how it would feel to be one of those “great” staff who was now giving better service. What would your friends say as they drove past? I felt like going in and asking what had improved. This week it just says, “Same Great Staff” so someone must have complained…

Read the rest at:

(YAY! 42 blog posts for the year! I didn’t think I would hit this goal… whoo hoo!) 2 years ago

HollyThe trouble with my dog

Bela is a good dog. She is loving and gentle. She tolerates us and the baby. She isn’t walked as often as she’d like or petted as often as she’d like. We don’t take her on adventures as much as we used to in a pre-baby world. When we do take her on adventures she has to spend at least some time curled up in the back of the car waiting… waiting for us to get a coffee, or stop for lunch or go to Costco.

She’s trained enough for us. Sure she gets really excited when she sees new people and she tries to pick up every stranger that passes her by. Her nose wouldn’t miss a sniff of pizza from here to Italy and she’ll grab a crust without hesitation.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyMiddle of the night blog on drive thrus

I live next door to a drive thru and the cars moving through it are part of my home existence—like a bird feeder. Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time up in the middle of the night and at home during the day. From my window I can see the staff waiting at the front doors at 7 am to be let in.

Read the rest at 2 years ago

HollyCrying isn't always sad

This morning, to celebrate his birthday I suppose, Baby woke us up twice screaming his little heart out. The first time he wanted a bottle, the second time love. I held him and he curled up and went back to sleep.

Last year on this day, I was the one sobbing. Labour was labour. I “pushed” for five hours and baby remained stuck. Because he was so early, and then because he was stuck the nurses and doctors prepared me for the worst.

Read the rest at 2 years ago

HollyOne year ago tonight I was very surprised

One year ago tonight I felt funny. I called the doctor and she said I should come to the hospital.”It’s probably nothing, but we should check.”

Probably nothing. So knowing that I might be in labour and knowing that labour is supposed to take a long time, we brought the dog to the hospital reasoning that they’d soon send us back and we’d take her for a walk before bed. “Oh,” she said before she hung up, “Bring your hospital bag.”

Read the rest at 2 years ago

HollyPost 26. Going to bed late, getting up early

I’m always in awe of these people who can get by going to bed at 11 pm and getting up at 5 am. They say things like, “I love getting up early, I get so much done.”

I’d love to be able to get up at 5 am and bounce around until nearly midnight. Think of the things I could do—read more books, write, do more freelance editing, exercise, meditate, learn tai chi, make homemade pasta, teach my dog to do fancy tricks.

Read the rest at 2 years ago

HollyJesus and parental career advice

This wooden frieze hangs in the nursing home that my Grandma used to live at. I used to stop and admire it on my way up to visit her.

Joseph is handing Jesus a wooden plank and I’m sure it’s meant to be foreshadowing of his eventual crucifixion.

But to me it tells a different story. There’s Mary taking Jesus to talk to her husband Joseph about career choices. Joseph is saying “Here, feel this wood. It’s solid. It smells good. A carpenter, that’s what you want to be little Jesus. Don’t bother with religion, it’s a phase everyone goes through. Look at the wood that G-d has given us and reflect on how wonderful it is.”

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyIt's ok to make mistakes

I hate making mistakes. Perhaps that’s why I disliked math and liked literature so much. In math there are clear “mistakes” but in language the lines between right and wrong are less defined so its harder to be wrong.

I’ve recently changed jobs and one of the internal values we hold is the idea that “It’s ok to make mistakes—really.” There’s also another saying that, “The only time one makes no mistakes in when they are sleeping.”

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyI'm in a women's leadership course

I am taking part in a fantastic women’s leadership program run by British Columbia’s Minerva Foundation.

Called Women Leading the Way, the course progresses over eight months and develops women leaders in the community. It’s a nice blend of classroom work (one weekend a month for six months), readings and a leadership project.

I like that it is a leadership course and talks to many really spectacular women about leadership. I’m happy to have the opportunity to take part. I want to be a leader in my community and in my career. I want to have the skills and tools to make things better. However, I’m always a bit uncomfortable with things that are only for women….

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyPregnant Pause

Now that I’ve been pregnant and had a baby, I understand people’s reactions to pregnancy so much more. Particularly people who have children. I expected people to want to tell me all sorts of things about labour and delivery and I had prepared myself with all sorts of snappy responses.

Not what I’d hoped for but still a dream delivery!
Instead everyone just smiled and nodded and didn’t say much. Now I know why. Having a baby has very little to do with labour and delivery. Having a baby is just a moment, or day or couple of hours that you won’t really remember.

What happens after that is where the real fun of being a parent is. First-time parents spend a lot of time reading prenatal books and going to prenatal classes

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyRenovation Reflections on Suburban Living

In the week leading up to my going-back-to-work week, we’re re-doing our kitchen. This was planned for a month ago so I wouldn’t feel so rushed to get it done before I head back to work. But life works in its own ways and things happen in their own time, so its happening now.

The chaos of kitchen renos..
On Friday the workers came to do a few things—install the panels for the undercabinet lighting, raise the kitchen countertops, replace the countertops in the kitchen and bathroom as well as the mantel for the fireplace, and finally, to replace the sink and install a new garburator.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago


Baby is sleeping in the other room and I`m sitting at my mom`s kitchen table eating olives. I bought a small container of them at Bosa and I`ve almost eaten the entire thing.

I didn’t like olives. I was used to those horrible slimy things from a can that people piled on pizza. They were strong tasting and strong smelling. I’d try to delicately pick them out from a dish if people were watching and if not, I’d slide them onto my date’s plate so he could enjoy them.

I didn’t try them until one day I was in France and landed in the little city of Orange.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyTime Travel Negatives

One of my maternity leave tasks has been to empty my photo albums and put the photographs in a box. Every time I touch the photos I feel like I’ve taken a step back in time. Now I’m six years old, now I’m 16. I re-live every minute, every peek at the carpet in the photograph or the clothes I am wearing is a step back in time. There’s a photo of my Grandpa and Grandma and they are so close I can smell them.

Looking at photos of my life brings a lot of reflection. I’m surprised at how clearly each image tells me a story, and aware that the story will be lost unless I record it. How much do I want to remember and record. Friendships that lasted and then fell apart? Times that looked happy but weren’t? Times that I was very happy but didn’t realize it until I saw the photographs 20 years later. Writing the dates on the back of my pictures with teeny tiny handwriting I see that 1992 was a fantastic year. I had a job I liked, went to Hawaii with my grandparents, had great friends and a really nice high school sweetheart. I didn’t realize it was such a highlight until just this week. It was also 20 years ago. How did that happen?

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyThe telephone ruined my generation

I remember when the telephone was the evil that we let into our home. I remember the news being full of stories of children who answered the phone and said, “No, my parents aren’t at home.”

Then, because the evil people knew the children were at home alone, countless innocent eight-year-olds were kidnapped and never seen again. Oh, if only those unfortunate children had said instead, “I’m sorry, my parents aren’t available right now.”

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyWhat does meditation feel like?

When I moved back to Canada from Germany I felt like there was something wrong with me. I had lots of back pain and stomach discomfort. The doctor said it was nothing, maybe nerves. So I became convinced my back/stomach discomfort was my fault. I felt like I hadn’t done something right and that’s why I was so uncomfortable.

I’ve always been pretty proactive—so I searched for answers. Yogurt, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, IMS (intramuscular stimulation or acupuncture from a physiotherapist), probiotics, garlic powder, melatonin, massage therapy, long walks on the beach, late nights spent watching Wayne Dyer on PBS. I tried to think positive and get enough sleep and drink enough water and eat enough fibre and smile more.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyThe struggle to sit

So baby is at the age where he’s able to sit on his own for relatively long periods of time. Without me close to him. With me across the room – not able to grab him if and when he tips over.

I want nothing more than to sit behind him and make sure he doesn’t fall and bonk his head. Even if he falls on a pillow, it just freaks me out. Everyone tells me that he will fall and bonk his head – often. I know that without me stepping back, he won’t have a chance to grow.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyThe Normalization of the University Experience

Graduation from high school was never an option for me. It was beyond the realm of consideration that I would graduate. Of course I would go to high school. My grandpa had a high school degree for goodness sakes!

But university was a bit different. Aside from my friends, many members of my family and their friends were quite shocked. “A degree?!” they would say, “In English Literature… but what are you going to do with that? Show me a job where you get paid to read books all day!” Or, my least favourite, “My niece/daughter/friend went to university and the best job she could get was at a shoe store. So now she has $10,000 in debt and tries to sell shoes all day.”

Read the entry at: 2 years ago

HollyBela's new best friend

The baby has finally realized the dog is also a living creature. He is entranced by Bela. He squawks out, “Un-la.” Which we assume means Bela. When she walks in the room his eyes light up and he starts waving his arms all over. I often call Bela into the room to distract him when he’s crying. One look and he smiles and coos for her.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyEight things I want to do before I return from maternity leave

So I’m going back to work in six short weeks and my husband will take over the daytime child duties. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent at home with my son and the fun things we’ve done together. We’ve gone for walks, and lunches and field trips. I’ve taken him to the movies and shopping. It’s been really neat to be off work but not unemployed. But I keep reminding myself that going back to work doesn’t mean I stop being a mom.

I’m working to plan the best return to work and introduction to being a working mom possible. So now, so I have time to take advantage of the time I have left, I’m starting to think of what I really want to get done in the next six weeks to make my return as good as possible. Here are the eight things I’m doing.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyHome photo time capsules

I take photos of stuff around the house. Basic boring stuff. A pile of papers on my desk. A mess of shoes on the floor. The view from my balcony.

See the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyAn interesting life....

I was watching TV and a woman was talking about giving up her Broadway dreams to teach. She felt like she had “failed” because she hadn’t made her dream come true.

So I was wondering what dreams I’ve given up on. It’s part staying at home and having more time to think and watching my son get older so fast and realize I’m doing the same. I realized that my one dream was always to have an interesting life. I never wanted to be rich, I never wanted to be a pop star or a movie star. I never wanted to be in the Olympics or have my art shown in a big gallery.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyV.E.G (Very Expensive Garlic)

I’ve always liked garlic. I know it’s not the most trendy thing to love. It smells potent, it stays around for too long, old people smell of garlic, vampires hate it. All reasons that people don’t often talk about how much they love this little flowery bulb of goodness.

I used to have a job counting money for a retail store. Yep, that was my job “Money Counter”. I’m not sure what my official title was, but I used to come in first thing in the morning and unlock the huge vault and start counting. I counted hundreds of thousands of dollars, not all at once, but at Christmas the total Brinks picked up was far more than my annual salary. I used to think it was so odd that I could wander around the mall with all the codes and keys to this vast fortune and no one would look twice at me.

Read the rest at: 2 years ago

HollyCrisis of Confidence

When I was 18, I went through a huge old age crisis. If you could read my journals, which you can’t because they are locked on my bookcase, you would think I was 80 years old when I wrote them. Looking at my life in 1993, I could count every one of a million opportunities I had missed. I regretted not trying out for the basketball team in Grade 8 – secretly I really liked playing basketball and could actually get balls in the basket with some ease. I regretted not going on any school trips – my part-time jobs would have covered most of the expenses, and my school has trips to cool places like Japan, Guatemala or even Seattle. I didn’t feel like I was the type of kid that did that.

I felt that I had missed some important exits and was on the Highway to Nowhere.

Read the rest at 2 years ago

HollyPlay like no one is watching

So the baby is upstairs. He’s in his crib and cooing and singing away to his toys. It sounds a little like he’s going to cry but he’s not. One of the hardest things for me is to just leave him alone. He needs time to play with his toes and his toys and sing songs to himself. Of course he doesn’t spend his whole day like this. We spend lots of time cuddling and walking and playing. Furthermore, if he gets upset and starts crying, I’ll go up and fix whatever’s wrong.

But as he sings his little song, I want to…

Read the rest at 2 years ago

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