Hindsight isn’t just the excuse you should be using when you get caught checking out some cute girl’s butt, it’s also something that can prove almost infinitely useful regardless of the situation at hand. Let me explain.

As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t really exercise all that often. Infrequently, but not all that often. Anyway, we were talking about this at work one day, and instead of asking me straight out why I didn’t exercise a co-worker decides to ask the question: “where and when do you have your own time? To reflect, that kind of thing?” The only answer that came immediately to mind was my time on public transport. Sure, when I’m home I’m usually alone for the most part (thankfully my sister and parents tend to leave well enough alone), but even when I’m “alone” in my room I’m usually doing something — surfing the net, chatting with friends via IM, smashing people in online games, that sort of thing.

Indeed, my time on public transport constitutes the vast majority of time to myself. Sometimes I write blog posts like this, sometimes I write small reviews of iOS games I’ve been playing lately. Sometimes I just tune out and let my mind wander, but I’m always listening to music. Not necessarily paying any sort of attention to the music, but the noise helps block out distractions.

As someone who doesn’t really associate that much with other people you would think that I’d have a lot of time to myself, but that’s not always the case. For example, I’m actually phenomenally lazy so any free time I have might well be spent snoozing instead of working on that assignment that’s due in a couple of days.

Reflection also happens at the most inconvenient of times, too. Like when I’m trying to get to sleep but I can’t stop thinking about one thing or another, or when I’m trying to concentrate on some insanely-important programming exercise but keep getting interrupted with thoughts that have nothing at all to do with programming in C.

Lately I’ve actually been using hindsight to gain new knowledge I previously didn’t have. There have been many instances just recently where I could have acted out and done something, but hindsight tells me those probably weren’t the best courses of action at the time. I guess the question then becomes whether I’ll regret not doing something (at that moment or later on), but hindsight is a bitch like that. I expect to lose many hours of sleep over certain actions or lack thereof, but I guess that’s life.

Personal time is important. I can’t really imagine a time where I’d go without it, and at a guess I’d start to have really insane dreams as my much-wilder subconscious wreaked havoc with my thoughts. I really can’t stress this enough: having time to yourself is a good thing. There’s nothing stopping you from going ahead and filling your social calendar to the brim with activities, and that’s all well and good, but don’t try and distract yourself from the person who really matters the most in your life — yourself.

Lie awake at night.

Take long walks.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s good to just stop and have a long hard think. If it helps, write your thoughts down to get them into some sort of meaningful order. If it helps, have music playing in the background. If it helps, do trivial tasks so you don’t get bored.

Reflection is one thing, ignoring yourself is another thing entirely.

Finally: no, I haven’t been caught looking (yet), so thankfully I’ve never had to use that particular pun at the beginning of this post. That’s not to say I’m not (looking), however. I’m sure that pun will come in handy one day! 😉

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