Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time Trading

Fact: I am not rich.

I may not have a lot of money to spend, but just as I do with causes (like this one), I do have time to donate. Time is a valuable thing, isn't it?  We always want more of it.  We always wonder where it went.  We do what we can to make the most of it.  I'm sure you've heard the phrase "time is money," and after reading this article at Treehugger, I completely agree!

Have you heard of time trading?  According to the article, time trading is "a system of community barter where members exchange services based on a like-for-like exchange of their time."  Isn't that brilliant?  It's bloody brilliant!  (said with a British accent)  When you spend an hour helping or teaching someone else, you receive an hour.  You can spend that hour on any of the services provided by others in the program!

I love so much about this concept.  It builds community.  It enables everyone to learn something new.  It provides the opportunity to try a new activity without spending money.  It encourages people to help others.  It challenges people to step outside of his/her comfort zone.

A time trading "bank" called Time Trade Circle was started in Boston, and it has grown from 25 to over 800 "investors".  I think Houston needs one of these!  I'm sure I could earn hours by doing things I've been paid to do before: tutor students, help organize events, sing.  Some people just need extra hands around the house to cook or garden.  Hey!  I can't do that!  I'm good at following directions.  But the fun part is thinking about what I would spend my hours on.  Here are five lessons I would want to trade in my hours for.


I am not looking for a new career.  I'm just interested in taking better photos and learning about the art of it.  My entire childhood is documented on film, and I'd like to be able to do the same for my kid.  If those pictures happen to be super awesome (and somewhat artsy?), even better! 


I'm still interested in learning sign language.  I don't need to be an interpreter, but I'd love to be able to communicate on some level.  I can sign the alphabet and the words boy, girl, mom, dad, sing, name, more, apple, all done, love, and milk.  It's time to grow my vocabulary!


I took private voice lessons from 8 to 17, and I continued singing into college.  And now?  Zilch.  I miss it, and I'm afraid I'm starting to lose it.  High C visits rarely, and when it does, it's airy.  I want to get these cords working again. 


Technically, I'm a vegetarian, but I think the title is misleading.  It is true that I do not eat meat, but my focus is really on eliminating processed foods and whole foods -- real food.  That means we eat a lot of vegetables!  And guess what would save us a lot of time and money?  Having a big garden and a compost bin.  I've been wanting my own compost bin since last year, and it will be a wonderful day when I finally get to have one.


I'm not kidding.  I want a hairstyling lesson.  As in "will someone please teach me how to do my unruly hair".  Beauty bloggers like (the "Pinterest hair queen") Kate post so many easy-to-follow tutorials, but guess what?  They don't work for me.  My hair is about 50 times thicker and a million times frizzier.  Homegirl needs help.  I don't like resorting to my usual hair-down style, but if I try anything other than curling or straightening my hair, I usually spend 30+ minutes trying a new style before I fail, get all hot and frustrated, let my hair back down, and then walk out of the bathroom.  I would really love to learn how to do my hair so I look like a respectable adult, not an awkward teenager.

So who wants to start a time trading bank with me?  What would you trade your time for?

Photo Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5


Frikken Duckie said...

I'm completely with you on voice lessons! My range has gotten so bad since I quit.

♥ Duckie.

Unknown said...

Ohhh what a cool idea!!
We all have so many unique talents this concept is such an interesting way of displaying them!!


Whitney H said...

I love this idea! I'd totally do it. I'd need help moving =X haha! I agree with you, I'd love to have voice lessons. I've never been formally trained but singing is something I love to do and I need more confidence!

Jess said...

This is so awesome!
Things like this give off such a community-based vibe to me AND I AM ALL ABOUT THAT, in case you didn't know :)

I'd trade my hours in for PIANO LESSONS!

And your creativeness with this post!

Bev said...

looks like we share the same kinda trades... I am so into potography, espeically since blogging, but I suck at it. Doesn't mean I can't envy photographers and aspire to be one!

and I totes wish I had a green thumb. Everyone around me in Oregon grows everrrrrything and knows what plants/veggies grow best in this kind of sun... that kind of temperature... which I have NO clue about!!

Share your tips as you start to become an expert in these things!

bobbi said...

This is, indeed, bloody brilliant! I wish there was a centralized source of info on circles and such though!

Katie Price said...

There is a similar project in the LA area that my sister is a part of. She has traded her graphic design skills for yoga, massage, etc. So cool! And you get to meet new people along the way.

Katrina S said...

I've always wanted to learn hairstyling :( never did i fix my hair on my own =)) lol. check my blog out? :)

Micaela said...

I would happily teach someone to tap dance if they'll teach me to braid my hair. I can't do a french braid to save my life.

Also massage. Massages are good.

Michelle said...

Oooo I like this. I like this a lot. I would totally trade mine in for photography & gardening lessons too. And I'd love to bring back the piano lessons. I took lessons for ten years and stopped when I graduated from high school. I still play, but my technique is so rusty! I laughed at myself this weekend trying to play some of my old Sonatas. I used to take voice lessons too! Loved it. OH! Dance lessons! That would be so fun! Swing dance, preferably. Oh now I have so many ideas!

Kate used to be my hair stylist!!!! But I fail 100% of her tutorials. I don't know what it is! She's done some of those things on me and it looks amazing, but I can't replicate it to save my life. I could use some of those lessons too :)

Allie said...

That is a completely brilliant concept! I could totally trade in my time for some free lessons!

I'm with you on the photography one for sure because I really want to be able to improve my photography skills and be as awesome as some of the bloggers I follow.

And the hair one! I am so with you on thick and frizzy hair! Mine is a bit manageable, but a lot of hairstyle just look awkward because my hair bulges more than the pictures...maybe i'm just doing something wrong but either way, it needs to be fixed with some proper hairstyling lessons haha.

Lot said...

What an AMAZING idea. I would totally contribute. Where can we sign up? Living in Europe I wouldn't be able to contribute anything more tangible than (web) graphics.

Holly said...

What a cool concept! There are lots of things I would love to learn! Photography is a big one for me, oh and hair!

RichLittlePoorGirl said...

hi! cute blog :)

i attempted sign language in undergrad.. its not hard to learn but you def forget it without practice ;)

want to follow each other???