Orlando

I posted the following message online the night after the Pulse shooting two years ago, June 12, 2016. There have been 51 mass shootings in Florida since Pulse. Zach was barely 4 years old when the Pulse shooting happened. The night after Pulse I cried for Orlando and I cried for my son. I want Zach to grow up in a world that will love and accept him, unconditionally. With school shootings, some days I just hope he gets to grow up.

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Cancer

I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. We had just checked into a perfect Airbnb in the Muir Woods (California), the last house at the top of a winding single lane road which became an even more narrow winding private drive, when I got the call. I had undergone a biopsy earlier in the week and my doctor wanted to discuss what they found as soon as possible. I missed his first call, but he called back. This was urgent, apparently.

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Overdue Books

In a world where we all just want to belong so many of us look for community and meaning in public facing likes and hearts and retweets — my "failure" to renew a library book has been refreshing. An anonymous hold made me feel more connected to my community. I challenge everyone to look for opportunity and perspective everyday, to practice gratitude and always choose positivity.

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LifeZach WardComment
OODA Loop

The potential consequences of failure paralyze us, they prohibit us from taking action, and we find ourselves stuck where we stand. Then the tide changes, the waves come in, and we fail anyway. The only answer is to move forward. With integrity and positivity, observe and orient yourself to the reality of your current conditions. Based on those facts and your perspective, make a decision that you believe will produce a constructive future result. Then act on that decision. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

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The Rain

Distance can make gratitude easier, but the trick to staying present in the relationships and the circumstances we find ourselves in will be to practice gratitude in real time. I am challenging myself in 2018 to be grateful for the rain, even during the storm, mindful in the moment so that I can fully appreciate the sunshine as soon as the clouds clear (and the snow melts away).

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LifeZach WardComment
Snow Day

Winter Storms in North Carolina are the best. The whole state seems to shut down and people actively celebrate the inability to get out of driveways or do much of anything. Schools are cancelled if there are whispers of a wintry mix and our Governors declare a state of emergency if it threatens to snow. Venturing out onto icy roads in a motorized vehicle can trigger community shame, whereas neighborhood kids take to the slushy streets with sleds if even an inch hits the ground. 

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LifeZach WardComment