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Lee's Lens

So February has been an interesting month, punctuated by a flurry of snow across the country that has invoked so much emotion it is really hard to believe. I have watched the general state of panic and anxiety around one of nature's most beautiful atmospheric events, one that we rarely see to such an extent in this part of the world, all the while wondering what people from places like Alaska and Iceland must think of us!

Today is also my last day of work at my current employers, where I have been employed since June 2017. I leave with a real heavy heart as I have loved every minute of working there with fabulous people and such a great cause. Working for a charity and working on mental health issues was a fantastic opportunity for me personally and I am really disappointed that I have not been able to make this work. Sadly, the amount of time I have spent commuting and away from home has taken a toll but I know I leave with the respect and best wishes of my colleagues (and hopefully, my new friends).

Of course, I will continue to fight the good fight when it comes to helping others with mental health problems and my role as a Champion in the Time to Change Wales campaign still means a lot to me. My new position is with the Wales Cancer Network and I will be helping to fight a new fight, tackling cancer in a range of projects across the country. I am excited about this new opportunity and looking forward to starting in March. My official Twitter account will now be posting lots of stuff around tackling cancer as well as tackling stigma and discrimination around mental health!

This year I have vowed to do something charitable every month. I may not raise thousands in fundraising or change the world with my actions but I believe that every little bit really does make a difference. In January, I completed the RED January challenge (it stands for 'Run Every Day' but my lack of fitness made it 'Walk Every Day') in support of Mind, which was a fantastic combination of raising the profile of the charity and starting to get fit again. In February, the wife and I did a thorough clear-out of clothes, shoes, etc and donated them to a local charity. For March, I will be 'Walking All Over Cancer' to walk over 10,000 steps and raise money for Cancer Research UK (on the back of a successful WED January) so if you are interested, you can donate to my fundraising page.

What other challenges do you think I could do? A different challenge every month, nothing too dangerous but I am trying to do different things for different causes or charities so I would welcome any suggestions you might have...

I admit, I have had a few challenges this month with regards to my own mental health. After the whole "January lasted eight months" drudgery, this month seems to have flown by and I feel like I have not had the chance to achieve certain things on my list. My hope is that changing jobs to something closer to home will allow me a bit more time to look after my own wellbeing, especially in terms of writing. I have set myself a target of finishing 'The Choices' in 2018 and I am so close that I can taste it but tying up all the loose ends from a trilogy ten years in the making is not an easy feat. I know I can do it and I know I will feel better for doing it.

So let's look forward to March, to spring, to new jobs and new opportunities, to great experiences and fresh challenges, to the prospect of a new world dawning every day, to whatever we chose to make of every moment of our lives.

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