Here’s another plug for our upcoming TBT potluck on Sunday, August 26, 2018 from 3 to 5:30 PM at member Dr. Andy Lepage’s pad (1185 Macfarlane Avenue, Spring Hill, FL. 34608; (727) 517-1148). And don’t be shy. Bring a guest. Spread the good word about timebanking and community-building. Eat some pudding on a Sunday. (Bring some pudding on Sunday to keep this blog post honest!) Usher in a new day with a friend, chaperone, body guard, mensch. Whatever. Whoever, as long as they’re friendly and potentially like the idea of sharing skills and time (not to mention, snacks) and building a network of exchanges with “doers.” So pack an acquaintance with your pudding, someone who might take a shine to friendly TBT peeps, and head on over to Andy’s place. The proverbial door is open to neighborliness and a sense of belonging.
By Grace Maselli
According to the Physics Classroom, an object’s momentum is defined as “mass in motion.” The same thing applies to like-minded groups, clubs, contingents, squads—people on the move, so responsibility is spread out across more bodies to spur activity and positive results. Apply this to TBT, and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little spurring. Beats entropy and its “gradual decline into disorder,” right? In fact, if you find your immediate surroundings in a state of disorder, post an exchange request on the TBT website and connect with a fellow member. You never know, that person who helps rocket you out of entropy by helping to clean the garage you’ve been avoiding for three years could turn out to be a friend. Now there’s some mass in motion!
Our TBT Revitalization Project is all about blowing through entropy. But sometimes we all need a little help from our friends to jump start change. So make the most of TBT and post an offering for a time exchange. (Show someone how to play Backgammon, or make a God’s Eye out of yarn. Grab a pole and some bait because we all know, if you give a woman a fish, you give her a yummy for the day. But if you teach her how to fish, well then, it’s a lifetime of trout.) Go ahead. At TBT, we’re set up to help you gain momentum!
By Grace Maselli
“Time is the currency creating mutual support networks, reducing isolation and improving health and well-being.” So says the commentary from across the pond in the United Kingdom by timebank organizer Sarah Bird. In a TEDx talk by Sarah published May 18, 2017 called, “Timebanking in the UK: It’s about Time,” Sarah offers that when we connect with people—folks at any stage of life in our communities— by sharing time with them face to face, we make a difference and potentially help to stave off loneliness.
The condition of loneliness, as we know, can have a negative effect on physical health, in addition to the mental health impact. Not only for elderly people who live by themselves, but also for the young and people in new stages of life. A recent Fortune magazine article from earlier this year titled, “Study Finds that Half of Americans—Especially Young People—Feel Lonely,” points to a Cigna health insurer survey: “A nationwide survey of 20,000 adults found that 54% of respondents said they feel like no one actually knows them well, NPR reports. Additionally, 56% of people said the people they surround themselves with ‘are not necessarily with them,’ and approximately 40% said they ‘lack companionship,’ their ‘relationships aren’t meaningful,’ and that they feel ‘isolated from others.’”
Arguably this sense of loneliness also applies to people in periods of life transition. Folks who have just moved to a new state or new county within a state, let’s say, new mothers coping with the wild changes that can attend parenthood, newly divorced people, the newly widowed, and “Empty Nesters,” the people whose children go off to college, putting parents in a vast state of transition as they face empty houses and shifts in identity. “Timebanking can transform healthcare, creating mutual support networks in communities by encouraging people to help one another using time as a currency, not money,” says Sarah. The moral of this universal story is that people can benefit from positive relationships, from time spent together. A timebank exchange in the form of visiting someone in his or her home, nursing home, transitional housing, or any place that’s mutually agreeable holds the promise of meaningful human contact with other community members. Some things can not easily be measured in dollars and cents alone.
Yupperdeedoo. It’s about food and change. We’re celebrating the TBT Revitalization Project this month at a potluck scheduled for Sunday, August 26, 2018 from 3 to 5:30 PM. The venue? Member Dr. Andy Lepage’s crib (abode, pad, house, hizzy) in Spring Hill, FL. at 1185 Macfarlane Avenue, zip 34608. His number in case of questions: (727) 517-1148.
Come with a dish you like to make and aim to share. But it’s not just about the grub. Though lo and behold, eating is fun! Also be prepared to talk about what you love to do as fodder for our TBT exchange. What brings you joy? What can you help others with to earn TBT hours? We’ll have some icebreakers and activities to get the ideas rolling. Got something cookin’ you want to share ahead of time? Email us at email@example.com or post to Facebook.
We humans occasionally chafe at the mere mention of the “Ch” word: Change. No matter, TBT took a look under its timebanking hood. Sho’ ’nuff, it’s time to change it up. Give it a boost. A breath of fresh air. (One of the loveliest idioms ever: Something that’s pleasantly new. Different. Refreshing.) Think Altoids or the rush that comes with seeing a great friend again after a too-long hiatus.
Some TBT timebankers recently chatted up the notion of the TBT Revitalization Project. Putting the idea of MORE vitality onto our community table. Spreading the word to MORE people about our amazing timebanking exchange program. You can begin right in your nearby orbit (We’ll show YOU, scary Mr. Change!) Make it easy. Start at your quilting circle, support group, extended family dinner, Girls Night Out, when you’re riding the bus, at church, sangha, synagogue, mosque, economic development meeting, warm up before yoga class. You get the idea.
We aim to build community, connect, expand. Sign up to offer an exchange around something you love: cooking, organizing, skate boarding, snorkeling, helping someone learn to read. Whatever your passion is, share it in a timebank exchange. And reach out through TBT for something you might need: a ride to a doctor’s appointment, a partner to help you take a walk around the block, a meal delivered after a baby’s born. “TimebanksUSA” has a trove of ideas and connection to national timebanks for tips on how to take action. To earn exchange hours, host a movie night in your house or local community center and invite timebank members. Fling your doors open for a potluck. Invite peeps over for a weed-pulling party in your garden. Have a barn raising shindig. (Hey, if you were Amish, this would be apropos…) Got more ideas? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Facebook. We’re all eyes and ears!
By Grace Maselli
Last night’s monthly TBT meeting on August 6 from 7 to 9 PM at Pancake Heaven (aka: IHOP nestled at 408 East Bears Avenue in Tampa) was all images and fun with a showing of abstract acrylic paintings on canvas shared by artist Troy Elder, son of member Gwen. Several of Troy’s beautiful pieces were viewed by guests and the one pictured here is in the hands of TBT member, Dr. Andy LePage. Andy gave a presentation on nearby neighbor,
the VERY active timebank in St. Petersburg. (Check it out here!)
There was even more merriment on the occasion of our wonderful TBT Coordinator Rita Cobb‘s birthday! Member Nancy Kay Wolf ordered up a jumbo-size ice cream sundae to do justice to the day with a Rita-inspired indulgence for our very own birthday girl. Lest you think that was all, think again, Charlie :). Members Robert and Deb McGinnis, who were also at the pancake table, gifted Rita one of their very own Seminole pumpkins from the lush McGinnis pumpkin patch grown from a single seed in their very own backyard garden in Lutz!
By Grace Maselli
Whether it’s home repairs, acupuncture, or sailing. Childcare, origami, event planning, or graphic design, as the video on timebanking produced by the University of Michigan’s Environmental Psychology Lab describes, the possibilities are endless. Our TBT like the hundreds around the globe is a service exchange system where the “person hour” takes the place of money and people earn and offer time credits to help build community, connection, and just get stuff done!
I went to a friend’s house recently to wash her hair. She’d just had shoulder surgery and needed help with something I take for granted—the ability to easily execute self-care. Bandaged and still in the early phase of recovery, “Pamela” cared about hygiene. Truth be told, it was a hairy situation for me at first. I hadn’t washed another person’s head of hair since my children were small enough to fit inside a kitchen sink. (On my worry list: unintended re-injury of Pam’s shoulder, soap in her eyes…) Happily, it went well and my friend smelled fresh as a daisy on a sunshine-y morning. I even played full-on hairdresser and combed her hair, added product, including a spray to spike her hair–do just the way she likes. Heretofore, Pamela didn’t know from timebanking…so I pitched away. “But what can I offer?” she asked in earnest. “Just about anything you might need or like to have a helping hand with yourself: car rides, organization, sorting storage boxes, gardening, reading to a house-bound person who could use some human contact.”
My plan as of this writing is to pick Pam up and drive her to the TBT August monthly meeting to get more than her head wet, but her feet too. Then I took to Page 34 of a long-ago written but still relevant missive published by “TimeBanks USA” in their, “Guidebook 1: Exploring the Big Ideas of TimeBanking, Transforming Time, Reweaving Community”. Page 34 offers the following suggestions for ways to contribute and receive timebanking tasks that map to many of our own TBT offerings:
Jewelry makingLegal assistance
I reckon I engaged in two activities with Pam that appear on this wonderful list: “Personal grooming” and “Befriending.” You’ll notice too that “haircuts” is colorized and bolded. It’ll be a long time before I ever take scissors to head again, now that my children are teens and the days of unprofessional trims with craft scissors are behind us. But I think I may add hair washing to a potentially ever-expanding list of TBT skills I could offer right here on the peninsula in Tampa Bay.
By Grace Maselli
It’s about connection. In person. “Facetime” as it was originally intended! (Remember, Oprah won’t be there to help hoist that tree out of your driveway after a Florida-style storm. Sheldon and his geeky Big Bang Theory friends won’t give you a ride to the airport or scrub the barnacles off your boat in a timebank swap.) But you stand a REAL chance with REAL people in Tampa Bay. And even more so if they know who you are! So come to our TBT social the first Monday of every month. Host a potluck. Or a game night and earn TBT hours! Dust off the Scrabble boards and open up your living room for a retro experience in real time; throw in some mixed nuts and lemonade to make it super groovy. We’d love to see more of our 590 members in all three dimensions (or all 10 if you’re a Superstring theorist)! Check the TBT calendar for times and locations.
By Grace Maselli
That’s right, at TBT we’re 590 MEMBERS STRONG with a tally of 23,398 hours exchanged as of this moment in time! We’re making valuable deposits into the local community with no bank tellers, no dollar transactions, no drive-throughs! Rather, we pay dividends to our peeps using skills swapping and connection to our local residents in an alternative system of shared interest and assistance. We’re contributing rides, fixing toilets, grooming dogs, and gardening for each other. Tell your friends. Expand the network of neighborliness!