Over the years I've heard a lot of people say "I don't spend much time thinking about the past," or something similar. I doubt this is true considering the way my thought streams are constantly recalling past experiences to deal with present experiences. Without reflection I would not be able to function–to adapt and innovate–and effectively deal with current circumstances. So I've always embraced retrospective thought as both useful and enjoyable.
This was especially true during my working years as I changed jobs and had to learn new, ever-increasingly complex things at each one. Even on my first job at fifteen years of age I can remember actively recalling things from my past as I worked on tasks which helped me perform the tasks better than I would have coming into it with blank slate memory. Somehow my mind automatically delved into deep, long-untapped memories at what seemed to be the most opportune moments to provide insight applicable to a problem or problem set I was dealing with on a project task.
Now in retirement as each day unfolds anew without being tasked to do this or that on a job working for someone else, my mind continues reflecting but in a much more delightful freeform mode.
So now instead of auto-reflection driving highly structured, project-restrictive problem solving for others in return for monetary gain, it's driving purely creative thinking in ways I haven't experienced before in my entire life. With no one pressing me to do this or that on a strict schedule of any kind, my subconscious mind seems to realize it's been freed and is now rewarding me for finally casting off the debilitating shackles it had been bound by for the better part of four and a half decades. Reflections are deeper and more vivid, more fun to experience and more fun to apply to tasks of my own choosing as I work–no, as I eagerly play–through them on no particular schedule whatsoever. Work has become play and play has become work.
It's going to be interesting to see how this new era of free-style reflection affects creativity.