This Is 40

Today is a day that will change my life forever. It’s a culmination of a bunch of events that have happened to me over the past few years. And for all that is going wrong with the world on a macro level, my micro-world has been full of great things. But I’m getting ahead of myself. To tell you where things are and where they’re going, I have to take you back…

Several years ago, things weren’t going well in my life; it was a mess, and everything was stressful in all the wrong ways. Life needed to change. So, I started making changes to improve things for my family and myself. It was a difficult path,1 and something I thought I’d never recover from. Of course, those around me – specifically my family – would often remind me that things would get better with time; the pain that I was feeling and had been feeling would be temporary, and life would improve for me. At the time, I was in a deep dark hole and didn’t know how life would get better.

But through patience and therapy, I started getting out of this hole and seeing how much of life was improving. As part of the coping and then healing process, I had buried myself in my work when I could while focusing on being a single father. And that effort with work started to bear fruit. I started to get recognized for my abilities and was given chances for more responsibilities that others in my position had not been offered. And recently, for the second time in a year-and-a-half, I have been promoted. I’m responsible for a lot, and I even have a new and exciting challenge at work ahead. Things with work couldn’t be better.

And for the first time, my personal life is matching how great my work life is. Life has been amazing, and I’m in love. It may be a bit cliche to say, but it’s a love that really is too deep for words; they simply would not do justice to describe the feelings we have for one another. I don’t know that I could have asked for a more perfect person in my life. I’m still in awe of her on a daily basis. I cannot fathom how I’ve done anything to deserve her as a partner. She’s the most amazing person I’ve known: she’s beautiful, smart, compassionate, supportive. When we decided to move in together, we didn’t know that the pandemic lockdown would be starting the next weekend. Throughout the pandemic, she’s been a mother-like figure to my sons and met any of the challenges of life with poise and grace. Being together so much during this time has only cemented our love, and I knew the answer to a question before I even asked it at the end of last year.

Planning a wedding in the midst of a pandemic isn’t ideal; in our situation, there are people from other countries that we would want to come celebrate with us. We decided to wait until near the end of 2022 to tie the knot with the support and company our family and friends. But the more we planned, the more we realized that we could not wait another day to marry each other. We still want the big event, but it feels right on so many levels to do something small first. So we decided to get married earlier than our original date in a small outdoor ceremony. Looking over the days that made the most sense, we chose to get married in March 2021. In fact, later today, we’re getting married.

This is also significant because today is also my 40th birthday. If I’m being honest, I’ve never been a fan of my birthdays. I’m sure there’s something in my past, but now that I’m old, I can’t remember. But what I can remember is that it’s just never been my thing. But this year, I’m making the exception. I’m getting the greatest present I could have ever asked for, and I’m starting a new chapter in my life. When today is said and done, I’m hers forever. My life is about to get even better. The best of my life is still yet to come.

This is 40…

  1. Divorce often is, but sometimes it is the necessary path. 

Fully Broken

Well, hello.

It is with heavy hearts (and overtaxed livers) that we tell you we just don’t have it in us anymore to keep on going. It’s time to take Fundamentally Broken out behind the woodshed and put it down humanely.

Go ahead now, turn away. You don’t need to see this.

The past year or so since we last recorded has certainly had some ups and downs. It came a lot of new responsibilities for both of us at work, and frankly at home too. Our lives — like everyone else’s — were disrupted beyond any rational comprehension, and we found we didn’t have the bandwidth to get on and record conversations anymore. We still talk almost every day, and Tim often says “fuck, why aren’t we recording this” and we laugh, but the honest truth is that we’re just not interested in producing this type of content for an audience right now, and collectively we just don’t have the time.

So we hatched a plan to keep the show alive in spite of the fact that we weren’t going to keep doing it. Seth suggested we find a new home for it on the Internet Archive and Tim looked into it. The Internet Archive is something that the world desperately needs, and we always find delight when we head there. In fact, it’s one of our annual donations because we believe in the mission and the people behind it.

We’ve created a page and the show will be available there from now on.1 It doesn’t make sense to keep paying for podcast-specific accounts for a show we aren’t doing, and this way, it’s still available for the eleven people (looking at you, Japan) who might ever want to hear it, and it becomes a part of the great ocean that is the 1s and 0s of the past.

We’d personally like to thank everyone who did listen. Your feedback and enthusiasm was a constant surprise to us, and we really appreciated it. We started the show because we thought there might be a place for a simple, honest conversation about a lot of things that interested or troubled us, and the response we received was that we were right about that. It resonated with people, and that was encouraging.

But like in all things, time and life change who we are and what we do, and now we set this little ship ablaze and push it out to sea, gazing fondly as it floats further from us.

Maybe we’ll do it again someday. Maybe we won’t. That’s the beauty of the future. You just never know.

~ Seth & Tim

  1. Tim will be working on making an official collection on, but until then, you can just use this page. This link will be updated when/if it ever gets made. 

New Normal

I’m sure all of you have been hearing the same thing: “We have to get used to a new normal.” I myself have been hearing this a lot lately as well. Whether it’s a global pandemic, social injustices, the attacks on media or science, or changes in our weather due to climate change, there’s a lot of “new” out there to get used to.

I’ve thought about this a lot as I’m getting older: norms change all the time. Our “new normal” – current crises aside – is much different than our parents grew up with. Much different than I grew up with. In the last 20 years, there’s been a rapid change in our daily lives for what we consider normal.

Twenty years ago, I was in college. That’s back in the days of AOL and dial-up.1 Communication was starting to really take off as “instant”, with instant messaging and cell phones. It was just at the precipice of it, and back then it was exciting to go through. Now, most of those same services we started with are gone and have been replaced by new things. And those new things are now old and established institutions within our social lives.

Think of where we are today: we have instant access to everything. We are a society that wants everything right now. We always want the new stuff. We want change immediately. We want justice immediately. And we are at quite a crossroads. The people who are making decisions – right, wrong, or indifferent – are by and large from a generation who didn’t grow up with instant. They have been adapting to a new normal for a long time, yet still want to hold on to the older ideals they grew up with. I’m sure that you and I will be doing the same as we get older.

We as individuals can adapt to a new normal at our own pace. Society not so much. Society involves more people and moves slowly, which is not the world we as individuals expect to live in today. As we are all striving to return to what “normal” looks like, we need to realize that things are changing rapidly and that a normal or a new normal might not even be what we expect. I guess for now we move forward as the pandemic rages, and wait patiently for what life will be like on the other side.

Maybe take a break from things online. Take some time to figure out connecting to others in the safest way possible. Reflect on what we are all going through.2 Do your part to help others through this, whether it be checking in on people or doing the simplest thing that anyone could: wear a damn mask.

  1. I simultaneously both miss and loathe that startup sound. 
  2. And realize that you might be in a position of privilege and life might be easy for you right now, where others are struggling. 

Keeping the Lion Away

I’m going to be blunt: I’m not even sure why I’m sitting down to write this. I don’t know where this post is even going, and if I’m honest with myself, I’m a little scared by where it might go or what I might say.1 But I think I just need to get these thoughts out of my head and out into the ether.

The last few months, in the midst of the pandemic, have been mostly ok for me and my family. I’m privileged as hell: I have a job where I can work at home, care for my kids and my partner, and we’re all doing well health wise. I’ve even gone out to a few places, albeit limited, and it’s been OK.

There’s this looming feeling over everything though: we’re in a pandemic. I’m not sure we as a society really grasp what this means. There’s so much information – and misinformation – out there, and not everything is known or explained well. People are taking ridiculous stances on their feelings when we should be focused on science and reason. I’ve said it on more than one occasion that if we can’t pull this together, we have failed as a species and deserve every bit of what we get. And to be clear: you should wear a mask and wash your hands. Please don’t bother to convince me otherwise. Go ahead and lose my number if you feel differently.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been agonizing over the decision for sending my child back to face-to-face learning. I’ve communicated with our district superintendent for the first time2 and voiced my concerns with the plans laid out before the parents. I’ve lost so much sleep over this I don’t really even want to think about it. It’s constantly weighed on my mind, and I feel physically tired from it.

In speaking with my best friend today, we lamented how our discussions keep devolving into discussion of the current pandemic, how others are handling it, and how we are handling it. How we feel like bad parents and crazy people for continuing courses of action for months on end. My fight-or-flight response has been in almost constant engagement since this all went down. And I feel exhausted. But what the hell else are we going to discuss? Apps? Technology? More unimportant shit? Of course not. Because we have a fucking lion in the form of a pandemic chasing us.

I’ve been wanting to be creative for a while. I really admire the people who can be creative in this time. I had some push at the start of this, put out a few posts, and then… nothing. I hit a wall. I had been thinking of various posts over the past few months, but thought to myself none of this shit is important. And then I find myself doing other things. It should be no surprise that the single most traveled place in the past few months has been to the hardware store, masked and gloved, to get things to improve the house. I’ve learned some new things on how to hang a door properly, and how big a pain in the ass it can be. I’m working with my girlfriend to understand what we want to do the house how we want to make it our place. I’ve created an office space, and I’m starting on a new, more permanent one.

So when I think about it, I’m being creative, but in a more practical sense. I’m getting my house in order – my literal house – for the first time in a long time. I’ve made list upon list of what I want to do, and sadly, how much it’s going to cost me over time. But I know that in a few short years, I might be in a great spot with a house I’m finally proud of after 10 years of ownership.

I am, however, stifled when it comes to writing. My brain feels like it hurts when I sit down to type things out. My journaling has been hit or miss in the past few weeks, as has my general health routine. I’m feeling burned out. I’m feeling like I need a break. And so, I think I’ll continue to take one. This isn’t to say that I don’t have thoughts and ideas: I’ve created several mind maps to help me organize what I want to write about in the future, and ideas that I feel are worth sharing. But right now, given the current climate, I just can’t bring myself to sit down and really focus on them when so much else out there is important.

There’s a level of guilt that I feel when it comes to this. There are times where I think “I owe it to people to write and put things out there”. But I keep coming back to the fact that it doesn’t put food on the table. That it isn’t my day job and takes away from time with my family or my home. Maybe if there was incentive on my end to write, I’d do it more often and carve out the time. But until I focus on how to incentivize all this, I’m going to continue to write at my pace and figure out how to make it all happen.

I’ll get back to doing it eventually. And I’m hopeful that some of the ideas that I have in my mind are actually decent enough to share. Of course, I’ll be writing about things coming for the fall; maybe saving some of my creative energy for that is the best course for me. We’re all navigating this global pandemic differently. We’re all trying to do what we need to keep sane and healthy. And for me, that takes the shape of protecting my family and house by working and providing leadership, all to keep the lion away. The writing will have to wait for now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get a bunch more work done around the house. Enough procrastination. Time to do the work.

  1. I’m just going to write until I feel like I’m done, do some light editing, and then hit publish. You get what you get, people. 
  2. This was actually a very pleasant experience, and I feel heard. I have a direct line of communication and they are actively seeking counsel from others outside of the district leadership on how to handle everything. It’s a course of action I plan on continuing for my son, my family, and my community.