I was the mother of twoâŠ well, for a about a week.
I devoted seven days to two of my nieces who are in the Big Apple for the summer. Spending âauntie and usâ time was great, mostly because I was able to connect with the girls in a way I couldnât during weekend jaunts to their hometown. But my 168 hours with the little ladies left me feeling more than exhausted; I was physically and emotionally depleted. Sound dramatic? Well, it is. As a single, single womanâÂ no hubby or petsâÂ Iâm very used to just getting up and going.
For the first time I was able to experience what many of my clients grapple with firsthand: having limited resources. Many of us think of resources as simply financial, but they come in many forms, including time. Many of us will experience the tugging weight of “what ifs” purely because we donât have enough time to achieve the things we want to enhance our lives. Still there is hope. Bartering is a no-brainer to me. My kids-in-tow weekend consisted of fair swaps, such as: “Iâll take your son with my crew to the park if you make the cupcakes we promised the kids.” I love running around with kids and my gal pal loves baking; a coup for us both.
I know, I know, initially it sounds rather antiquated, or complicated; but itâs a great way to use what you have to get more of what you want. So, exactly how can bartering—exchanging goods or services of relatively equal value—help improve your life? It allows you to maximize your to-do list, while minimizing the utilization of extra, or absent, resources. For example, can you afford to paint your house and take the vacation you want? Maybe not, but a few friends may be willing to help out with a paint party if you commit to helping with their landscaping, etcâŠ The goal is to think win/win.
You can have the life you want. Just create it. Here are a few things you can try bartering this week.
- âSitting Services: Whether itâs kids, the elderly, pets or a house, almost everyone has someone or thing theyâre obligated to keep a watchful eye onâÂ and that responsibility is likely draining them, at least at times. Offer a trusted pal one free afternoon or evening in exchange for the same. The down time will help you both replenish and create a support system.
- Trading Skill Sets: Are you a masterful wall painter? Are you a great cook? Are you handy with tools? The likelihood that youâre great at all things is slim, but you probably excel in at least one domain. Pick the thing your friends rave most about and offer a trade for something youâre lacking.
- Sharing Resources: How many of us have clothing, tools, appliances, etcâŠ that we know we will never use? Too many. As residents of a consumer driven culture we often purchase things we quickly determine that we donât want, or even more frequently, donât need. Instead of relegating all of the items to a trash pile set up an afternoon swap meet with pals. Your slightly used âjunkâ can easily be someone elseâs âjewelâ, and vice versa.