The Paradox of It All


noun: a statement or proposition that, despite sound reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory

The paradox of it all is when to hold on and when to let go. Being W.I.S.E. was one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year. It’s an acronym for wellness, inspiration, simplification, and efficacious organizing. I am proud to report that nearly ten months in I feel quite successful. I try to measure these goals on a weekly basis, checking myself. And I have to say, I am feeling great – eating well and doing yoga, being inspired by books and movies and fabulous blogs. Simplifying my life by cleaning out closets and drawers and really thinking about what I need. The necessary things are all organized and beautiful. Unnecessary things are gone.

I’m coming to the end of this project. But here’s the paradox…I am not feeling the way I thought I would about it.  I envisioned myself happily throwing things away and joyously making donations. Being empowered by simplifying and organizing and just feeling lighter. That’s not the case. I’m admittedly a bit sad. Every “thing” has a memory, a space in time that served a purpose. I’m trying to move forward, but the past keeps pulling me back in…freakin’ nostalgia is alive and well! I’m finding that I truly want to keep items from times gone by, things I don’t need. I’m not a hoarder, I keep reminding myself. But I do understand how objects can fill a void. They can remind us of something…a recognition of a simpler time or a joyful moment or maybe just a memory we want to tangibly hold.

But life is ever moving forward. Nothing can truly be held.  I know that cleaning out, simplifying, organizing, giving things to those who can use them is productive and honest. All of life is a process. Just as gathering was necessary at one point, so is clearing out at another phase. Being truthful with myself and how I see life’s paradoxes is helping me make sense of this stage in life, and I kind of like that about myself.

“The way of paradoxes is the way of truth.” Oscar Wilde

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