Gratitude, Celebration of Life, and a Reminder: Join Us Tonight for a Shared Potluck Table!
November 20, 2018 — 9:23

By Grace Maselli

Lest we forget-ski, members and friends, please know how welcome you are!!
Join us tonight at a shared, festive, pre-Thanksgiving potluck table! We’d love to see you.
Here’s the skinny (and the turkey fat):

Date Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Time 6:30-8:30 PM
Address 9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241.
Questions? Contact coordinator@tampabaytime.org or call (215) 834-4567 and reference our Thanksgiving potluck at LEC

And now onto classic poems for the season, the first by Ella Wheeler Wilcox who started writing in the late 1800s in celebration of gratitude and living in the present moment with appreciation.

Thanksgiving

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second poem is by Maude Margaret Grant, writing more than 77 years ago.


A Thanksgiving Dinner

Take a turkey, stuff it fat,
Some of this and some of that.
Get some turnips, peel them well.
Cook a big squash in its shell.

Now potatoes, big and white,
Mash till they are soft and light.
Cranberries, so tart and sweet,
With the turkey we must eat.

Pickles-yes-and-then, oh my!
For a dessert a pumpkin pie,
Golden brown and spicy sweet.
What a fine Thanksgiving treat!


Acorns, vegetables, gravy, oh my!

“Investopedia” and the Meaning of Life
November 19, 2018 — 9:15

By Grace Maselli

Investopedia is a New York City-based website that zeroes in on investing, finance education, and analysis. The website was founded about 23 years ago by IAC, a company with the most recently available 2016 revenues listed as $3.14 billion and 5,800 employees. Site administrators have included timebanking in their lexicon, defining it thusly: “[It] is a reciprocity-based work trading system in which hours are the currency. It is a form of community currency, which enables a person with one skill set to trade hours of work with someone with another skill set, without any money changing hands.”

Investopedia takes a closer look at the mechanics of the Edgar Cahn-created timebanking model: “Time banking has spread to communities around the world, because it helps to foster community ties and attracts people who would not normally get involved in traditional volunteering.The services traded focus on community outreach, such as the care of the elderly, social work and home repair, and it enables people on low incomes to access services that would be unaffordable to them in the traditional market economy.”

The Investopedia look-see into timebanking likewise includes its five key principles: 

  1. We Are All Assets: Everyone has something to contribute
  2. Redefining Work: Rewards all work, including non-paid and care work
  3. Reciprocity: Helping each other builds strong relationships, and community trust
  4. Social Networks: Belonging to a social network gives our lives more meaning
  5. Respect: Respect is the basis for healthy and loving community, and lies at the heart of democracy

The review of key principles inspires a deeper dive. Thanks to timebanking and its emphasis on belonging, here are some questions to consider as we cross the threshold into the holiday season and move toward the conclusion of 2018.

• What’s the most meaningful thing that happened to you so far this year?
• What inspired you?
• What gave you a sense of strength?
• Are you using your strengths, applying them in your daily life?
• Have you found  your tribe?
• Do you feel understood and valued by the people you surround yourself with?
• Do you tell yourself positive or negative “stories” about who you are as a person in the world?
• Do you take account of the ordinary, wonderful moments in everyday life?

Check out the VIA Institute on Character’s free “Character Strengths Study” to explore your areas of strength. You might find some happy surprises there!

 

 

 

 

 

Timebanking Saved Me from Going Astray
November 18, 2018 — 13:11

By Grace Maselli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, the holidays. They’re like petri dishes, perfect for growing some feelings. Some happy. Some, less so. This Thanksgiving my teen kids will be with their father. My family of origin is in New England where I hail from. I’ll be here, in Tampa Bay. Technically, this makes me one of the proverbial holiday stray. When I stopped to think about the word stray, and actually looked it up in my trusty dictionary,  the connotation was clearer than ever. In verb form, it’s “to move away aimlessly from a group or from the right course or place.” As an adjective, it’s “not in the right place; separated from the group or target.” Synonyms are “homeless” and “waif.”

Hmm.

I’m happy to report, dear reader, that rather than go astray I will, in fact, be in the right place. My Thanksgiving will be spent this year with timebankers from within and around the Tampa Bay area. Nothing aimless about that. I also have it on good authority that sometimes being the “target” may not always yield the best outcome. So pooh pooh to the language of strays this holiday season, because timebanking has brought me into the fold, connected me to kind friends and welcoming peeps. Gratitude doesn’t begin to fully express the appreciation I feel, not to mention anticipation at eating dee-lish foods at a shared, collaborative table.

This is not insignificant in the face of the loneliness epidemic in our country. According to Ken Burdick, CEO of Tampa-headquartered WellCare Health Plans, Inc. in one of his recent blog posts, “Loneliness poses the same health risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In fact, new research indicates weak social connections and feelings of extreme isolation could shorten a person’s life by 15 years. With more than one-third of U.S. adults age 45 or older indicating they are lonely, we’ve reached a critical number of individuals who are at risk for serious health outcomes.” Let’s ponder this while we slip into our stretchy pants and dive into some green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.

Ken goes on to say that persistent loneliness spikes risk for heart failure and cognitive decline. It’s also expensive to be lonely. “Beyond the health-related impact, social isolation and loneliness also have enormous fiscal implications. Every month, Medicare spends $134 more for socially isolated older adults than those adults who are more connected to their communities. This additional care translates into an estimated $6.7 billion in Medicare spending annually,” he says, positing that the health insurance industry needs to examine the issue to tee up some change. Among others, he writes to these verbatim specifics; take note of “Social Connections” in particular:

  • Care in the Home. We must leverage care at home or outside of a clinical setting with support like the Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a federal initiative offered through a combination of Medicare and Medicaid funding. The goal is to keep seniors in their homes versus a nursing home. The program also comprises 255 PACE day centers called “PACE without Walls.”
  • Social Connections. We need to help members build a stronger community – being connected is one of the leading predictors of extended life.
  • Caregiver SupportWe must also look at programs to address the impact loneliness is having on caregivers and their ability to assist. Some of the ways WellCare supports caregivers include paid training courses, certifications to enable pay for services and care management support.

Timebanking’s got a 30+ year jump on helping people in communities around the world make deeper social connections, build a stronger network of kindred spirits and people to weed wack for or eat turkey with. (Or just the roasted sweet potatoes and corn, if you’re vegetarian or vegan.) I for one will think twice before pulling the word “stray” from the rotating file of choices in my head, before pairing it with a fine brussel sprout varietal and extra fluffy mashed potatoes, among other serious eats. Let’s raise a glass together to keep the old (or young) ticker pumping with joy.

 

 

 

 

 

Gobble Gobble
November 9, 2018 — 18:01

By Grace Maselli

Join us for a member meal and gratitude. TBT is celebrating appreciation and membership on Tuesday, November 20th at our Third Tuesday of the Month gathering at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center (LEC). In the spirit of sharing, this November we’re having an early Thanksgiving potluck, complete with all-natural turkey from Sprouts Farmers Market to proclaim our gratitude for life, love, chocolate bonbons, and thoughts of A People’s History of the United States remembered at the collective table. Friends welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our happiness extends to joyous circumstances that mean we’ll have more soulful stuff to chew on than Charlie Chaplin’s Thanksgiving boot. Join the potluck sans boiled footwear, share your favorite holiday dish and an impromptu tale about amusing Thanksgivings Past, and let’s offer special thanks to timebanking! You can check out our Tampa Bay Time Bank Flyer too for a handy reminder of our Third Tuesday activities.

Date Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Time 6:30-8:30 PM
Address 9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241.
Questions? Contact coordinator@tampabaytime.org or call (215) 834-4567 and reference our Thanksgiving potluck at LEC

 

 

 

 

One Small Step for the “Whole System Team,” One Giant Leap for TBT
November 9, 2018 — 17:20

By Grace Maselli

The eagle has landed, dear readers. Today TBT took a giant leap forward in support of our growth, momentum, resurgence, and reawakening, or what we like to call, “The TBT Revitalization Project.” Today, at the groovy Kaleisia Tea Lounge in Tampa, the venerable “Whole System Team,” complete with veteran players, consultants, and would-be new team mates, met to put their collective heads together, nosh on spring rolls, and throw back cups of iced orange Creamsicle tea. Wide-ranging discussion included improved communications and an expanded advisory group. On the docket are methods to recruit new members and how to expand working together with community partners, among other examples of expansive and inclusive thinking. In other words, big doings as we shoot for the moon.

Stay tuned for progress reports. Meanwhile, the Whole System Team will be revamping, rejiggering, re-arranging. You get the idea. And speaking of ideas, don’t hesitate to throw your two cents in. All member thoughts most welcome. Contact coordinator@tampabaytime.org or drop us a line on Facebook. 

 

 

Bliss, Contentment, Delight—No Matter the Synonym, It’s Tied to Timebanking
November 6, 2018 — 12:52

By Grace Maselli

 

The happiness factor. Immediately below the surface of the timebanking philosophy is where the happiness factor lives. Briefly, the philosophy is underpinned by a belief that “wealth” is intrinsic to the economy’s people who have innate worth and dignity. The basic piece of the happiness factor is that giving to othersthrough interaction and proximity, having  ties and tethers and face-time in the dimensional (non-virtual screen-focused) world with other human beings, contributes to their peace of mind and optimism and other people’s, givers’, own well-being.

The timebank philosophy expands this notion of unconventional wealth by assigning value to everything we do as humanoids: provide emotional support, caregive, check in on our neighbors. Happiness can be derived through the timebank’s system of services exchange that goes beyond cash-ola, and which might include hours earned for giving someone who needs it a ride to a doctor’s appointment. Or bringing a person chicken soup. Let your skill set and imagination be the guide, the philosophy elicits!

YES! magazine provides data points. “One person’s happiness triggers a three-degree chain reaction that benefits not only their friends, but their neighbors’ friends and their friends’ neighbors’ friends.” The article goes on to given percentages of happiness increases by categories linked to interaction and proximity as it relates to happy people:

Being near one happy person increases happiness for:

Neighbor

Spouse Sibling living
within a mile

Friend living
within a mile

34%

8% 14%

25%

In other words, prosperity in the land of timebanking is directly correlated with support for each other. Being seen and heard and helped builds our reservoir of collective good and puts a smile on the doer’s and the receiver’s face. Yippee! According to YES! magazine, it’s official, “Giving to others increases our own happiness.” And it has an exponentially positive effect…

Save the Date: Open Mic Night Coming to Tampa Sunday, November 11
November 2, 2018 — 7:47

By Grace Maselli

The phoenix is on the rise again. Karen Lowman, founder of Sacred Grounds Community, is spearheading an inaugural gathering in partnership with TBT after the closing two years ago of her venerable Sacred Grounds Coffee House in Tampa. The latter opened its doors to students, artists, poets, and all manner of citizens who hung out on sofas and comfy chairs in what was a 20-year run of java, confection, and connection to the local scene.

In the spirit of Karen’s original Sacred Grounds, the November 11 Open Mic event is for one and all. It’ll  be held at Tampa’s riverfront Waterworks Park. Bring us your jokes and songs. Your juggling paraphernalia. Play an instrument, or read a spoken-word poem. Run some new material by a welcoming audience. Toss your Frisbee and soccer ball in a bag and head on over, and bring your friends too!

Plan to project your voice because the grassroots gathering in front of the Waterworks’ amphitheater/auditorium in the small open field will have no amplification. Don’t forget a blanket or chair. Bring your creativity and energy and a brown bag filled with your favorite portable foods.  If you have a hankering for something gastronomic, you’ll be within walking distance of Tampa’s Armature Works and Ulele’s for amazing food. Here’s a recap:

Date Sunday, November 11, 2018
Location Waterworks Park
1710 North Highland Ave.

Tampa, FL 33602
Time 5:30 to 9:30 PM

They’re Off and Running in Spring Hill! Save the Date for Hernando’s Yard Sale on Saturday, November 3
October 26, 2018 — 9:13

By Grace Maselli

A shout out to the Spring Hill, FL timebank! Spearheaded by member Dr. Andy LePage, the newly formed timebank in Hernando County’s Spring Hill is off to a rousing start. You can check out their new website right here. In typical Andy-style community organizing, he rallied the timebank troops from St. Peterburg’s and Tampa, luring peeps with food (including lots of desserts!) at the Sunday, October 14 potluck at his house in Spring Hill. Timebank experts B.J. Andryusky and Donna Terrence from St. Pete’s timebank, and Rita Cobbs and Nancy Wolf from TBT, hitched rides and headed northward to Andy’s to “hammer out a lot of ways the three timebanks can work together,” notes the host. “We here in Spring Hill are so fortunate to have B.J., Donna, Rita, and Nancy hold our hands as we venture around websites and learn to use the great strengths of our Spring Hill people,” he adds.

Yard Sale-aroonie

The Spring Hill timebank is hosting a yard sale. Can you say super fun? Here’s what the crew tells us about the details: “We have great items,” and lots of ’em, “especially Christmas ornaments, Christmas lights, and Christmas figurines. Bring your friends!” You read it here. Prepare to get good stuff.

Date Saturday, November 3, 2018
Time 8 AM to 2 PM
Address Diana’s house…
10506 Maderia Street
Spring Hill, FL 34608
(A few blocks north of Spring Hill Drive; two blocks west of Mariner Boulevard)
Questions? Call Andy at (727) 517-1148 

 

 

 

 

 

Save the Date for Show & Tell on Sunday, December 2; Curtain Call Is 3PM
October 25, 2018 — 18:06

By Grace Maselli

Our plan is hatched. It’s a Show & Tell potluck, straight from the pantheon of classroom classics. But this one’s for big kids. So whether you want to bring the rutabaga you grew from seed, a lace doily tatted  lovingly from scratch, miniature doll furniture made of walnut shells and tree sap, or the photo of Clark Gable’s Cadillac you snagged at the Clark Gable Birthplace Museum in Cadiz, OH, then cool! Come to Show & Tell and share memories, dreams, losses and gains. Tell us why you picked what you picked. What about  it speaks to you? We want to know. Because no matter your age, connecting, communicating, sharing ideas and objects—can pique curiosity, give license to expression, and open doors to audience interests. Bring some grub and a friend too who may be interested in learning more about timebanking as we move into the future with our TBT revitalization efforts. Here are the particulars:

Date Sunday, December 2, 2018
Time 3 to 6 PM
Address 2128 Park Crescent Drive
Land O Lakes, FL 34639
(Between Livingston Ave and Collier Parkway immediately off SR 54)
Questions? Call (215) 834-4567 and reference Show & Tell!

Recap: TBT’s “Third Tuesday” Kick Off at the Life Enrichment Center Invokes Human Cannonballs and Decked-Out Weddings
October 24, 2018 — 12:58

By Grace Maselli

Whoopee, we did it! A friendly bunch of TBT members and friends kicked off the inaugural third-Tuesday-of-every-month TBT orientation and community gathering at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center (LEC). Our Third Tuesdays are part of TBT’s revitalization initiative to dispatch our efforts further into the community by way of a metaphoric human cannonball! (It should be noted, dear reader, that the first person to be sprung thusly from a cannon was 14-year-old Rossa Matilda Richter in 1877 at London’s Royal Aquarium.)

Time and Repartee

Natural light and shared food (Read: potluck!) for attendees who gathered on Tuesday, October 16 made the welcoming LEC space even more receptive to talk on timebanking, invoking broad discussions, including those in response to showings of two videos as part of the education and togetherness vibe. One video is from the timebank in Central Vermont where approximately 1,000 services are offered covering everything from iPhone tutoring and aromatherapy to weatherization, taro card interpretations, cake baking, and reading to persons who are sight impaired. A link to the second video shown is available further below in this post. The October 16 repartee extended to the idea of community connection that time-and-service exchanges can bringthe warm and fuzzy polar opposite of social isolation.

A Wedding—from Soup to Nuts

Demonstrating the power of timebanking, one Central Vermont member had an ENTIRE wedding brought to life (dress, venue, flowers, minister, music, and maybe some Italian Wedding Soup and nuts to nosh on)  thanks to our timebank cousin in the northeast! Now that’s something to write home about. TBT is thankful to LEC Executive Director Maureen Murphy who has generously opened LEC’s doors to us the third Tuesday of each month for orientations, ever-wonderful community potlucks and social events. LEC is “a private, non-profit organization whose mission is for students to fulfill their lifelong creative potential through the ageless engagement of the arts.” Their address is 9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241. You can also check out our Tampa Bay Timebank-LEC Flyer right here!