Hindsight is not so wonderful…

I really don’t understand this saying: hindsight is a wonderful thing. To be more accurate, hindsight is a vicious, treacherous, demoralising, faith-stealing, malignant, party-pooping devil whose presence is akin to lancing a  festering, reoccurring boil with an infected, blunt hypodermic needle. My saying is a little clumsier, but if I take out one or two adjectives, it might just catch on.

And to make it worse, this saying encroaches onto my sacred sarcasm territory. Get out! You are not welcome here. You do not make me smile sardonically. You are not wicked in the good way!

So, if I am forced to believe this saying is being genuine, then I call bs…

Looking back on what I have done over the last two months, I can’t help but wonder if I could have done better. These mutating, disease-ridden musings have been infiltrating my mind and morphing perfectly-useful, blissfully-ignorant thoughts into ones tainted with doubt and failure.

A very wise woman said to me once, ” You make decisions with the information you had at the time. At that time, it was the best decision you could make.” She then picked up her racquet and we had a blinding set of tennis. The advice was anything but blinding. It stuck with me and opened the way to a fresh alternative that would urge me to teeter on the edge of a more satisfying and less horrifying saying:  ignorance is bliss.

So if I proclaim ignorance, and say, “Well, I did what I did because I didn’t have enough information,” then surely this means only  one thing to someone who analyses the whos and whys of every suspicious glance thrown my way.

Get more information.

I did get more information. I had so much I couldn’t breathe. And the only way to cut open my constricted larynx was to grab that boil-lancing hypodermic needle that is hindsight, and stab myself in the throat. It feels a little better, though. Sometimes it is better the devil you know.



4 thoughts on “Hindsight is not so wonderful…

  1. Okay. Hindsight is 20/20 which usually means you have a perfect view of your own @$$. Take that, and hindsight, for what it’s worth.

    Or, to quote from my series protagonist Micah, who has a very pragmatic view on life: “You live forward but you understand backward.”

    Hindsight, much like nuclear science, is a tool. It can be used for good or evil and you really don’t want it stuck to your shoe. On the plus side, and I’ll be blogging about this soon, I myself recently applied a dab of hindsight and now I have a much more efficient process in formatting my manuscripts for publication.

    On the downside I’ve also experienced the ugly kind of hindsight, although I must admire the eloquent and vivid way you describe it! If abused, hindsight leads to regret which leads to self-doubt which leads to failed math tests, among other things. You seem to have used it recently to over-self-analyze something that woulda-shoulda-coulda been done better.


    The best way to fight fire is with fire (or so they say), the best defense is a good offense and if two of your opponents (in whatever arena) are demolishing each other then stand back and let them. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and face your detractors with a smile and a prominently raised middle finger!

    Or, in a more meta sense, attack one festering, pustulent abscess with another! Apply that hindsight to HINDSIGHT ITSELF!!! Next time you’re tempted to look backward and self-criticize, look backward from this and JUST DON’T DO IT!!

    Regarding information, more is better but it isn’t always good! The next time it starts to choke you, turn around, pull your finger and f@rt that pesky cloud away! (In his more witty days George Carlin once remarked “Your own don’t stink.”)

    As far as ignorance being bliss, I know a lot of people who should be happy but aren’t! “Ignorance is bliss” is something the demagogue says to the loyal flock to keep them docile whilst they’re being fleeced! Given the choice which would you be: the fleece-er or the fleece-ee?

    Finally, if, in hindsight, you look back from reading this post and decide I’m full of crap, SO BE IT! 😉 I’ve had students telling met that for YEARS.


  2. lol Matt. Thanks for taking the time to address my post so thoroughly 🙂 I think you are right- you learn from it what you can and you move forward and think no more on it – glean what you can and then give it the, ‘thank you very much, we are done here,” talk. What you’re still here? That was not part of the deal! There is a certain bliss alone with knowing there is nothing more that can be done, though. That is what is fueling me through book 2. I know I over analyse. I just have to trust that my obsessiveness pays off :S

  3. I’m with you, Lorelle, hindsight is a real bitch. There are only so many hours in a day though, so try not to beat yourself up over it. Take a deep breath, and move forward, because really, that’s all that you can do. 🙂

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