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How’s It Going Today?

I’m feeling a little retrospective and nostalgic today, so if you’ll indulge me, I’m going to acknowledge a couple of personal milestones.

1. Today marks 19 years of me doing as a full-time job. What. The. Actual. F? I kinda can’t believe it. Before this, the longest I’d ever stayed at a job was about two years…and the average was closer to 9-12 months. Aside from dropping out of grad school to bet my life on the World Wide Web, choosing to turn this website into my job is the best decision I’ve ever made.

Some of you may not know this, but when I went full-time, I ran a three-week “pledge drive” to fund my activities on the site. In 2005, this was an almost unheard-of thing to do — people did not send money to strangers over the internet for their personal websites. But it worked: that initial boost sustained me that first year and allowed me to build this career sharing the best of the internet with you. Those brave folks got a pretty good return on their risky investment, I’d say.

Several years ago, I circled back to the idea of a reader-funded site and since then, the membership program has completely transformed the site and my engagement with the work I do here. Incredibly, some of the folks who supported me back in 2005 are still supporting me today — a huge thank you to them and to everyone else who has supported the site along the way.

2. This is a less-obvious milestone with diffuse edges but one that came to mind this morning as I looked back at some photos from a couple of years ago. When I announced I was taking a sabbatical in May 2022, I wrote about my fiddle leaf fig and the metaphorical connection I seem to have with it:

I’d brought this glorious living thing into my house only to kill it! Not cool. With the stress of the separation, my new living situation, and not seeing my kids every day, I felt a little like I was dying too.

One day, I decided I was not going to let my fiddle leaf fig tree die…and if I could do that, I wasn’t going to fall apart either. It’s a little corny, but my mantra became “if my tree is ok, I am ok”. I learned how to water & feed it and figured out the best place to put it for the right amount of light. It stopped shedding leaves.

I went on to explain that my tree was not doing that well…and its condition was telling me that I needed a break. Well, what a difference the last two years have made. On the left is a photo I took two years ago today of my fig and on the right is from this morning:

side-by-side comparison of a fiddle leaf fig tree, two years apart

Oh, there are a couple of janky leaves in today’s photo (the product of some inattentive watering earlier this winter as I failed to adjust to the winter dryness), but the plant is happy in a bigger pot and there are several new leaves just from the past two weeks (as the amount of daylight increases). There are also two other fiddles in the house that are descended from cuttings I took from this one — they’re also thriving and both have new leaves coming in right now.

I still have not written a whole lot about what I did (or didn’t do) during the seven months I was off, but after more than a year back, it seems pretty clear that the sabbatical did what I wanted it to. I feel like I’m thriving as much as my tree is. In recent months, I’ve launched a couple of new features (including the comments, which I’ve been really pleased with) and added another voice to the site. There’s a new thing launching soon (*fingers crossed*) and I have plans for more new features, including improvements to the comments.

More importantly, the site feels vital and fun in a way that it hasn’t for quite awhile. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops (nothing is — I’m looking at you, tax season), but I’m having a blast, am engaged with the work, and am feeling pretty fulfilled lately. So another huge thanks to everyone for hanging in there while I sorted my shit out — I appreciate you.

Discussion  32 comments



Marco R

This update put a smile on my face, and has inspired me to take better care of my plants. Congrats on 20 years!

John Allspaw

For so many reasons, this is exactly the post I needed to read right now. Thanks so much for taking care of yourself, Jason — it’s a great reminder for others, myself very much included.

Sunil Doshi

Congrats. is one of the few sites I can say I have been visiting every day for the last ~20 years. Glad your love for it is still going strong.

Nicolas Magand

Special day indeed! Congrats, a well-deserved piece of cake awaits, hopefully!

Jack Hays

This site is still the first, or one of the first, sites I visit each day, and has been for many years now. I'm so glad you're able to keep it running and still enjoy it!

Ben Meissner

Hooray for all of this. I haven't been around the entire 19 years, but while other sites have come and gone from my RSS feeds, has remained a constant.

Alesia Clear

Happy 19th! is one of my favorite sites. I always find something interesting here.

Andy Baio

Really happy to hear it. I selfishly hope continues to be a fulfilling and sustainable job for you until I'm not around to keep reading it every day.

Paolo Palombo

Congratulations Jason! Amazing work, keeping your site relevant and modern for all these years, and taking care of yourself the way you did. The way you openly talk about your struggles and your small wins and your big wins is an inspiration to me, and to many others I am sure.
Here’s to the next 19 (and more after that)!

Dave Sandell

Congrats, Jason. I'm so glad you took the time away.


Congrats to you for your site and your honesty! I literally became a subscriber because of that post on your sabbatical…keep up the good work!

Christopher Jobson


Daniel O

So wonderful to hear. Congratulation on the milestone. It really is a lesson that burnout can be fixed and that something that feels hard can flourish and grow with some time away and a few changes.


Congrats, Jason! Happy anniversary!

I’ve wondered about your plant a few times - glad to hear it’s thriving too!

Dave Thompson

No. Thank YOU, Jason. You’ve gotten us thru some hard times too. And ya know, taxes are awesome. It’s just the folks who don’t pay their fair share that create my personal burn out. Happy Anniversary!

Chris Koerner

Glad you're doing well Jason. Knowing that made my day a little better. :)

Tom Robertson


Terence Fox

I brought a fiddle leaf fig along a similar life situation this year and invested a similar symbolic meaning into it. I immediately thought about your tree when I saw the headline of this post and it made me really happy that yours is doing so well. Congrats on the milestone!

Jacob Mul

Woot w00t !

Sarah Noe

Congrats and thank YOU for sharing your growth with us. I love how you've simultaneously adapted and refused to compromise over the years. And any plant updates are appreciated.

Will Fitzgerald

Congratulations, Jason. Change only exactly the right things.

Paul Josey

Love to hear it. The site feels alive and well to boot.


Your doing well and being happy makes me happy. You've created a great thing.

Jessica Lelinski

Love this. Well done - on the site, the plant, taking care of yourself ❤️ I’ve loved checking your site daily for years now, it’s clear from the comments section (it’s so civil and pleasant - like a warm hug and great “hey, I feel you” addition to the site!) that many people feel the same. Thank you for everything you do Jason!

CW Moss

💙 love all of this


Congratulations! You just made me want to support you, starting today.
(And since I follow you since at least 2000, I feel bad for not doing it earlier...)



Glad to hear that you are in a happy place. Keep up with the great job you do and take care of you both! ✨🙏🏻✨

Btw, my wife’s advice about the tree is to be very very very careful to not let cold air reach it. It can quickly destroy the tree droping all leafs etc. If you didn’t know it already.

Pete Ashton


Matthew Haughey

No lie, I’ve been wanting to ask you how the plant was doing ever since you posted the sad image of it so I was DELIGHTED to see it’s doing better these days!

Ramanan Sivaranjan

Amazing. Congrats on 19 years.

I dug up the post I wrote when you announced your membership drive: "I donated. This whole venture seemed too stupid not to support." Ha. You really started something back then.

Mike Arauz

This makes me so happy. This site is probably my oldest relationship on the web. It brings me great joy to know that you and the site are not only still around, but thriving! 19 years in.

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