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.
GARDENING & COMPOSTING
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?