Happy New Year, Let’s Do The Splits!

December 31st, 2014 - filed under: Furthermore » Inspiration

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December 31st, 2014

As a habit, I like to spend the last few weeks of the year pondering the past 365 days, and imagining how I’d like to spend the next 365. I don’t tend to do resolutions, but I do like to set intentions. And, as I’ve written about in the past, I have my little desktop Word doc, which I continually work on through the year. And usually, I write a summary blog post at the end/beginning of each year, reflecting.

Last year’s post, 2013 Sucked And Was Awesome: An Essay, was especially long and, I think, especially good. Raw. And can you believe it was only one year ago that I introduced all of you to Jeremy? Time flies, man.

The theme of 2014 for me was “Making Magick.”

And 2013 was the year of “Keep Going.”

2012 was “You Only Get One Shot.”

2011 (gawd that seems so long ago) was “Quality Over Quantity.”

And on and on, so it’s gone.

And now? 2015? I don’t even know . . . but maybe I just don’t want to take things quite so seriously, anymore?

Because 2014 was bananas.

In two thousand and fourteen, I started graduate school. I began a Master’s program in ecology and evolution, and it has proven . . . difficult. Which was to be expected.

In 2014 I was asked to write a grant, something I had never done and quite literally had no idea how to do. But I did it, fumbled and faked my way through it, and I did it.

And in 2014 that grant was granted, and we were fully funded. And I was asked to take the lead in executing this massive plan that we had laid out in said grant. Which is still underway. (And I’m still fumbling and faking my way through it, but hey! So far so good.)

Perhaps craziest of all, in 2014 I started teaching. Public speaking, literally my number one fear, has now become, like, what I do. Like, on a regular basis. Like, for money.

And even crazier is that apparently, I’m pretty good at it.

In 2014 I lost a friend to addiction. It’s not something I wrote about here on this blog, mostly because at the time it was just too painful. And I didn’t understand it. It was the first time death had really touched my inner circle of friends, and it took me a long time to process. It took me to very dark places.

2014 had a lot of dark places.

This is the year I really opened my heart back up to politics, which may sound a silly thing to say, but politics really is a heart game for me. It’s not an intellectual pursuit, but an emotional one. And it’s one I was very involved in – right up until Waits was born, at which point I had to withdraw. But 2014, with a misogynistic madman opening fire on my school, and Ferguson and Eric Garner and Tamir Rice and so many others (god, so many others), and what I perceive to be a shifting social consciousness in a very real way, on a very massive scale, and with many, many painful moments yet to come . . . well, I am politically engaged once again. For better or for worse.

And 2014 was the year that Jeremy quit his job, and struck out on his own, to pursue his dream. The year we opened Still. We joke that some day, when we’re old and successful we’ll be able to look back and say, “Remember back in 2014 when Waits was 4 years old and I was in the middle of grad school, and we were both broke as a joke, and you decided to up and quit your job and open a store in a 6-week period? We must have been CRAZY!”

“Man, thank goodness it all worked out in the end . . .”

That’s what we’ll look back and say. I know it. And it’ll be awesome.

On a different note, in 2014 I realized that I have completely let go of any and all baggage I ever carried around food. 2014 has seen no “Great Grand Diet Trials”, no need for nervous tweaking of meal plans, no late night Internetting for some profound nutritional insight. In truth, my entire relationship with food – and by extension, my perception of health and wellness – has completely transformed from where it was way back when I started this blog (and from where it is for most “healthy living” bloggers, I think). And that’s something I’ve meant to write about for a very long time.

Maybe 2015 will finally be the year I do that.


In all, it just feels like 2014, and if I’m being honest, 2013 and 2012 and most of 2011 too, were just so terribly heavy. And I’m really just so over it. I’m done with heavy.

So listen up, 2015. I know that I still have to finish school, and pass the exit exam, and then graduate, and then land the job. And Jeremy has to keep working, without rest, making Still come to life and grow and succeed. And Waits has to transition from preschool into kindergarten and begin a whole new phase of his magnificent little life.

But listen.

All I really want from you is just one thing, okay? No lofty ambitions or heavy intentions. No heavy anything.

I just want to do the splits.

That’s my 2015 intention! And I’ll take a photo every day (or almost every day) to chart my progress. And by New Years Day 2016 I hope to be able to do the splits.

That’s all.

Just fun, and silly. Light-hearted.

That’s all I want.

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OUT THERE!!! May the New Year bring you whatever it is that YOU want, be it big and heavy or silly and light, abstract or discreet, deliciously sinful or perfectly practical, and anything anywhere in between.

As always, thank you for joining me on this journey, and for sharing little pieces of your beautiful selves here on these pages. And I hope to see you ’round the Internets!

♥ ♥ ♥

PS – I’ll be toasting to 2015 with this song, which pretty much sums it all up:

My new resolution is to be
someone who does not take everything so seriously
I want to laugh and joke and have a smoke
and have a good time
and join an institution that will fuel my mind
whoever said ignorance, oh it was bliss
well, there’s something there
that I declare they surely missed
’cause in the days and modern ways
you’ll get passed by
try to have some fun
I always want to take it in stride

I was out there
on an open sea
no direction, and no one to lead

And then I looked back in there
how did we get there?
the water was foggy
but I didn’t really care
’cause stagnancy makes me drown
and I really want to live

My new resolution is to be
someone who does not care what anyone thinks of me
’cause I don’t even like myself half the time
and what’s the use in worrying what’s on other people’s minds?

I was out there
on an open sea
no direction, and no one to lead

And then I looked back in there
how did we get there?
the water was foggy
but I didn’t really care
’cause stagnancy makes me drown
and I really want to live

  • Rachel in Veganland

    Best of luck on those splits! What a beautifully happy goal to set for 2015. I just love reading your New Year posts, they’re always to honest and introspective and I really appreciate that level of authenticity that permeates your blog. So thanks for another great year of Bonzai. I feel lucky that I’m able to be a part of your virtual community and regularly read your inspiring posts and voice that comes through in your blog entries. Happiest of New Years to you, Jeremy, and Waits!

  • lysette

    I really dig the line from that song ’cause I don’t even like myself half the time and what’s the use in worrying what’s on other people’s minds?’
    Here’s to a great 2015! The past few years have felt turbulent in my life too but 2015 already has a sweeter feel. My intentions for the new year are to be braver and remember we’re all trying our best with the tools we have.
    Look forward to seeing your progress in the splits. I sure as hell can’t do them!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Rachel, I always love hearing from you and getting little glimpses into your world as well. Happy New Year to you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh yes I LOVE that line! The whole song really, but yes, that line is so good. And rings so true in the sense that – well, *I* know I’m not perfect (not nearly!), so why would I waste energy hoping that *you* think I’m perfect?

    Great line indeed. I’m glad that your 2015 is sweeter and softer already. I’ve actually heard a lot of people expressing similar sentiments, and if I believed in cosmic shifts and collective unconscious, I might believe that something larger than the individual was occurring. ;-)

    Happy New Year Lysette!

  • Lindsey

    Happy New Year to you and your family! I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be a fabulous year for my little family…and yours :). Thank you for writing your blog. You are my favorite blogger because you are honest and brave. You inspire me to speak my truth and to live my life the way I want to live it. No apologies. Peace and love sent to you!

  • Sammie

    I love the feeling of moving on from “heavy.” I can look back at a lot of heavy/stressful/anxious times in my life, and I feel like as I’ve grown up a lot (from ~19 to 25), I’ve left much of the unnecessary “weight” behind. One of the things I want to do in 2015 is live more intentionally and appreciate all the wonderful people and things in my life. Near the end of 2014, I made a few new, close friends for the first time in what feels like eons, and I want to develop those friendships even more. Thanks for continuing to blog; you’re my original read, and my perennial favorite :) Happy New Year to you all, and can’t wait to see how the splits goal unfolds! :)

  • http://bittsblog.blogspot.com bitt

    It’s been so nice to see you so happy. I’m so glad you kept us updated on it. Happy New Year! May it be even better than 2014!

  • Bianca

    Love it! Enjoyed your splits day one pic on FB. And I agree. Let’s make 2015 the opposite of heavy. I’m over heavy too. 2014 was actually pretty light for me, but 2013 was so damn heavy. Need a few years of lightness now.

  • http://www.charleyfeltham.com/ Charley

    I’m in the splits for 2015 club! So far, so crap haha, got a long way to go. Good luck and HNY to you and yours! xx

  • Alina Hall

    best intention ever! i teach at my friend colette’s yoga studio and she is hosting a FB 30 day splits challenge right now :)


    here’s to light, happiness and success in 2015!!

  • Miet V

    Happy new year!
    I’m going to join you in working on the splits. I’ve always wanted to be able to do them, and I’ve started practising a few times, but I always give up after a couple of weeks. This time, I’m going to do it for real, right along with you!

  • Bel

    Haha! My intention this year is to be able to put my leg behind my head, which means committing more to Yoga than watching a video with a tub of ice-cream. I suspect you’ll be more successful with your split intention though, you’re a can-do kinda person!
    In serious stuff, I’ve also started an MSc. Yikes!
    Although you see 2014 as a heavy year, I have to admit that I’ve read your post with a sense of wonder and inspiration about how much you and Jeremy have achieved, and the drive behind changing your lives for the better together. Obviously it hasn’t been easy for you, but then again, if gaining happiness and success was easy, we’ll all be doing it! ;-). Here is to a wonderful 2015 for you and your family, Sayward.

  • stephie137


  • http://thisbellerocks.blogspot.com This Belle Rocks

    Happy New Year, Seyward! Congrats on school and the store and for keeping on keeping on. And by this time next year, may you have long mastered the splits!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Lindsey, your words mean so much to me and I really take them to heart. I promise to continue doing my best to be brave and live authentically, no apologies, as long as you promise to do the same. =)

    Happy New Year to you! 2015 is going to be the shiz!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Sammie, I love reading your intentions and desires for the coming year. I’m also so glad to hear that you’ve recently made some new close friends! That’s hard to do, and harder the older we get. So yay for that, and Happy New Year!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Bitt – and man, it’s been nice to BE so happy! =D

    Happy New Year to you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes, the opposite of heavy! Glad to hear that last year wasn’t so big on the heavy stuff for you. May you continue with your current trajectory then!

    Always great to hear from you sweetie. And hey – see you in May, yes? Austin??

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    YAY! Splits Club forever! Love it, and love that you’re a fellow spider-leg lady. We are going to look pretty silly with our long skinny limbs sticking out sideways … ;-)

    Happy New Year lady!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Woah that’s rad! And funny, I feel like I pulled this intention out of thin air, but I’ve since heard from so many people who were also intending to do it. Collective unconscious is in the mood for the splits? What does it mean??!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yay Miet, so excited you’re joining in the Splits Club! Happy New Year to you, and happy splitsing!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Happy New year Bel! Good luck with the leg-around-head business (that is hard core!) and even more so, with the Masters. What are you studying?

    And thank you for the kind words, it means so much to me to know that folks out there are reading along, and maybe drawing some sort of inspiration from my words. Thank you. And cheers to 2015! ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks lady, I sure hope so. Happy New Year to you, too!

  • Emily

    I love your space here. I’m constantly learning from you and man when you post a recipe, it is always SO DELICIOUS! Happy New Year!

  • Alina Hall

    lol weird! maybe our collective unconscious just needs to loosen up. in the pelvis.

  • B M

    You’re awesome. Period.

  • Bel

    My MSc is all about healthcare practice, and enabling it to improve. Just submitted my first assignment, which was a real 3am’er! . My former career was lab biomedical science though and fully fully get that feeling you described previously where your brain is just buzzing with knowledge and interest!! I’m all about the science and research over here!
    I think you’re doing far better with splits than I am with leg over head intention at the moment!!

  • Ginger Baker

    Siiiiigh I love you, but every time I hear someone say “the splits”, as a dancer, I cringe lol. It’s like…you wouldn’t ever say “I want to learn how to do the pirouettes” – it’s “I want to learn how to do a pirouette” or “I want to learn how to do pirouettes”. :-) Kills me every time! BUT I still love your resolution :D

    On a side note, I think this was the post that made me realize…you took your lip piercing out! I can’t believe I didn’t notice before!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, fair enough – I ever realized that!

    And yes, took the lip ring out about a year ago. Smooching is much better this way. =)

  • Ginger Baker

    I had a similar realization with my septum ring – I had it for a year or two but it…did get in the way of certain things. Love watching the progress you are making already on your goal!