I have been saying for years that I’m semi-retired, but now that I am just short of 80, I think it’s time to go a bit further. I’m planning to retire from teaching live trainings and presenting at conferences. I will be continuing to explore, develop and refine NLP methods, write about them on my blog and other places, and converse with colleagues.

As background, I have had what the doctors call “essential tremors” for many years, but now they have a new name, “atypical Parkinson’s disease.” The tremors — mostly in my left hand — don’t bother me significantly, but they certainly don’t enhance my training presence. If I were a surgeon or a watchmaker, I’d have been out of a job long ago! My voice has become hoarse, and sometimes a bit halting. My mind still works as well as it did (I think) but a little more slowly. Connirae tells me she thinks I’m at my best teaching — but it takes much more effort, and I notice that my mind sometimes goes into a brief stall when something unexpected happens, or too many things happen at once, or I have to search for an elusive word. My balance is way off, so I have been wobbling a bit for some time, sometimes bumping into doorways. My main troubling symptom is a significant reduction in energy. My mornings are mostly fairly alert and normal, but I pretty much have to nap for an hour every afternoon after lunch, and I’m often somewhat zombiefied for a while afterward.

On the positive side, I still feel good and enjoy life — good sleep, appetite, hearing, vision, digestion, sex (Is there such a thing as bad sex at 80?), and I don’t yet need medication. My neurologist tells me that most people my age die with Parkinson’s rather than from it, and since half the men my age are already dead, I have little to complain about.

I also still enjoy finding treasures at yard sales on Saturday mornings, and giving people advice on paintings by Charles Partridge Adams. And of course I enjoy our land, which has pretty much recovered from the big flood of September, 2013 — which may have been a 5,000-year event. I say this because our back yard, which was inundated along with the lower level of our house, was a Native American campground, in which we have found arrowheads — and the chips that were removed when they were made—that are of a type that were in use 5,000 years ago. Before the flood they were lying on the surface. Now, post flood, that layer is covered by a foot of sand and gravel.

I’m still mentoring/advising the R & R project researching the effectiveness of the NLP phobia cure (renamed “Reconsolidation of Traumaic Memories”) for PTSD flashbacks. In the first pre-pilot study they got complete resolution with 25 of 26 vets — and the 26th appears to be someone who faked the post-treatment testing to be sure of keeping his disability income. Replication studies are in progress.

Another current project is mentoring/assisting some able colleagues in modeling “borderline personality disorder” and developing a protocol for resolving it. We have a lot of ideas, and are beginning to move into sequencing and testing parts of the model.

Thanks to all the colleagues and participants I have learned from and worked with over the years.

Steve Andreas