Who am I?
My name is Norm Wood and I have an important Zone 4 Challenge in my life now — cancer. I want to let you know who I am and why I’m creating this blog at this point in time. You will see stories from the themes of my life in categories like these…
I’m 67 years old and I’ve come to know my inner world quite well: my needs, gifts, strengths, weaknesses, mission-purpose. My joys, sorrows, fears, faith. As a confirmed “introvert” I’m not sure how much to share publicly about me, but I will figure it out, soon.
I’m a husband to Marie for 38 years, a father of 6 children, and a grandfather of 17. I have a loving and supportive family. Both my parents have passed away, as well as my older sister, Delores, who passed away from ovarian cancer. My two younger sisters and I have said since Delores’ death at age 57, “Any time we live beyond Delores’ time we consider a bonus.” So, I’m a decade into “bonus time.”
My first wife, and mother of our three daughters (who all came first, before Marie and I married and had our three sons), passed away in 2003 from the physical damage that she sustained after decades of drug and alcohol addiction.
I have a PhD in Instructional Psychology, have been a teacher, school administrator, college professor, and consultant-coach. My first teaching job in a small high school in 1968 started my42-year career. Ever since I was a college freshman I’ve been drawn to the interaction between what I’ve called “High Tech and High Touch,” and between science and religion. I’ve had the good fortune of reading, learning about, and experiencing both in harmony and balance.
I’ve used the term “next level” in various iterations of my coaching and consulting practice of the last 30 years, with the current name being “The NextLevel Coaching Group.”
My wife, Marie, and I are both 5th generation Mormons and are currently serving as part-time missionaries and group leaders in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program. This program adapts the AA 12-Step program to the LDS faith and culture. During our enriched experience with the pain and loss of those who have “typical addictions,” we have come to see that we are all more alike than we are different. And we know that recovery from any problem or challenge requires us to walk similar paths, with spirituality as the first set of solutions for renewable and sustainable change.
I’ve recovered from a number of personal life challenges in the past, so I’m not new to this, and I’m sure you aren’t either. My wife and I, and our children, have an opportunity to “pay forward” to help young people, like my first wife, find a higher path to recovery and healing than she found 40 years ago.
What’s the Zone 4 Challenge?
The Zone 4 Challenge is a grand organizer for the daily events in my life, and is a subset of a mapping system that I’ll weave into my streams of consciousness that you will see on this blog for the next few weeks. When a post applies to the maps, I’ll place a code in the lower, right hand corner of the post to mark its place in the system.
Simply stated in text (without graphics here), a Zone 4 Choice is this –
At any moment in time, with any event of my life, I have 4 basic choices:
- Choosing Zone 4 in the pressured moments and events of life places me on life’s high road.
- Choosing Zones 1, 2, or 3 places me on the middle or low roads of life’s journey.
I’ll show you what that means in detail as I go along, and at some point I’ll invite you to join me in a movement called The Zone 4 Challenge … while I still have time. And I’m creating several levels of involvement for you to choose.
But for now, I am gearing up to travel the high road in my own life experience, and to fully-engage the challenge of cancer, along with the other WHOs and WHATs that really matter in my journey.