Have you seen the basketball video clip often shown in corporate effectiveness training classes, where you’re asked to count how many times the white team passes the ball from one member to another? (You can refresh your memory here -> basketball video -1:22 mins). What happened? How many times did you count? 14? You knew there had to be some trick, but did you get it first time? Did you see the 500lb gorilla? Of course not, that was the whole point of the exercise. Watch again and notice that enormous gorilla walk right in front of the play, beat his chest and walk off again.
This video is rather analogous to retirement. When you stop fretting about counting the number of passes, it’s amazing how many gorillas show up on stage! Some are more wonderful than others. When you change your focus, you see new things. I thought things looked a certain way, but turns out they are quite different.
That if-I-only-had-time-for-it-long-overdue photo organization project is simply too boring. Time has nothing to do with anything. It might sit there forever. The fall-asleep-after-one-page dense, slow reading non-fiction texts of the past now leap off their pages with exciting and thought-provoking ideas. The querky, smile-and-tolerate acquaintances on the perimeters of my life have suddenly become insightful and endearing characters.
Time and energy to cast a wider view has unexpected rewards.