A reply from Sally Cronin (‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing‘) to a comment I made on her blog gave me the idea for this post about hindsight. Below I’ll share a few examples of how I gained hindsight the hard way.

  1. In my mid-thirties I started jogging around my village every morning to keep fit. I eventually got past the shin splints and loved every moment of being able to run without pain. However, my mother, 33 years my senior, used to shake her head and tell me how impact sports would damage my knees and how I’d be in pain when I was older. I used to laugh and tell her I had bought the latest all-singing-all-dancing cushioned trainers. However, 20 years of running did indeed damage my knees. With hindsight I would have power-walked instead.
  2. Neither my parents nor I questioned the amount of dental x-rays I had as a teenager. Years later while reading a newspaper we found out that the dentist claimed for much more work than he ever carried out. He may have been responsible for the stage 4 thyroid cancer I was diagnosed with in 2005. Now I question whether every x-ray I have is necessary. I’d sue that dentist now, but he’s dead.
  3. My parents drummed into me to get a good career based on what I was good at. They mentioned I had a talent for languages and that studying French to A level and further to become bi-lingual and perhaps a translator would be a good career move. Aged 18 I went ahead and applied for a job that I had interest in but was not suited to, got the job, and wasted 5 years. With hindsight I could have used those years to study and either gain a degree in English and become a journalist, or get a French degree and become a translator.
  4. I rushed my first book ‘Mind Games’ and sent it off to an agent, who was interested in it but wanted me to re-write it and then send it back to her. I didn’t think it needed re-writing, and wasted three years before I realised it did need re-writing. I sent it back to her three years later, but she had seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. With hindsight I would have taken her advice straight away, but hey…
  5. Sam looked up at all the trees surrounding the caravan we were interested in buying, and mentioned how our gutters would be clogged and how we’d be deluged with leaves, twigs, resin and birds’ turds on our decking. I wanted the caravan and took no notice. Three years later we made the move to a caravan not surrounded by any trees WHATSOEVER! With hindsight I would have not bought a caravan so close to trees.
  6. When we were buying our first house back in the 1980s we didn’t have much money or sense, and bought a basic survey instead of a full one. With hindsight a full survey might have discovered the underground spring running beneath the house (every time it rained we had rising damp), and the roof in danger of collapsing. What a farce, lol, and what a lot of extra expense to put it all right before we could sell it again.
  7. I wish I’d had the same operation on my right eye in 2010 that I’d had on the left eye the year before. The ‘Gold Standard’ op on the left eye has been wonderful in banishing the after-effects of radiation. However, instead I chose the option not to have another scar. Bad move. The right eye waters and waters and waters and waters (sigh).

Perhaps you’d like to leave some examples too?