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My lovely friend Naomi very kindly nominated me to do the ALS ice bucket challenge this week.
And the great thing is that I still love her!
I have to say that I was really dreading it because I don’t fancy the idea of ice cold water being poured over my head.  It was bad enough that I had to do it to myself (yes, I am a big chicken) – and it would have been so easy just to opt out and say no thank you, I’m not doing it!
To top it off, it was a really cold day already and it just seemed insane to make myself colder than I already was. (The trick was to run a nice hot bath and as soon as the camera stopped filming, I was running indoors to jump into the bath.)

So, I did it and while planning it I thought about a few things:

  • I had to really think it through before I did it – some people are spontaneous and will just take up any challenge without hesitation; some people are more cautious; others, like me, have to do it in a more creative way because they don’t want to just do it like everyone else.  And others (yes, like my husband) just don’t do it – and they all have their own reasons for not doing it.  There is space in the world for everyone, each with their own special way of doing things.  If you don’t feel that you “fit in”, you need to make a way to do things in a manner that suits you without feeling pressured to follow the crowd or do things ‘according to the norm’.  If that is not you, it is not you! Be proudly different.
  • Sometimes you need a bucket of ice water poured over your head!  And I don’t mean that you literally have to pour water over your head but a good wake up and shake up is not a bad thing! You can watch thousands of ice bucket challenges on social media and the majority of people are forced to take in a deep breath or scream when the cold water hits them.  Just take a deep breath and move forward.
  • For the people who found the challenge difficult for their own reasons (for me it was not liking the idea of being cold, for my son it was being shy when it came to filming his challenge) – it took bravery to take on the challenge.  Everyday when you wake up and face the world – do it bravely.  Tell yourself, “today I am going to be brave and I am just going to do it” and you will!
  • One of my favourite things about this Ice bucket challenge was that it united people.  It is amazing to see how many people all over the world of different cultures and religions, different life stages and beliefs, are all taking up the challenge.  It is has a real feel good factor (even beyond the awareness of a terrible illness).  It is good to remember to celebrate what makes you unique but to also celebrate our many similarities. And we could all use a bit of that these days.
  • Probably the most important thing for me doing the challenge was for my own mission of bringing more awareness about depression.  Depression makes you feel frozen – it numbs you and it is not something that you can “just snap out of”.  I really encourage anyone who is dealing with depression to use the ice bucket challenge to make your point too.