She had allowed others to invite her to social occasions as this reassured her that she was liked by them. However, she had been too frightened in the past to reciprocate or arrange an evening out for colleagues for fear of rejection. Once Becky began to attend a few social engagements, we considered if she had any common interests with her colleagues. As the family supports are removed, Edith seeks a new family -- in the form of the women's group -- to provide her with new beliefs to replace the old. However, she quickly learns that the price of belonging to this surrogate family is to take on a new set of beliefs that might bring her into even greater conflict with family myths -- both her own and her husband's. Changing Your Life Story It's quite possible that you need to change your life story. Most people don't have the time or commitment to try to change the entire story, so you may want to focus on aspects of your story and your family myths that are the basis for conflict with your partner. If the conflict has to do with child-rearing, sex, or the handling of money, work on those issues. Here is an activity that you can both engage in that will help you focus on issues of concern: Think of incidents in your past that had something to do with the issues that are causing conflict now. It may help to break up your life into articles based on age, or on important events such as a parental divorce or moving to a different city. Childhood experiences are particularly important because you may have developed beliefs based on these experiences without the benefit of understanding the situation from an adult perspective. Andre, March 31 Carl called me up and I watched him recite 1,000 digits of pi, blindfolded, which took him close to an hour. He then recited all the American presidents while solving the Rubik's Cube. What did I have to show for myself? I had spent over a hundred hours trying to learn coding. I had read a bunch of self-help articles about mind improvement. I had tried Bulletproof Coffee.

I had tried a regular exercise regime. I had tried to get a decent amount of sleep. I had tried neurofeedback. I'm in pretty good company. In today's world, strong work ethic and rapid pace really can be a great advantage, and I've learned to use my condition as an advantage. I have ADHD, and I would attribute much of my success to it. CAN PTSD BE A PLUS? Reframing your limitations is applicable in so many situations. Once I was working with a soldier who had returned from fighting in Iraq and who suffered with a severe case of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). He was in a state of constant hypervigilance, something that was useful and necessary for survival during wartime but that created anxiety and trauma in his postwar life. As a soldier he was always on defense, scanning windows, looking for the reflection of a gun barrel, and extremely focused on sounds and the threat of IEDs (improvised explosive devices). Now that he was home, his relationship with his wife was falling apart. Scared of his intense reactions, he had a hard time getting out of bed and was withdrawing from the family. Making a break from thinking about ourselves and our problems for a while often frees up insight that is lurking just beneath the surface. Our act of service doesn't have to be anything significant or earth changing. You can get involved in youth mentorship, coach a kids sports team, or serve at a local soup kitchen. The main thing is that you stop worrying about yourself for a while and instead focus on serving others. Not only do you benefit creatively from this, but you also get to change the world in small but significant ways. Attend an uncomfortable event. Make plans to attend a lecture by someone who holds a differing point of view.

Visit a religious service that is outside of your own tradition or comfort zone. If you are an introvert, go to a dance club or a party. If you are an extrovert, spend some extended time on your own. No wonder she hasn't returned my messages. She's been busy editing and sharing a video of the worst day of my life. Who posted that? Raylene asks after a long moment. A friend, I answer automatically, still reeling from the shock. Doesn't look like a friend to me. She isn't anymore. I'm trembling as I turn away from the computer and put my head in my hands. There's nothing I can do now. The video is out there. They start encore careers26 after their income-producing career ends. For example, Senator Edward Kennedy's Serve America Act (2011) created a series of programs that direct retirees into new roles in nonprofit and public service, such as providing free golf lessons and classes to middle schoolers, joining a construction team or a venture capital team that builds homes to reduce poorer families' homelessness, or becoming a volunteer research assistant in a medical center assisting older men caregivers who need skills to continue to care for their wives. DESIGNING YOUR RETIREMENT Many men nearing retirement aren't so much ready to quit working as they are ready for change. Planning for this phase of your life involves exciting choices and challenging decisions. Retirement begs for thorough planning, or the personal guts to wing it and go with the surprises. Both paths translate into active retirement--someone with a bucket list of interests and commitments versus someone freewheeling it, much as a pachinko ball might bounce its way down through a dense forest of pins.

Each pathway, which Savishinsky distinguished as the master planners and the Zen masters,27 will transport you into a new identity and life phase. In retirement, we have the opportunity to redefine our masculinities outside the workplace and breadwinner box, take up new interests, and recognize that there is life beyond work. We have options when we retire: Is later life a long-awaited do list you can systematically work through--being an active grandpa, taking up kayaking and fly-fishing, learning Spanish or French? She discovered that Clare in the office next door wanted to join a gym but hadn't done a great deal about it. Becky also wanted to join a gym and had mentioned this the last time they had chatted but neither took any action. We considered how this might be resolved and Becky agreed to email Clare. She stated that she had noticed that the local gym were promoting some introductory offers, and she asked Clare if she would like to join herself in attending an `open evening'. Emailing Clare felt less stressful for Becky than inviting Clare in person. We had discussed the possible outcome beforehand. This might be just the opportunity Clare had been waiting for to take some action concerning her fitness. However, Clare might not be available on Thursday. Also joining a gym can feel like a big commitment so if Clare opted not to attend, Becky could be understanding about this. She could also promise to let her know what the new gym was like in case she changed her mind in the future. The purpose of this step is to focus on those issues you want to address. Now look for incidents where you, or someone you admire, acted differently than you believe you and your partner should act now. How did those incidents turn out? Did they have the outcome you would have predicted, or did something different happen? How do you feel about the characters in these dramas? I think you'll be surprised how many such incidents you'll remember. Don't expect them all to emerge immediately.

It may take several days for them to pop into consciousness. You may discover a wider range of past behaviors than you thought possible. Some of the incidents you recall may confirm your present feelings, but you may also recall experiences that show other possible behaviors and possible outcomes. I had tried meditation. I had tried tCDS. I had tried applying a laser to the back of my head. I had tried brain food. I had tried mindfulness. And the only result of all these smart interventions was that I felt more stupid than I had before. Andre, April 1 March was over, and I could now forget about coding. But there was one thing I couldn't get away from--my faltering relationship with Carl. We'd had our conflicts in the past. When he was with his kids, he was tense and angry. When he was first referred to me, his wife told me, I've lost my husband. She didn't believe there was anything I could do to help him. Instead of simply giving him antianxiety medication, as often happens in severe PTSD cases, we worked on using his hypervigilance in helpful ways. All of those skills he learned in Iraq could be used in his relationship with his wife. When she got home from work, he needed to ask her about her day and hyperfocus on listening to her. When he gave her a hug, he needed to be completely present.