Five Questions with Rebekah Borucki.
So in one of my many amazing day jobs, I get to help other people write their books. But only once have I gotten to help someone whose books I already love! The week I turned 40, my husband and I went on vacation with our then two-year old to New York. It was a hard time in our lives, in our marriage, in my career. But perhaps most of all, in my spirit. Two days before we left, I was in a crystal shop in Pasadena that happens to sell books, when one of them jumped out at me: You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life by Rebekah Borucki.
I’m a skeptic so I didn’t think it would work. And I’m judgmental so I wasn't sure that the woman on the back could have such a profound effect. But I am also a seeker, which is why I was in a crystal shop in the first place. I bought the book and opened it on the flight to NY from LA. By the end of the first meditation, I felt like I had been living in a dark cave whose entrance was filled with rocks, and Rebekah just removed the first stone.
By the time I was done, I had been reminded what it meant to have a spiritual experience. So when my amazing friend Anna David called me up one day, and said she had a friend who was looking for an editor on her book, and her name was Rebekah Borucki, I pretty much lost my shit.
That book is coming out this summer, and it’s called Managing the Motherload, and though I helped to edit it, I’m pretty sure it’s going to change my life again. Since I’ve always wanted to share the wisdom of the amazing women I know and get to work with, I couldn’t have thought of a better person to be my inaugural “Five Questions With,” and man, did she set the bar high. As I told her when I asked her to answer five random questions that I wasn’t even sure worked, I wanted them to be “about why momming/wifing/writing/lifing is so happy, so hard, and of course, sometimes, kind of shitty.”
She did that and so much more. In fact, I think she kind of changed my life again.
1. What was your last So Happy moment?
This past weekend was full of unexpected happy moments. My husband was away in Colorado on a four-day photo shoot, which left me home with three of our five kids, the 21-year-old on college break among them. I usually get anxious about him traveling because of all the responsibilities of the house (barn animals, kids, LAUNDRY), so I braced myself for at least a little bit of overwhelm. And I'm glad I did.
In fewer than 12 hours between Friday night and late Saturday morning, I played mortician and funeral director for my eight-year-old's hamster, I discovered (thank-goodness-non-toxic) mold in the basement and cleaned EVERYTHING, I conquered a grain beetle infestation in the kitchen, I boiled six pounds of pasta that we couldn’t eat but the goats and pigs will love, I wrestled an escaped goat, I wrestled an escaped dog, I did eleventy billion loads of laundry, and I cleaned a flooded kitchen (because my faucets are perpetually leaky).
I also celebrated a good friend’s uplevel in her business with cheers and tears, booked a new doula client, signed off on the final draft of my new book, watched the little kids play “school” for hours with the dry erase board they just discovered was attached to their seven-year-old easel, and played countless games of Yahtzee with the kids.
I took care of it all (with the help of my oldest), and there were so many laughs about the ridiculousness of it all that it turned out to be one of the best weekends with my kids in a long time.
2. When was your last So Hard day?
I know the actual date: March 8th of this year. My 15-year-old son attends a high school about a half-hour drive from our house, and I drive him each morning and afternoon. It's a way to spend time with just him and, hopefully, get in some conversation. On that particular morning, we got into it about some tension between us, and things escalated quickly. I was yelling, he was crying, and I said things that I regretted before they even left my mouth—it was all very messy, and I dropped him off at school feeling ashamed of my behavior. I went home and scheduled my first therapist appointment in seven years, and that night, I promised him that I would figure out how to be better for both of us. March 8 was the last day I've yelled, and I've been going to therapy every week. It's been amazing.
3. Where is your So Happy place?
Therapy! Really. With five kids and a business and so many responsibilities that need my constant attention, it feels glorious to sit down for an hour once a week and focus on just me. I get to talk uninterrupted and be heard. I put off therapy for a long time because I was afraid it would mean that all the other work that I've done to heal myself—and the work I do to help others to heal—would be seen as not enough. I realize now that all the tools are necessary for my health and happiness. It's such a fantastic feeling to be able to surrender to accepting help and feel like you're doing something good for yourself at the same time.
4. Why do you think this is So Hard?
We're here to love and be in community with other humans, but we're also here to learn. And when we don't understand that, when we resist the lessons, when our ego gets in the way of us saying "I don't know" or "I need help," things will feel hard. We fail to understand that (a) being sick/poor/tired/anxious/angry/depressed/scared doesn't make us broken, and (b) we're not here to fix ourselves. We're here to love ourselves and each other, and to accept love. I keep a coin on my desk that I bought from DailyStoic.com [https://dailystoic.com/amor-fati-love-of-fate/] that has the Latin phrase "Amor fati" engraved on one side. Its English translation is "love of fate." What if we didn't merely bear the hard times, our flaws, or our challenging situations, but instead embraced them as necessary parts of the journey and our growth? What if we could embrace all of that and even love it? How much more ease would we feel in life? Our resistance to what is and constant effort to fix what we think is wrong makes shit hard.
5. How do you get through the Shit?
It might sound cliché, but I breathe. I'm a meditation guide, but I'm a meditator first. I'm continually checking in with myself to count my breaths and my blessings, to remind myself of what's true at the moment and not just what I've managed to concoct with my wild (and wildly negative) imagination. I breathe deep and tell myself that I'm safe, that I'm loved, and that I have the power to choose the next right thing for myself. And then I text a friend, pray, journal, watch The Office reruns, read, sit in nature, eat two squares of milk chocolate from ALDI's. I take care of myself in whatever way is available to me at that moment. But I check in first. Stop, get centered, then act. Always in that order.