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Simplify for Peace
Episode 166

July 6, 2021

Life can start to become overwhelming when we add more, more and more, onto our plate. It’s the little things that add up over time that create too many responsibilities and make us busy. One of the greatest things we can do is learn how to consistently simplify. This is a balance between being able to honor our priorities as well as take care of ourselves.

Diana Ballard

Mom Training

Simplify For Peace

Episode Transcript

The Mom Training Podcast with Diana Ballard

 

Diana:  Hey momma, okay, so last week, we talked about – we just passed the hurdle. We passed the peak of the mountain. We’re headed downhill with 2021, and there's such an amount of beauty that we can obtain from this next six months. I hope you figured out some things that you've learned, some lessons that you can apply and what you're going to do moving forward.

 

  So, I'm going to share one that I've been working on the past couple of months, actually. A little bit before the six-month mark, but that I realized I was like, “Holy baloney, [chuckle] I need to really change some things in this area, because just it's too much.” I'm doing too much. I need to pull back.

 

  My husband was gone for quite a while, March through most of June. And it was a lot being by myself with three kids, being pregnant, taking care of everything. And, in my opinion the lifestyle that we’ve created together was not made to be run by a single parent.

 

  Meaning, like we have a mini farm. We have a really big yard that has lots of lots of needs; just grows like a weed, but it’s beautiful stuff. But holy crap, so much freaking stuff. Our chickens… We had a fish tank… Tons of live things that I had to take care of, besides my children and myself, and my dog, and whatever.

 

  And so, at the end of him being gone, I started to kind of break down and  resent a lot of these things that normally bring me joy, like my fish tank, my beautiful yard, my garden, my chickens, different things like that that's like I… All my life plants are in my house. Like, “I am sorry, [chuckle] but I am not enjoying keeping you alive.” My kids, and my dog, and myself, the baby in my tummy… Fine. We're doing great. I'm not resentful at all towards that. Like that's totally fine, easy-peasy. But the extra stuff was really wearing on me.

 

  So, I started to simplify. I'm going to share a couple things that I have done, and I'm continuing to do because I absolutely love doing this - simplifying kind of stuff because it's so freeing.

 

  I was a minimalist before getting married. Something cracked in my mind of like, I'm just done with all these stuffs everywhere… So, I don't know if I've ever actually told you this before… I hired somebody and they helped me get rid of like most of the things that I had. And it came down to me, sleeping on my floor, in a sleeping bag with pillows, and I had a couch in my room and I had a desk in my room and not a single thing on my walls. I think at that time, I still had a fish tank and a bookshelf in there. But it was… I mean there was not much in that room. And I had the master bedroom in a house full of girls and so I… The bathroom was really clean and nice…

 

  And I'd have clients come in, at the time, I was self-employed and I would do therapy sessions in like energy work and stuff, with those clients. And they just thought that my room was an office because in my closet, I had my clothes and my shoes, which were very minimal at the time. And then each morning, I would put my sleeping bag and pillows in the closet, and “Voila! Welcome to my office.” And it was like the best thing ever. It really was… To be able to have just space, and silence, and stillness.

 

  I was a minimalist before for like multiple years. That was like, maybe a year and a half, before I got married, and absolutely loved it. Even like debated like, “Should we even get a bed?” Getting married, “Can we just sleep on the floor because it’d just be so much easier.” We did end up getting a bed.

 

  But I'll tell you, family life took over and the amount of stuff, and things to do, and what was needed…It just exploded. It really did. I’ve never had so much stuff in my life. And we’re pretty simple, we don’t buy a lot of stuff anyway, just the stuff we’re given – the clothes, the toys for babies and, “This is what you need to have a family” … Oh my gosh… And it’s been challenging.

 

  I’ve been married over seven years now, and it's been… I haven't gotten to the point yet, where I did like when I was single, where it's like, enough is enough. We’re done. But I kind of hit that moment a little bit while my husband was gone because there was so much stuff to take care of, and things to clean up. It was like, there got to be some changes.

 

  We got to get rid of more stuff, and I got to simplify what I’m doing. So, what that looks like for me was getting rid of the fish tank, which I think that fish tank fixed me for a while of getting a fish tank because it was in our kitchen. And there was so much light in our kitchen, that every three weeks, I’d have to deep clean algae out of everything in there - the castle, the lamps, the rocks, the walls of it, through the filter, because there was so much light, that it just created so much algae. I was like, “I cannot do this crap.”

 

  I’ve had fish tanks for years, and absolutely love them. They never once done this. I’m even using stuff that’s supposed to kill algae. It just wasn't working. The light in there, which I love how much light is in our kitchen… But hot dang, like, “No.”

 

  So, I got rid of my fish tank, which was an interesting experience with my children. And maybe I'll talk about that another time - of how to convince them and have them be on board about getting rid of their fish, that they had chosen themselves, which were cute little fish. And how to do that in a happy manner, and not have as many tears… There was tears, especially in the beginning of us starting to talk about it. But at the end, just a couple little tears as we gave the fish away, instead of like a huge big traumatic moment. And so maybe we'll talk about that another time.

 

  But I got rid of my fish tank. I got rid of tons of my live plants, which I have always loved but, “Bye, bye, see you later.” [chuckle] I don't care that it’s just, “I have to water you every Sunday. I just don’t want to keep you alive anymore. Like, someone else can have you.”

 

  I gave away a ton of garden plants that I had bought, and so excited to plant, especially, my cantaloupe, and my honeydew, and my pumpkins. I gave them all the way. I gave them all away because I’ve had them for three weeks, they still haven’t been planted. I’m super pregnant… I wasn’t happening, I got rid of them.

 

  And just as I went around the house, starting to get rid of things from my childhood that I've hung on to or things that I… I’m like, “This is not even useful… I never wear this… These shoes never happened… “ Just going through and clearing house.

 

  By doing so, it opened up so much more space for creativity, so much more peace. So much less time on keeping things running, and moving, and taking care of live things. You’re like, “Dang, I can't get rid of my children.” I'm not saying to get rid of your children [chuckle].

 

  But what else can you get rid of?

 

  Your children are the things you want to keep. The children are the things you want to cherish, and you're like, “I'm done struggling with that.” I understand that too sometimes. We can have moments where we're like, “Oh my gosh, I can get through this moment. I'm struggling but I can do it.” But overall, our family is what we want to be able to spend our time on, and to have good relationships with, and love and cherish, have no regrets. Right?

 

  But in order for us to do that we have to get rid of the noise around us. And believe me, in this world right now, there is so much noise… So much noise, oh my gosh, that can distract you from having what you want, being what you want, being the mom that you want to be. And it's just busy work. Like my fish tank brought me joy for a small amount of time and then it became busy work because of its condition. There was a problem with it, and I'm not putting up with that crap. We got to get rid of that. There's other circumstances that I could control, that I could get rid of.

 

  What can you simplify in your life right now? What can you let go, that could open up your time? And then, I'm going to warn you, I'm going to warn myself right now, that when you simplify there's a tendency to want to fill that space again. There's a tendency to say, “Oh, well, all of a sudden I'm not busy anymore”, or, “All of a sudden, I just have so much extra time. What am I supposed to do with it?”

 

  I want to invite you to shift it towards your family. I want to invite you to shift that time towards yourself care; taking care of your body, getting more sleep, getting off social media. Using that time to have more sex with your husband; go have some fun with him. Like go on more dates. Go and just be you. Go out with some girlfriends. Do something with that time that's going to build relationship. Because that is where you are going to find the most fulfilment. And feeling your best, self-care, taking care of your body, your sleep, your exercise, your nutrition, whatever…

 

  But be careful not to fill that space with just random stuff. Fill your free time that you get from opening up these things, simplifying your life, with sitting and looking at the sunset, writing in your journal, taking a bath every night. Man, I enjoyed the crap out of that. Like for months when my husband was gone, I took a bath like almost every night just to relax, and just sit there, and have my mind be still for a minute.

 

  What can you simplify in your life? What can you do to take some things off of your plate?

 

  I'm going to tell you; it's going to seem hard. You're going to look at things and be like, “How can I take that off my plate?” You'd be surprised if you were to sit down… If you were to tell me what you're doing, I guarantee, I could pull out at least five things, just in the conversation that we have, that you could simplify. How much time are you spending on this? What's your habits here? What are you doing with this?

 

  And you'd be very surprised. You'd be very surprised that you might have more time-wasting things than you think, and still feel like you're running yourself to the ground. So, think about the little things. Get rid of the little things first, that are stealing your time. And take the time that you create to relax, and spend time with your family.

 

  So, I hope you can find some things you can do to simplify your life, to love your life more, and be still, and be at peace. And that is one of my biggest goals for this next six months. Now, I'm just about ready to have a baby. I'm prepared as crap for that. You have no idea. I've covered so many bases, especially with having a business, holy baloney [chuckle]. But I will tell you, I have worked my butt off because I am determined to be at peace, to have my life simplified, to enjoy this moment with my new child, and with my family. And whatever is coming up for you, whatever you want to accomplish this next six months, it's possible for you - one choice, one step, one decision, one action at a time, and you'll get there.

 

  Thanks so much for joining me today make sure you're sharing this podcast with other moms and checking out the social media stuff. Come sign up for the newsletter that we have that comes out every Friday. And we'll see you next Tuesday on The Mom Training Podcast.