"Hindsight is 20/20" says looking back on an event after its occurrence shows what we should or could have done instead. If only there were an edit button for life...sounds good, but without accountability for mistakes we'd likely never grow into the people we are today.
I have always loved this proverb, but what does "20/20" actually mean? The American Optometric Association tells us:
"20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet."
Notice the use of the word "normal" in this definition; 20/20 vision is what a person normally sees without impaired vision. But when looking back on the past, ideally we should have perfect vision. We've seen it unfold with the mistakes playing out before our very eyes clear as day, like watching someone else's life. Wouldn't the better goal be 20/10 vision - seeing twice as well as what a normal person can see so that we don't keep repeating the same mistakes? Maybe 20/20 is when you're out of the initial emotional fog and again able to think rationally, but 20/10 is finally achieving the objectivity to truly dissect the situation and make a conscious choice to not let it replay if it's unhealthy.
We're all continually learning, about ourselves, others, and life in general. If we strive for 20/10 vision of the past to understand where we've gone wrong and try to apply those learnings for a better future, then maybe not all is lost. Easier said than done, I know, that's why resolutions and fad diets go bust pretty quickly. We mess up a few times and throw it all out the window. Let's be gentle and patient with ourselves as we clumsily grow; no one is perfect.
Mistakes will be made this coming year, no doubt, but hopefully we'll have the foresight to use the hindsight we've been granted and make 2020 a year worth remembering. Cheers to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling New Year for all of us!