NST October The Turtles Go Outward Bound


NST October Challenge
The Turtles Go
OUTWARD BOUND
Don't panic. I'm not going to insist on anyone leaping off mountains, into frozen streams, white water rafting or doing Bear Grylls style camping. I'd hate all that (I don't even do very well on your average fairground ride). If you want to do all that go ahead. Everyone else, just hold hands and try stepping outside your comfort zone. Dare to be different.

2020 has so far been like the plagues of Egypt, so I'm not going to pretend that all will be well in this best of all possible worlds. There will be new challenges ahead for many of us. Our government has repeatedly failed the organising a drink based celebration in a brewery test many many times so we cannot expect any help from that quarter. We will have to be self-reliant. People are naturally altruistic, share what they have and organise themselves into communities. The extreme version of capitalism we are currently experiencing urges us to be selfish and buy happiness through the acquisition of shiny baubles. This is not the turtle way. Ultimately it is not good for us and it is not good for the planet  Earth.

Turtles try to live prudently (even frugally) but we also aim to enjoy life to the full. As the prospect of another lockdown looms (some of us never really got out of it) I think our primary challenge is not to become insular. Look after yourself and your loved ones but don't lose sight of the world outside, the problems and hardship that others are experiencing. Aim for a life well lived, be mindful, make the things you do meaningful. Be the change you want to see in the world.

The Challenge
O   Only for this month, charity shop purchases/ donations will not lose you a NSD. Many charities are short on funds this year as many of them depend on income from their shops. The pandemic has also meant greater calls on their limited resources. So where possible, shop from your local charity shops - presents, cards, warm clothing, books, jigsaws and other entertainment. As usual petrol/ travel cards, medicine and medical needs and ys purchases do not lose you a NSD (+ a milk exemption for greent). Aim for 15.

U   You need to take care of you (especially if others depend on you).  Take care of your family. Keep in contact with elderly relatives or others who may need extra help and support. The six best doctors anywhere, are sunshine, water, rest, air exercise and diet (subject to any restrictions in force). These are the things you need but it's easy to forget when our lives get hectic Make sure you get enough. Focus on healthy eating rather than 'dieting'.

T   Try to live frugally, being mindful of every purchase. This does not mean denying yourself of every tiny pleasure, a long-term sustainable plan (for debt reduction, weight loss or future goals) should not be one long round of denial, misery and martyrdom. Build in small rewards and treats.

W   Winter is coming. You are going to get sick. Be prepared.  Stock up with generic pain and flu remedies (blind testing has proved that price does not matter at all so get cheap ones now). Freeze soups and casseroles, for the days you can't stand up for more than five minutes. Buy soups and rice pudding if you need to - anything warming and gentle, easy to eat for days when the whole family is under blankets on the couch. If you don't think you will be getting your 5 a day, get some multivitamins to boost your immune system (C and D are helpful for COVID-19 I believe, the Chinese used them to help patients in recovery). Winter proof your home - extra window coverings, draught excluders, check hot water bottles for leaks. Make safe arrangements for travel (bike lights, be seen be safe, torches and a shovel for breakdowns + plus the phone number of a service or a friend willing to come and rescue you).

A   Awesome. Turtles are awesome. You are awesome. We all have different pressures, problems and calls on our time but we carry on, walk when we can't run, crawl when we can't walk. Turtles always support each other, do not scold but may offer advice. We may not reach all our targets but we do not fail. Write it in large letters and put it up somewhere you will see it each day.  You are awesome.

R   Routine.  Many found the 'sameness' of life in lockdown difficult.  You need to make your own routine. Try to set daily, weekly and monthly goals.  If you have time and energy you could set goals for each 'life area' - relationships (Family, extended family and friends), work (career and business), finances, education, health and fitness, personal growth, spiritual growth. They don't have to be complicated - commit to a daily walk or a 10 minute boogie whilst washing up for fitness. Tailor them to your life - if you are struggling just have 5 tasks for the week (taken from a longer list so you don't worry about forgetting anything) and add 2 fun things for you - any unfinished tasks just carry over to the next week). If you are ill, all bets are off, congratulate yourself if you get to have a shower/ wash and eat a bowl of soup (or ice cream). If your family has the dreaded D and V just hang on.

D   Debts or savings should be paid first, you live on what is left over.  However as job losses and job uncertainty are expected, you may have to eat into your savings or cut back on debt reduction. If your home is at risk, please take advice, ask for help. If you think the situation will be temporary, cut back where you can and ride out the storm. Do what you need to do.
Last week I did something not very me and not very turtle like. I was under the weather when I did the food order and mum had been meithering about mashed potato. I didn't think the meal needed mashed potato, she just fancied it. Normally I do a big pan of mashed potato and any extra is portioned and frozen, but we had eaten the ones in the freezer and there wasn't enough room in the freezer for more things. So I browsed the 'prepared veg' section of the SM. I picked a portion of mash, some sweet potato fries, baby potatoes with garlic and rosemary, roasted Mediterranean veg and a pack of casserole mix veg. Normally I'd think they were all too expensive and I can make most of them myself but they've mostly been eaten and although I haven't been very well, we have both eaten well and had (much) more than 5 a day veg. So although paying to debts or savings first is important, survival comes first. Do what you need to do, in your particular set of circumstances. If you slip up, don't beat yourself up, just get back on track as soon as possible.

B  Budgets should be set before the start of the month for all categories - Food, travel, entertainment/personal spends (for those who have them), children's activities.  This may be more difficult because we don't all know what will be happening - if university students are sent home it could disrupt the food budget, food prices are creeping up and some items may be unavailable. If you are still able to do your own shopping you have more control over this but as someone who has been mostly reliant on deliveries for everything since March, price has reduced in importance in favour of getting what we need (eg normally I would go in several shops in succession to build up my stock of painkillers but I'm only allowed two packs on a delivery and mum needs paracetamol to my ibuprofen - contra-indicated for mum as she is already on two meds in the same category and I miss my 3 for a pound ones but pick from what is available). Have a contingency fund if you think it necessary or be prepared to re-do your budget mid-month if circumstances change. Try to be flexible. As always knowing what you already have (stock checking), meal planning to make best use of these and batch cooking are your friends.

O   Originality and a sense of humour will get us through this month and the last quarter of 2020. Embrace your inner child, be silly, kick through leaves, splash in puddles, climb trees if you are able (don't put any more stress on the NHS). We will have fun.

U   You must change the way you think about things.  Your home is not a prison, it's a haven, a sanctuary, make it cosy. Think about the way you do things. Can you make any changes which gets you nearer to your ideal you (life, home)?  So many things are beyond our control or cannot be changed. You can change, your thoughts, your actions, your habits (more positives, add to your pile of good things.) Appreciate what you have and give thanks.

N   No limits. Take time to ponder, muse, wrestle a tricky problem. Continue to rid yourself of possessions that have become burdens, donate to charity shops, via local bookface or community sites or anyone who can make use of them

D   December. We are still not talking about that day but, like everything else, things are going to be different. Mid-month is the time to set off bulbs for indoors (or for gifts). You still have time to make jams, jellies and chutneys (not sure about flavoured alcohol but some one will know), hand made gifts may be well under way but there is time to do something (especially if you suddenly find yourself with less cash and more time - as I'm writing this I know that new restrictions have been announced but no detail on what they are). If you are celebrating (solstice, Doctor Who special day, Isaac Newton's birthday) try to make it a meaningful celebration, find ways to connect if you are unable to meet physically. If it is allowed and you have the opportunity to meet beforehand, organise gift/ card exchanges (wherever possible do no gift/ token gift pacts). I married in September (my marriage was so bad that day is now a day of mourning) and following some very thoughtless actions by my partner's family the previous year, I had everyone's gifts and cards (including engagement presents for his brother and gf) lined up and ready to take away with them. As they lived all over the country (mostly in another country actually) I saved a fortune in postage .

So who is up for the turtles Outward bound in October
 

My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
NST SEP No 1 No Debt No mortgage
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