Happy Birthday Bonzai Aphrodite; 3 Years Is A Good Solid Run; This Post Sucks

February 1st, 2012 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

Today marks three years that I’ve been inhabiting this little slice of cyberspace. Three years of sharing my life online. Three veganniversaries, two books, one pregnancy. Three seasons in the garden and three years of recipes. Countless comments and conversations, shared creativity, and blossoming community. In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s really been three years, but then I think back to where I began . . . and man! I was a whole different person back then.

When I started down this path, my life was wide open. I had just quite a job I hated, I was ambitious and excited and had all the time in the world to throw myself into my writing. I worked tirelessly, as has been my nature, and slowly but surely I pieced together this precious little space. My intention was to create a community of like-minded individuals, a network of action-oriented optimists to move and shake and make the world a better place. And . . . I think I did! We have done amazing things here, you and I. Whether you found Bonzai at it’s beginning, or whether you joined us somewhere along the way, or even if you just arrived last week, you’ve all played a part in making this place incredible. Thank you.

But there have been hard parts, too. For me, there are times when it’s difficult to live my life on display. At first I really appreciated being held accountable; it was motivating, and I loved connecting with people on a similar path. I found it empowering to feel like I was making a difference in the world. That may sound silly, but I’ve received enough emails by now that I do believe I’ve played some small but important part in changing a lot of lives. These emails light me up, and often bring me to tears. Every email, every single one, has filled me with gratitude. That has meant more to me than anything else, and has really become the force that keeps me moving forward here.

Over the years I’ve grown, and everything else has grown too. I’ve become a mother! Things have changed. My responsibilities and obligations, my day-to-day life and the way I use my time, and many of my priorities, have had to shift. And oh boy have I fought it! Often to my detriment, I have fought it. I can run myself ragged but the truth is, I no longer have the singular focus and endless energy to throw myself into this project. Bonzai is so much more than just a series of isolated blog posts, you know? Nurturing a community takes a lot of energy.


There’s a few things that you should know.

See, there’s this elephant in the blogosphere.
When I created Bonzai, I dreamed of a space that would provide for others what I’d wished I had for myself: a place to belong and to be inspired. A space for hope and positivity, for sharing ideas and spurring creativity, with simple mindful solutions for building a better, more beautiful life. I had nothing but the best intentions.

What I’ve since come to realize is that this is an unfair model. In the process of preserving Bonzai as a “happy place”, I’ve painted an incomplete image of my life. And although I always knew that it was only a partial picture, I realized (too late) that this [mis]representation – even coming from a place of caring – was having unintended consequences.

To be clear, this is a problem that goes well beyond Bonzai Aphrodite. The same thing is happening all over the blogosphere (especially with “mommy bloggers”), and it’s something I’d love to see addressed by the larger community.

The dilemma essentially is this: bloggers want to perpetuate positivity. To lift people up and empower them. We want to show you beautiful things. Or maybe I should just speak for myself. That’s what I want.

But in doing so, we paint an unrealistic, idealized version of a person – me – and of a life – my life. Again, just speaking for myself, I fear that I’ve created an impossible standard. A measuring stick whereby readers, trying to live up, will always believe they fall short. I know this because I’m also on the other side of it, with other bloggers, comparing myself to my perception of them, and feeling like I’m “less than”. And I know it because people write to me, feeling just exactly that way after reading Bonzai.

This is a real problem and it really breaks my heart. I don’t ever want to play a part in someone feeling bad about themselves.

It’s something I think about a lot these days, but as of yet I haven’t been able to see a perfect solution. (And it’s entirely possible that there isn’t one.)

Postpartum Anxiety.
So yes, there are parts of myself that I choose not to share on Bonzai. That’s pretty obvious I guess, since I’ve never gabbed about my sex life and I’ve never discussed the specifics of my finances. And along those lines, something that I’ve kept private is the difficulty I’ve experienced as a parent. Becoming a mother has been a really rough transition for me, actually, and I struggle with it . . . a lot.

It wasn’t even until a few months ago, more than 18 months postpartum, that I realized my suffering went beyond the normal aches and pains of adjustment. That it was more than just me being bad at this (which, sadly, is something I’d considered).

The problem is that they always talk about postpartum depression, and I didn’t feel depressed. I wasn’t sad or listless or losing sleep or extra sleepy or losing weight or extra hungry or any of those other signs of depression. I was just . . . anxious. All the time. And irritable and short-tempered and angry. As a pacifist and someone who deeply values compassion and communication and cooperation, this was pretty horrifying for me. It threw me for a loop and consequently, I’ve been cloaked in shame and self-doubt for a very, very long time. And all the while, I didn’t really realize it was happening.

I don’t want to get into the details of it here (this is an epically long post as it is), but if you’re interested in learning more about postpartum anxiety, you should read this blog post, because it describes what I’ve experienced to a tee. Like, exactly. I couldn’t have written it better myself.

I just want to say, now, that I’m so sorry for keeping this from you. At first I was just confused, and then it grew into embarrassment, and eventually self-loathing settled in. I know that mental health issues carry an unfair stigma and I wish I’d had more of a grasp on what was really happening to me, so that I could have shared my process with you. As it was, I hardly even realized it was happening, and mostly I was just trying to put my head down and hold strong, get through it, and put on a pretty face in the meantime.

I’m sorry.

But ultimately, my life is too full.
Since Waits was born I’ve written two books, maintained a thrice-weekly blog-posting schedule, and kept up with freelance writing work, all while parenting full time, trying to be a good wife and partner, keeping house, and making most of our food from scratch. Oh, and being a dog mom and chicken guardian and farmer/gardener. It’s a lot that I’ve been juggling.

Over the years, one of the most frequent questions I’ve received is: “How the hell do you do it all?” Ha! But I’ll tell you the truth. For the first time, I’ll actually answer the damn question.

It comes at great cost. In order to “do” so much and give so much of myself, I set aside the things which are the most important. I sacrifice my relationships.

I skip relaxing craft nights with girlfriends, and evenings spent on double dates, and unlimited afternoon reading time with my kid, and weekends away and weekends doing *nothing* at all and having the space in my day for a spontaneous picnic, and all the other moments that make life, you know . . . sort of actually worth living. Not that I never have fun, because I do, but so much of it – too much of it – is buried under a pile of stress and deadlines, pushed back with promises of “later” and “when/then”.

I. Am. So. Burned. Out.

I’m an atheist, did you know that? So no afterlife for me. I only get one shot. I used to believe that in my 100 or so years of existence, I had to make my indelible mark on the world. Do something great. Secure my spot in the annals of history so that I’d be . . . remembered.

But I don’t think that’s what it’s about, anymore. Because even the most important person ever – even Mozart or Einstein or Alexander the Great – even they are just a blip in the entirety of human history, and all of human history is just a blip in the entirety of the Universe. I know that it sounds like a 14-year-old’s acid trip “deep thought”, but for me, it’s been an epiphany.

If I only get 100 or so years of existence, I better make damn sure that I enjoy them.


So, why am I telling you all this?

Because I need to step away. I need to stop blogging. It breaks my heart and I’ve fought it for a long time, but I know, deep down, that it has to happen. At least for now.

I need to clear everything out so that I can really see. I need some quiet so that I can take stock. I need to slow down. I need to know what it feels like to not always live a week (or a month) behind at my life. I need to find my happy, because I seem to have misplaced it.

So this is my goodbye-for-now. This is my goodbye to Bonzai.

I’ll still be around the Internet though, sharing interesting finds and my freelance articles on my Facebook page. And tweeting my general musing, random thoughts, and silly silliness, through my Twitter. I’m sure I’ll continue to flood the net with photos of my kid, via @sayward on Instagram (or Followgram) (also Tumblr) And I’ll definitely continue to obsessively curate my little collections on my Pinterest boards. Bonzai will stay here, just exactly as it is now.

But yeah, who am I kidding. That’s not the same. And this hurts. I have a knot in my belly the size of Kansas and I feel like I’m letting everyone down, and I’m sorry, and I’ll miss you. I just really hope you can understand.

And I hope that I’ll see you ‘round the Internet.

And I hope you know how sincerely I cherish you. Thank you so much for being a part of this.

With all my love and from the bottom of my heart,

*** I’ve been absent lately when it comes to answering comments, questions, and emails. I’m sure it was just my way of keeping some [emotional] distance as I prepared for this post. But I want you to know, I *will* be going through and responding to everything. It may take me some time, but I will.

As well, I’m about halfway through my Great Grand Diet Trial. Im not one who likes to leave unfinished business, so I do plan to post the rest of that series. Eventually.

  • Sam


    Can’t say I didn’t cry when I read this, but I have the utmost respect and admiration for you Sayward, now more than ever. You’ve inspired me in so many ways- from making almond milk weekly to being hella proud of my own personal style to starting my new blog (today! There’s a Bonzai shoutout! http://www.coffeeconundrum.blogspot.com).

    I’ll miss everything, especially What I Wednesdays and reading back through old posts such as “__ Things I Love at Age __” and all the gardening posts.

    You have shared so much of your life with us and inspired SO many people in infinite ways. You, more than anyone, deserve to find your happy. Go for it! Know that we all support you and love the heck out of you, Waits, Damian, the boydogs and the ladies.

    <3 Sam

  • Adrienne

    My mother-in-law likes to say, “Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the hardest jobs there is,” and she is 100% right. Add on top of that a commitment to feeding yourself and your family handmade, homemade and healthy, the logistics, energy and time you put out become astounding. Plus other *work*, blogging, and (hello!) marriage? It’s a tremendous load! I completely empathize with your anxiety worries, too. I felt that way for a long time with my daughter, and only in the last year have turned a corner in my relationship with her (she’s a few months shy of 4). For me, committing to spend the money to have a babysitter so I could do what I needed to stay sane (twice-weekly yoga and a monthly ladies’ night, plus the occasional retreat) helped me get back to a more *human* (not over-stressed super-human ambition) version of myself, and it took more than a year to uncover it. I wish you all the best, as a mom, wife, writer, whatever you want to be. Life is hard enough already! ENJOY your green juice without the pressure of a post! For what it’s worth, you’ve helped this omni appreciate the benefits of veganism, encouraged me to shop secondhand more, and even inspired my family’s diet to go largely vegetarian and significantly more animal-free (hello, flax eggs!). We have you to thank for our increased life expectancy:) THANK YOU for everything you have given us, your readers. You and Bonzai will be greatly missed, but I will think every time I pass the Bonzai bookmark in the toolbar about how much fun you’re now having enjoying your family and your life more! Cheers to that!

  • lisa

    First, it’s OK. You are allowed to go. No guilt.
    Second, the parenthood thing… well, again, no guilt. In my experience, becoming a parent has knocked my overachiever friends harder on their asses than it did my less ambitious friends. My guess is that the busy folks are pushed beyond the tipping point with the change (and those are usually the folks that don’t recognize that there even IS a tipping point until far too late, which doesn’t help).
    Third, thanks for pointing out the elephant in the blogosphere. Here’s my take: a blog is like a memoir, but a live one, in real time. People tend to write memoirs when they’re old. At that point, they either no longer care about pissing people off or being judged, or time has done its job and smoothed over most situations. So, that allows the memoir to be juicy and rich and serve a real purpose in terms of life lessons etc. But, take all of that meat (ahem…) out of the memoir, and you just have a sappy, unrealistic story that, in the end, doesn’t work for anyone. And that’s what most blogs are – the sappy, unrealistic stuff – because nobody is REALLY willing to spill their guts about the juicy details in real time. Although that would generate a great following, the personal repercussions would be a mess.
    Also, there’s a reason why the lives of celebrities are so fucked up. Living on show like that, regardless of the medium and the extent of the following, has to have some impact… geez… it’s one thing if you’re getting millions for it, but otherwise, no thanks!

  • http://bittsblog.blogspot.com bitt

    Oh Sayward, how brave and honest for you to write this! And for you to be honest with yourself about what you need, wow how powerful, a great last message for us to keep. On the depression side, I can relate, it’s so hard to write realistically about mental issues and to get people to understand. I too have felt insanely irritable for other reasons and it sucks when you want to be compassionate but are just struggling with it on a day to day basis. I hope the time off gives you some space to do more things for yourself. Having just stopped writing a blog last year, I can say it’s a load off. It’ a pressure to come up with stuff, even just little stuff and to be able to just have a meal without pictures or something is nice. But it’s so hard to leave a community of people who care and inspire you and who you may inspire. It’s not an easy choice, I know. All we can say is thanks for all you’ve done and the gifts you’ve given through blogging and may all your dreams come true! I will miss my Waits cute kid fixes but glad to know I can catch a glimpse of him on Instagram once in awhile. Much love to the whole family.

  • Maritza

    Sayward! Staying true to you are and honouring your inner voice is one of the single most precious gifts you can give yourself. Your honesty is refreshing and i’m going to miss seeing you here. Vegan-to-vegan, woman-to-woman – you are truly an inspiration. Thank you for keeping it real. Now, go and do you, lady:)


  • Brielle Croft

    You shall be missed! However, I feel really inspired by the fact that you are choosing to not blog and spend more time in life! I think that is awesome. :) We only have so many days on this earth and we might as well do what we want with our loved ones. I have recently been changing alot of things and my time spent online is one of them.
    Thanks for leaving the blog up though, that we can revisit your posts for ideas etc…
    Thanks for all you did and do! I hope you have amany amazing years ahead!

  • Macy HB

    Mother to mother- I totally get it. Take the time you need to be with your beautiful family and take care of yourself. It’s so easy to think that we (women) can do it all, but it takes a village- it really does! I’ve enjoyed your blog and I’ll miss your posts.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so, so much everyone. I’m really overwhelmed right now (in a good way!) I went to bed last night with tears in my eyes, but I woke up this morning feeling at peace. Your comments today have been so touching and have made me feel so loved, and have also reassured me that I made the right decision. Thank you all, for everything. <3

  • http://eerosa.com erosan

    It’s a sad day when the only blog you read consistently has a “I’m shutting down the blog” post. Oh well this sucks, but everyone needs to take a break sometimes.

    Heres hoping you feel better soon, like really soon and even if you stop blogging, know that the relations you created are not shutting down with the blog, so you’ll always have a friend in Merida (and the offer still stands, if you want to take some time off here in the peninsula…)

  • Nazanin

    It is clear how good your intentions are. We love you too! I am excited for you to have more time for yourself, your family and your life. That really is a wonderful freedom to gain more time, and I sincerely glad you made the decision to take care of you. Love and all the best!

  • OddSock

    I’m so saddened by this news. What’s infinitely more saddening, however, is the thought of someone I’ve grown to greatly respect and admire going through the testing times you’ve endured lately. I think all of your readers would agree that one of the things that makes Bonzai Aphrodite so special is your honesty; you share so much of yourself on this blog, and I can fully understand how it would become exhausting. Over the past three years you’ve inspired me, made me laugh, made me incredibly broody (!), motivated me when my own vegan lifestyle seemed overwhelming, and reassured me that at least someone out there loves Tom Waits as much as I do! Thank you so much for everything that you’ve given to us, and I truly hope that your much-needed time-out brings you all the happiness in the world. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Lots of love xx

  • applekat

    This blog has taught me so so much, it changed my life. Bonzai truly inspired me more than any blog I’ve ever followed. It’s the only blog on my speed dial on my home page. This breaks my heart but I completely understand. I hope you find your peace and your happy doing what you do. And I hope to see you back here eventually!! Love and mungbeans, Applekat

  • Andrea

    I was always amazed by your determination but I somehow expected that once you’ll just have to postpone this obligation….in a way I’m a bit sad coz you were such an inspiration for me, but then again, thinking and realizing that you are finally gonna have more time to live your life genuinely and not necessarily slowing down but just adjusting to the moment and so becoming more sensitive to your own needs and that all that will produce cheerfulness, makes me happy. Lots of love!!! :)

  • Michelle

    Thankyou Bonzai for sharing so much of yourself with us, and for giving as much as you have. Just last week I was having a wonderful read of a post and was thinking to myself, ‘wow, this lady is so generous with her hard-earned wisdom and life’. I’m glad you are taking a break and breathing in some space.!!
    I have always felt so close and inspired by you… whenever I was needing an answer to something you seemed to blog about it! Most especially the new mum stuff. Thankyou for helping me so freely.
    Michelle x x x x x

  • kristen g

    Just like everyone who has commented I too have been inspired by your work and your amazing love for our planet, animals, real food and being healthy.

    I am a mother of 3 and would say that , as much as I love my children and adore being their mother, it is really REALLY hard work that takes more energy than I ever have. I was lucky that I brushed my teeth when I had a new baby or toddler, let alone managed a blog and all your other accomplishments.

    Take a deep breath and know you have made your impact on the world and on the universe. Even if your name isn’t written in the hallows of history, the things you have taught me will be taught to my children. Chances are they will remember them and tell their children. That spark was from you, even if there is no footnote, it was yours. I am not an atheist so I believe our energy goes on after we do. So in my mind your beauty and gifts won’t be limited to 100 years.

    Thank you for all you’ve given, may you receive it back 1000 fold!! All the best, enjoy and find that peace you’re looking for!

    Kristen G

  • jill

    I am so proud of you for your decision. Perhaps I’ll drop you a note in a little while when the Bonzai chaos has subsided a bit to show my appreciation of all the info and support you’ve given. You will be missed, but perhaps your leaving is the best lesson of all…

    Love and best wishes, from a minimal-technology user with a very full life (and kids). :)

  • http://flightsofthevalkyrie.blogspot.com/ Valerie

    So sad to see you go, I hope you find your bliss, wherever it may lie.

  • Jewels

    Congratulations I enjoy your blog very much!

  • Rachel Souders

    I have so enjoyed your blog and although I will not be having anymore babies (my baby is in her second semester of college, a biology major I might add) I have recommended your pregnancy book to others. I am willing to wager that you’ll write several more books.

    Be unapologetic in your quest for a happy, fulfilling, well lived life. Take care of YOU and your little family. By the way, that little baby of mine grew up in the blink of an eye and she’s amazing. I was a stay at home mom and I would not trade a single minute of that time. There is plenty of time for other endeavors, but right now while he only knows you as the super cool magical being at the center of his universe, just enjoy.

    We will all be here if and when you want to do this again.

    Best wishes,

    Rachel Souders

  • Jennifer

    I am glad you are doing what you need for yourself and your family, but I will miss your blog. You have taught me a lot and been an inspiration to me, and no pressure, but I have really been looking forward to the rest of the Great Grand Diet Trial!

  • Steph

    You truly have inspired me to push my comfort zone and be a better vegan, mom and eco-conscious person. I always looked forward to your posts.

    I COMPLETELY understand why you’re ending the blog. And it’s hard and yet easy when you see what’s on the other side of the scale. I wish you all the best and I’ll be stalking you elsewhere on the internets.



  • Smoret14

    I am deeply impressed by your honesty Sayward. I understand the struggles you are going through, both as mom and as someone trying to live a life that promotes positive change. Life is flow, up and down and sometimes we need to withdraw and go within. I have thouroughly enjoyed your blog and you have inspired me many times. You have accomplished your goal. Maybe that is why you are feeling called to move on…

  • http://brokencookiesdontcount.wordpress.com/ Fran@BCDC

    So sorry to hear that you won’t be here anymore. I only found you a few months back, but I’ve enjoyed every post. Best of luck in all that you do.

  • sam

    I love your blog (and you!). Just like you don’t want to make us feel bad, we don’t want to make YOU feel bad…. so please feel free to step away with peace and tranquility. Gratitude and love to you and Waits!!!

  • Stefani

    Sayward – Thank you so much for the amazing blog! I will truly miss your updates. You have definately been an inspiration to me to be a better mother and a better person overall! Sincerely – Stef

  • Sara Ann

    Thank you for all that you have done Sayward! I really felt like I was part of a little community and Bonzai Aphrodite has done a lot of good in my life. You will be missed so much but all the best to you and your family! Please don’t feel guilty. We didn’t know how you did it all anyway! Sorry if I posted this already! I didn’t know if it worked on my work computer but I wanted to make sure to say thank you.

  • Sierra Mcpeak

    Well, like everyone else, I understand and support your decision. I am so glad to have stumbled upon your blog when I did, and I can’t tell you how much I have gotten from it! I am a lifelong veggie and a vegan of 13 or so years(2 vegan kiddos, too) and have always felt somewhat alone in my beliefs. I’m so glad to have found BA and discovered the rich and supporting community within. Love, love, and love!! Thank you for guiding me, thank you for creating such an amazing space, and thank you for opening up your life to us all for a little while.
    I will miss seeing Waits and his green smoothie mustaches!

    Much love and positive vibes…

  • http://mamaskitch.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    Waaaaaahhh!!! *Tears in my eyes*
    Well, I tooooootally understand your decision. Good for you, Sayward!
    I do have to say my piece, though: OMG I LOVE Bonzai. I have never come across a blog that I checked, um, every SINGLE day until I stumbled across BA. I am a lifelong veggie and a vegan of 13 years with 2 vegan kids, and I have always felt somewhat alone and alienated in my beleifs and choices. Your blog has opened me up to such a rich and supporting community of amazing people. Thank you for everything. We have never met, but I feel like you are a dear friend that has enriched my life.
    And, oh, I’m going to miss Waits and his green smoothie mustaches!
    Sending positive vibes your way…

  • http://twitter.com/betsybookworm Betsy

    Your blog has been an inspiration, so thank you very much. But your happiness definitely comes first! I hope you enjoy your crafty ready leisurely times, and I’m sure I’ll see you around the internet every now and then :)

  • Virgie

    I hope she will be back someday too. I always loved reading the blog. But she needs to do what will make her happy and fulfilled. I have to keep telling myself that :D. Good Luck in all you do Sayward.

  • Coco

    You are an amazing and beautiful person- in and out.. I absolutely have loved your blog and seeing you and your family grow! I will definitely miss you and your wonderful posts- I wish we were neighbors so we could hang out!! The most important thing in life is to be who you are.. and I know that I wouldn’t have loved this community any less if you shared any of the “less than beautiful or perfect” aspects of yourself and your life.. be confident in yourself and find whatever it is you need to be the most happy version on you.. Much love <3

  • C Reinhardt

    Love your blog. only one I follow, in fact. I found you when you were gone on Maternity. Having a three year old that I had just barely survived, I figured you were done then. But I kept checking back every time I needed a new recipe of detergent and soon was checking every day. You have a wonderful writing style and your pictures are just beautiful. I always figured that a subliminal part of the reason I followed was because your space was so beautiful, and I am a sucker for good design.
    Speaking of good design, I hope your beautiful Waits takes up blogging just as soon as he can write. Every picture of his beautiful little being convinced me that healthy eating and green smoothies were the way to go. He is beautiful, and I am glad you will have a few more moments to yourself so you can be present for him. When I came out of the cloud of my first three years of my son, I realized that I didn’t feel in search of a way to make my mark anymore (I would leave my mark despite myself) and for me that brought a great feeling of contentment. Good luck and here’s to saving some of your inspiration for those closest to you.

  • Selina

    I just have to tell you that I’m going to miss this blog *so* much, but I don’t begrudge your decision in the least! You have to put your family and yourself first!! This has been my favorite blog for the past year (since I discovered it), the one I checked first every. single. day. I owe you sooo much gratitude for my transition to a cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle; I am thankful every day that I stumbled upon your blog and thus, veganism. It has changed my life forever. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! *sniff*

  • http://mamaskitch.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    Waaaaahhhh!! :(
    Well, I’m bummed, but I also toooootally understand and support your decision.
    I have to say…. OMG I LOVE Bonzai!! I have never checked in on a blog, like, every SINGLE day like I have with Bonzai. I am a lifelong veggie, a vegan of 13 years, and have 2 vegan kiddos. I have always felt somewhat alone and alienated in my beleifs and choices, and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have stumbled upon this blog and the rich and supportive community that lies within. Thank you for the inspiration, for everything. I have never met you, but I feel like you are a dear friend that has enriched my life.

    Positive vibes….

  • http://mamaskitch.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    Oh jeeeeze, just realized I posted 3 times…. Woopsies…

  • Takethecakeandrun

    You have brought joy and inspiration to me daily, thank you. I’ve loved looking through your pictures, reading about what you’re doing, and it has given me hope to see you living such a colorful life, reminds me that we can all choose to make our lives awesome, and yummy, and joyful. And your boy is so cute! His pictures make me smile. Thank you for sharing with us <3

  • Wizardess9

    Le Bummer! I had just put you on my blogroll. Cheers to a more relaxed life, though, and I’ve got three years of your older stuff to read through!

  • cassie

    ugh, i keep trying to write something inspiring and meaningful, but what it boils down to is: i’ll miss your posts! i’ve been reading every day for two years; this blog is my favorite internet happy place and has never failed to make me feel better about myself & the world; i use your recipes and tips All The Time; your husband & boy look like some of sweetest gentlemen ever; i wish you all the peace and love in the world.

  • Katie

    Enjoy life, Sayward!

  • Felicia

    Oh I will miss this community so much! Thank you for the many recipes, ideas, inspirations, laughs. Thank you for teaching me how to wash my hair with baking soda =). Thank you for being somebody I can relate to. In a world of cynicism and negativity, I admire your upbeat postings and general thoughtfulness. I am very happy to have shared these past three years with you.

    Thank you for everything.

  • Annie

    I will think of you each time I feed my family homemade nut milks and sauerkraut. I have learned from your efforts. Thank-you.

  • Taylor O.

    I respect your decision to move on. I’m really happy for you. You’ve helped me through some tough times in the past year just by being you! Your enthusiasm about the life you lead is wonderful- now it’s time that you get to truly experience it! I’ll miss your posts and weekend send offs and DIY blurbs… but they can’t replace a life well lived. Enjoy and the best to you and yours.

  • Karissa

    Sayward, thank you for all you and Bonzai have done for this entire community for the past three years. I am so grateful to have found Bonzai, and will keep returning for insight and guidance. You are going to do great, spectacular, beautiful things, and I hope the future is plenty good to you! I sincerely hope you find your happy and that life treats you and your beautiful family well. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished, and good luck.

  • Anna

    Wow you are so wonderfully real. I understand more then you could know, as you don’t know me, I have in my own way been going through something very similar – that’s how n when I came across you, … ha ! So congrats on listening to your inner wisdom, facing what you have to face. I will miss reading your blog, but admire you for what you are choosing to focus on. You are truly living an authentic life and I wish you all the best, and biggest love to your family and friends. I hope this year is an amazing time for you all xoxoxooxoxooxoxoxxoxo

  • http://insertcleverdomainnamehere.tumblr.com/ Travis Johnson

    Well, poop. I just found this site tonight, and two days ago, you are stepping away from it. Alas… But, I’ll still have fun playing around in the archives! And if you’d like to see my food tumblr that I just started (also my oddball adventures in veg*n cooking), the URL is http://srsnoms.tumblr.com Wellllll… enjoy your time away! Blessings!

  • Moira

    Congratulations, Sayward. You freed yourself! I am so excited for you. On Feb 1, I also freed myself. I finally admitted to a health problem that I have been in long denial about. Thanks to you, over the last year I recognized I had a GI problem, didn’t feel alone about it anymore, and gained optimism that there is opportunity to regain my health. But I was very private about it and always though that I could manage it, or just sort of “deal” with it. I would try new things, like juicing (thanks to you!), tried eliminating some foods.. but I was not as proactive as I needed to be. And by not treating it as a chronic illness I’m realizing how disabling I’ve let it become. So on the 2012 New Year, my mom has become my life coach and cheerleader. My husband an eternal lifeline. My doctor a huge force. and on Feb 1 when I realized I needed to do more, I finally discussed my problem with my professor and completely freed myself.

    WOW it feels amazing. A huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I am doing what I need to do, and not what is expected of me. I’ve freed myself of so many unnecessary and burdensome expectations! That is huge in a PhD program.

    I have a long ways to go to regain my health, but I am on track. And I feel not only the support from you and this community, but also now from my professor, my family, everyone around me. I’m no longer embarrassed by it (well maybe a little still.. but I’ve come a long way!). And I feel like I can now make progress with my PhD. Wooo!

    So thank you, Sayward. I wouldn’t be here without your blog. And I am SO happy you have decided to free yourself, as well.

    Best wishes on your journey. And remember, you do what YOU need to do. So if you want to post a piece once a month, once a year, on special holidays, to feel love the love and to share the love, we’ll love it. But if what you need is to let your blog rest, I support you all the way. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to be a Mom. In the future, I will probably email on tips to manage it (since I know when I get busy and stressed, I am VERY short-tempered, and lets just say it’s not pretty).

    Hugs from a happy reader and a virtual friend.

  • http://www.naturallyseasoned.blog.com/ Lauren

    Go get your balance girl! You’ll be greatly missed by lots of people, but your happiness is what really matters. Enjoy your life, that is after all what we’re here for, if you’re not finding fullfillment in what you’re doing it’s time to move on. Thanks for helping me find some of that balance you’re looking for, you’ve truely been an inspiration.
    Oh and I never thought you were perfect (more like perfectly imperfect) or tried to compare myself to you because well no one is perfect and we’re all different in beautiful ways. That’s one of the things I love about Bonzai, the community of unique people sharing in making a better healthier world.
    My love and best to you!

  • http://www.zerowaste-lifestyle.com/ Zerowastelifestyle (Sonja)

    Three years of great blogging is a massive achievement. I have so enjoyed this blog! Thanks for all your commitment and input. Will miss new posts but can always carry on browsing Bonzai for inspiration right? I do hope you will turn the Bonzai blog into a beautiful lifestyle book one day………no pressure of course.

    Thanks for all the inspiration and good luck and good health to you for all your future endeavours.
    Best Wishes

  • Hyla

    It has been such an honor to watch you grow…your blog, your little urban homestead, your family and well, you. To acknowledge that you need a break is a very loving and kind thing to do for yourself and your family. Being honest with yourself is so hard sometimes but ultimately, you can’t continue to grow if you aren’t living in your own truth. This life is YOUR journey so do what you need to do to take care of yourself! When we step outside of our comfort zone, where we feel the safest…that is when the magic begins to unfold! Take care of yourself and your wee family. It’s been such a fun trip! xoxo

  • Steph

    I’d buy that book in a second! Especially if it had some of your photographs in it – those always inspired me!