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what we remember in hindsight

April 25, 2015

It’s been 2 weeks since we did what I’m sure in the future we will be referring to as our “crazy long hiking day”.  Several days ago I was thinking that in hindsight it really hadn’t been that bad.  And then I read Linda’s comment on the “how far did we go” blog post – apparently hindsight isn’t the same for all us.

I’m not saying I have forgotten the slow sections when we were slipping through mud or on ice.  Or that moment when we climbed the section that ran along the road so we actually did the trail (but that’s the wisdom for another post).  But when I think back on the entire 23 kilometres and 8 or so hours of hiking, I think that I could do it again if I had to.  I ached a bit the next day, but not as much as I thought.  My feet hurt that night, but my toes feel better than our second hike when I had horrible shoes.  It was an entire day of hiking, but it had been a beautiful sunny, warm day without bugs.

What is it that makes the negative emotions fade with time in some situations and not in others?  As I have other negative experiences that in hindsight haven’t faded in the same way.  The analyst in me wonders if it’s impacted by the uniqueness of the experiences, our knowledge that we will do it again, our overall emotional state at that time, what else was going on in our lives at the time, the way we have described the experience to our selves and others.  I don’t know why it’s so, but I do know that sometimes hindsight makes our memory of an event/experience fade and become less negative than in the moment and sometimes the event/experience just stays in our memory as something we never want to repeat.

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