Dancing with Dichotomy

How do we live with the ying and the yang that lives inside all of us?  The disparate parts of ourselves.  The parts that conflict.  The puzzle pieces that don’t fit together because they’re from different puzzles.

I like boxes.  Little ones.  Wooden ones. Carved ones.  The ones that fancy jewelry used to come in.


I don’t like putting things out of sight because then I forget about them.


I am a list-maker extraordinaire.  I like the sensation (albeit false) that my lists give me, that of being in control of my world.  I like to check things off my list.  Correction, I’m a check and cross-off not once but twice kind of gal.  Ahhh the feeling of satisfaction.


I don’t like having my time prescribed, it feels constricted like a too tight sweater.  I like to have what I call ‘floating time’ where my attention isn’t pre-programmed and it and I wander as we like.


I am an introvert.  I get restored by spending time on my own or in small, intimate groups.


I love nothing more than getting up in front of a crowd and teaching a workshop.  It gets the blood in my veins singing and my energy crackling.


I love clear, uncluttered space.  Clean lines.  Beautiful things artfully arranged.


I have invisible super glue sticking me to my possessions.  I might not have used something for 5 or more years, yet deep within the recesses of my brain I’m absolutely convinced that I might need it one day.

All of these juxtapositions.  Contrary contradictions.  Yet they’re all me.

I’ve decided that 2010 will be the year to dance with dichotomy, to make friends with these differences.  To accept them.  To see them as complementary opposites within a greater whole.

What dichotomies do you dance with?


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8 Responses to “Dancing with Dichotomy”

  1. Emma-Louise Elsey Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Lee-Ann,

    Actually I’m with you on most of those dichotomies…

    I love neatness/orderliness, but if I don’t have things in sight I forget about them (I used post-it ‘systems’ to remember things and WRITE lots of stuff down – right away).

    I love spending time with people, but need ME alone time. I get group-fatigue but LOVE groups!

    I love lists, but hate having to stick to them…

    I like rules to help me, but LOVE to break them.

    On chores/necessary tasks I find if I say “maybe” then I’ll do it, but if I say “Yes” then I don’t want to.

    I love freedom, but like boundaries.

    I like simple, but end up mired in detail (and love that too!)

    Great post – it got me thinking, and now I’m signing off before I go off on one…


  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Emma-Louise
    Great to hear from you. How encouraging that we share some dichotomies. I especially love the ones about:
    * loving lists but hating sticking to them
    * liking rules but LOVE to break them and
    * loving freedom but liking boundaries

    I can so relate. Here’s to a year of not yes/no, black/white, either/or but what I like to call ‘gray thinking’ or ‘yes and…..’

  3. Nina Ilnyckyj Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Your blog is a welcome getaway from my work day…and helps me move it forward. Thanks!

  4. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    What a wonderful compliment Nina, thanks. Love the irony / sweet tension between ‘getting away’ and ‘moving forward’. Thank YOU.

  5. Andrew C. Sailer Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Heyy, Found your blog on Google and I am so glad I did! Keep it up! =)

  6. beceattidaw Says:
    February 17th, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
    And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! 🙂

  7. Concrete Repair Says:
    March 19th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Hello Friends!

    I have 2 jobs, 4 kids, an ex husband, a loan to the bank, and way to many days left till the next payday, but even so my 10 minutes of free time…I spend it daily on pleasant online news and until now you never made me loose interest.

    I’m greatful for sweetening my daily routine. Yeah, unpleasant times but everybody remember that we need laughter also in our lives.

    See You!

  8. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Phew! That’s a load that you seem to carry with grace. Hoping that you continue to dance with dichotomy with flair and perseverance.

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