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One step forward, three steps back and sideways
There’s a lot of talk of regressions whenever you listen to parents talk about their babies. This is especially true of babies and sleep. One week your baby is giving you a solid 8 hours and the next he’s waking up at 4 AM again. You feel what little “progress” you made slip from your fingers as the last of your remaining brain cells drain from your body. You might as well be back to square one.
I am starting to understand that regressions happen in all areas of life - not just at 4 AM with a screaming baby. Regressions happen in relationships. It happens in our abilities and skills. It happens to our unused muscles and to the natural world around us. I suppose it’s why I have intuited for some time now that writing must be done daily - in an attempt to ward off any writing regressions.
But maybe regressions are the way our systems learn and adapt to growth. We fight against the discomfort of change and our bodies scream in protest. Progress is not linear, so the popular saying goes. Regressions are perhaps the way we can tell that some progress has actually been made: without them, how would we know we’ve moved forward? The regression is the indication of our new state - that we have progressed and can notice it because we have momentarily slipped backwards, back to our old un-progressed selves.
So, as hard as it is to be going through a regression, it may just be the little hint we need that we are actually progressing. Now, if only I could take that to heart in those tough moments. The work continues.