Thursday, October 12, 2006

Two steps forwards,
One step back

One of the things I've come to realize about life is that learning, be it a skill or an academic exercise, is not always a straight-lined curve. Rather, it seems that progress plateaus, then suddenly jumps to a new level while skipping what seems like the gradual steps in between (stock traders call this gapping, I do not on).

You may have experienced this when, for instance, you do aerobic training. For a while you don't see any progress. Then, almost suddenly, one day you see a jump in improvement (interestingly, this often occurs after an injury that causes you to, I do digress). What is even more interesting (to people like me) is the phenomena of two steps forward and one step back.

This is expressed during a period of apparent progress followed by a degree of back sliding during which one feels as if he or she is actually losing ground. (To tie something up, this is what the stock traders call backing and filling...see, I didn't digress...but now I do digress). It can be disheartening and is an expression of the reality that progress isn't always apparent and comes about in its own way. Maybe, just maybe, it is the only way our bodies can let us know it is time for a rest (this was the subject of another blog and can be left there for now). More to today's point is recognizing when this is occuring and not to be disheartened by it. It is something to get through in order to meet up with the success waiting on the other side.

The picture at the top, as you may recall, is of the hole in our ceiling with which we were greeted on our return from Italy. There had been a minor leak, and the fix it guy had opened the hole to allow things to dry out. Well, we've been living with this hole overhead until yesterday when he returned, with an assistant no less, and I thought, aha, now this thing will get fixed, I will see progress at last. When they left, the hole looked as follows:

Hmmm. Ever the optimist (yeah, right), I looked at it and thought how nice and even the edges now look....and I got the idea for this frivilous blog.

Paddle safe...


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