Freedom

Make this the Year of You!

January 14, 2019

2018 was a year of incredible highs and extreme lows for me.  I finished one of my lifelong dreams of producing two seasons of the docuseries, Fastlife, a show about our family and my husbands’ aspirations to go after his lifelong dream of being a race car driver.  He had dabbled in the sport for many years after I asked him, “If you could do anything you wanted without limits and you had total support to do it, what would you do?”  Without hesitation he answered, “I’d be a race car driver.”  At the time we were newly married and had small children but I didn’t hesitate.  Most wives would say, “Yeah right!”  The sport is risky, it would mean time away from the family, we already had responsibilities at home and full time work to maintain.  Somehow I was able to see through all of that to his heart.  I knew that he wouldn’t be happy if he didn’t follow his heart.  I understood the principle of doing what you love.  I thought that I would be happier if he was happier.  It felt good too because it was a selfless thing I was doing.  I never once thought about myself.

Now many years later, I find myself with a health challenge.  Three months ago I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.  I know, lots of people have that and the more people I talk to say that it isn’t a big deal.  A family member shared, “Most of my friends take thyroid, at least a small dose.”  It’s apparently a common health condition.  I am beginning to wonder if there is any correlation to so many women having this and giving everything we have in all of our relationships, exhaustion, and burnout from our lifestyles. This, I am not prepared to answer now but will continue to research.  As a result of the impact this has had on my health, I am looking at EVERYTHING very differently.

When the condition first happened, I was not able to do anything.  I ended up in the ER while my husband was out of town.  My 17-year-old daughter and my 11-year-old daughter had to drive me to the ER in the middle of the night.  The next day was the first day of school.  I felt awful, I could hardly stand up and I was scared.   A couple of days later my doctor’s office called after seeing the ER report come through and I wasn’t any better.  They asked me to come on that day and after a series of labs and tests I was diagnosed.  I didn’t want to take medication, I didn’t want to have this problem.  I just wanted it to be all ok.  I wanted so badly to be perfect.  Who am I trying to impress?  And why isn’t just being me enough?  I began to ask these questions.

I’ve had years of my parents, friends, colleagues, and others encouraging me to not be so hard on myself.  I must have heard this a thousand times.  And now in the face of a diagnosis, I was still being hard on myself and I felt like a failure.  I felt like I had failed at caring for myself and being healthy and keeping it all together.  I wasn’t aware that this is what I was feeling or doing.  I had just always been able to get away with doing a lot.  I had high standards and prided myself on that.  Prior to getting sick I had worked myself to exhaustion on the show.  I even remember that I would hear a voice that would say “breathe” and I would ignore it.  Call it God or intuition or just my body starving for oxygen, but I was being guided I just didn’t stop to listen.  I had not been working out because I was working or eating really regularly.  I would get into cutting an episode and then just stay with it until I was starving.  I didn’t always have the groceries I needed to make healthy stuff.  I did pretty well.  On top of it, I was doing the Keto diet.  I didn’t really know what I was doing but I skimmed through books and did my best to stay with it.  I knew it was supposed to be good for fairly quick weight loss.  I had gained weight while sitting and editing 20 episodes of our show.  I was taking supplements and activated charcoal to detox.  I was doing it all!

Finally we went on vacation and while we were there I got a terrible sinus infection.  We had lived in toxic forest fire smoke for most of the Southern Oregon summer and so I’m sure this didn’t help.  When we returned from our trip my husband quickly flew off on a work trip after we returned, while ill I was organizing the house and getting our bags unpacked and doing laundry and I crashed and ended up in the ER.  I was trying to do it all.   Our society tends to push this mentality and I think we as women do it a little bit to ourselves.  But what we forget is the most basic principles of life, science, and reality.  When you overdo it and you exhaust yourself by work and perfectionism, trying to do it all, at some point burnout will follow.  I didn’t even share that my daughter was dealing with debilitating anxiety also during this time.  That I will address on the blog in the future.

 

So where am I now?  I’m three months from my diagnosis and I am healing.  I am working with a doctor, a nutritionist,  praying a lot, and getting to know myself by slowing the pace down.  Ironically people had joked before I got sick that the next show I create should be called “The Slow Life”.  The first two months were just about getting quiet, allowing others to do things for me, and heal.  It took a few weeks before I could even get out and drive anywhere.  That was really scary.  I had to baby step back into every aspect of my life.  Now that I’ve had some time, I’m adding back things but differently and different things.  In two separate conversations my doctor and nutritionist recommended to me that 2019 be the “Year of Brooke”.  So here we are!  I’m now living “The Year of Brooke”, a year dedicated to rediscovering who I am, a time for putting myself first, letting go of old clutter-physical, emotional, spiritual, getting to know who I am beneath the “have to’s” and “must do’s”, it’s a total rebuild from a healthy foundation.

What I would like to do is share how I am healing and what I am learning throughout this year to hopefully inspire you to be better at self-care.  Hopefully I can help you avoid where I ended up but if you are already there or have already crashed and healing, I can share with you the helpful, healthy things I am learning.  The blessing in all of this, is that there will be a new me at the end of this and hopefully a new and improved you too!

May 2019 be your best year yet!  Blessings to you,

Brooke

 

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About me

I'm a people pleasing filmmaker turned dream-inspirer life coach, that used my personal hardships in life to grow my ability in empowering women around the world to create practices that promote healthy living and a freedom lifestyle. 

Hi there, I'm Brooke and I'm so happy you're here!

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My Book
Fastlife | Let's Go Racing

Fastlife is a children’s book, based on our true-life story, about a boy and his dream of racing. In this heartwarming story of friendship, Derek and his classmate Brooke discover their power to chase their dreams together, uncovering a circuitous but crafty way to start their journey.

Derek’s dad has hung up his fast-paced dreams, but Derek helps him reignite his passion for racing, and they build their first go-kart together.

With unwavering support from Brooke, they assemble their team and enter their first race. When Derek meets with an unexpected rival in Spencer, a neighbor and seasoned go-kart driver, his sense of competition surges as he rounds every turn.

Join us as we learn more about Derek, how he and his friends believe in themselves and how that knowledge drives their dreams.

This book is based on the real-life love story between Derek DeBoer and his wife Brooke, and features the one and only Spencer Pumpelly. The story has just begun...

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