Keeping an open mind

“If you don’t go through life with an open mind, you will find a lot of closed doors” –

Mark W. Perrett

This week I most definitely learned the importance of maintaining an open mind.  On Saturday past I took part in a ‘photoshoot’ with my mum and two of my colleagues for Cancer Research UK.  The photos were taken to accompany a piece for the media about World Cancer Day on the 4th of February and it also gave some coverage for the fundraising which I am doing.  If I am totally honest the word ‘photoshoot’ intimidates me a little.  I’m not entirely sure why but I am not exactly the most photogenic person on this earth.  I agreed to take part though and I am glad that I did.  It was a very enjoyable experience and I felt a lot more comfortable than I thought I would.  We also did a little interview I guess which was something I have never done before.  It took me a bit to relax and try and forget there was a camera focusing on me, but after that it was fine.

I would suggest that not too long ago I would have refused to do things like this, but I guess that is one of the hidden positives of doing this fundraising; I am exposing myself to new experiences that I would likely have turned down in the past.  I guess it is good to keep an open mind!  I can’t think of a single negative thing during the first part of this journey towards trying to raise £1 million.

The one thing that can be difficult from time to time is convincing people that it is possible.  The vast majority of people are pretty surprised when I tell them exactly what it is I am trying to do.  I understand why, setting big targets like I have done isn’t exactly a common thing to do and people are often sceptical that my target can be reached.  What I always try and do though is encourage them to keep an open mind.  If you don’t attempt something then you will never know whether it is possible.  I know that raising £1 million is possible, I often struggle to give a quantitive time when people ask me because I genuinely don’t know.  But I know that with the help of others and through lots of little donations then the target is more than possible.

The ability to keep an open mind can be extremely useful in virtually every situation.  I guess it isn’t alway possible but I find it often vastly reduces the stress that I am feeling at any given time.  Things usually work themselves out and by keeping an open mind we remain positive of a successful outcome.  When my mum was first diagnosed with cancer I think it helped me more than anything else.  I couldn’t treat her, I suppose I never really knew the true intricacies of the treatments that she was having.  But what I did know was that the doctors and nurses were doing everything within their power to try and make her better.  Keeping an open mind gave me the ability to reduce the amount of anxiety that the diagnosis had given us all.  Mum kept an open mind too and rather than being upset at the prospect of loosing her hair she used it as an opportunity to try out a variety of different hair styles as her hair slowly came out; which we all found quite amusing and helped relieve a bit of stress for us all!

Last year when mum was diagnosed for the second time it was a shock.  No one was expecting the news that we were given and at first we were of course upset about the diagnosis.  But when we looked at the situation that we were in as a family it became apparent quickly that it was a far more manageable set of circumstance than the first time round.  I have found through experience that failure to maintain an open mind makes difficult situations harder to deal with.  I am not claiming that an open mind will cure every bad situation, but the positivity will help you deal with the process of working through it.  At least it certainly does for me.

This week is a busy one, writing this blog, spinning classes, running and the gym.  Along with this I have work and a training day with the International Search and Rescue team which is always good.  My team’s rota group goes back on call on the 1st of February so we will be on call for 4 months to respond to disasters around the world.  There’s two rota groups made up of teams from 15 fire services around the UK as well as engineers, doctors and vets who work a 4 month on/4 month off rota.  I hope that makes sense!  It wasn’t all that long ago that when I wasn’t at work I was literally doing nothing and I am glad that I am keeping busy and enjoying myself a bit more!  My consumption of pointless tv has gone down and I think that is certainly for the better.  I only watch the ‘good stuff’ now and I am feeling better for it.  My consumption of Youtube (not prank videos) has gone up a bit I suppose but I find the content far more interesting and worth while.  For me it’s far more creative and that gets me thinking which is always good!  If you don’t know what I am on about check out some of these people: Casey Neistat, Mr Ben Brown, Jon Olsson, Sawyer Hartman and Sara Dietschy.  I find them all interesting at least!

This week I launched a twitter account for my fundraising and you can find me ‘@jdcancermission’  – there wasn’t enough characters to put the ‘e’ in as well… But if your on twitter check it out, *DISCLAIMER* – I am by no means a twitter pro!  I will get there eventually but at the minute retweeting is my thing!  Hopefully twitter will give a more instant up to date version of what I am doing and when.  I just need to suss it all out first.

“Everything will be okay in the end.  If it’s not okay, it’s not the end” – John Lennon

Remember donating is both quick and easy just follow the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JED-SMITH1

Thank you all as always,

J.

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