Redeeming past experiences

One of the discoveries I love making is when you find that something you wasted a whole heap of time on in the past, suddenly and unexpectedly actually has a use now. The time previously wasted is partially redeemed by the surprising discovery that it was in fact, albeit unbeknown at the time … useful.
Sometimes this can be very close to the event e.g Newton having a lazy sit down under an apple tree and thus inventing gravity. Sometimes (and more usually) the distance between the time wasting and the redemptive discovery are huge. An example. Most of my time at Sixth form college was ‘wasted’ by avoiding the onerous task of working and instead spending all my time with people in chatting, listening, debating and talking. This had a somewhat detrimental effect on my academic achievements and could be perceived as a classic case of wasting time. However within a few years it turned out that all this time doing nothing but talking paved the way for my jobs in sales, training and youth work where communication is at the heart of what I needed to be able to do. Fab!
Anyway, how did I arrive at this muse you ask? Well, cycling through Oxford yesterday I was cutting through the backstreets and lanes which necessitated, every so often, riding directly across busy pedestrianised shopping streets from an alley on one side over to the road or alley on the other. Crossing these on a bike is a complex business as it involves looking for a small break in the two way perambulating flow, zipping into it then applying the brakes, balancing for a moment until the next break opens up. Sometimes some slight adjustment, peeling sideways in the direction of flow is a good idea to open up access to a more useful gap (while not being swept to far from the exit you are aiming for).
Anyway, while in this precarious game of tactics; balance, zoom and stop, I realised that all that time playing Frogger in the 80’s was no longer time wasted but was now redeemed into tactical cycling skills. Hurrah!
All I have to do know is find some redeeming use for the vast array of information about second world war aircraft gleaned (and have retained) during a particularly nerdy phase of my adolescence.