The Everyday Joy of Collecting

Silver_box_collection Collection of Silver Boxes. Source: Unknown

Jerry Seinfeld has a spiel which includes the following observation: “We are all just filling in the gaps of life. We’re killing time. There is a lot of dead air.”

If you do have any modicum of spare time to spend, you’ll want to use it wisely. One great way to fill that time is to collect — and what you collect is not nearly as important as how the process of collecting makes you feel.

Over the years I’ve seen 101 types of collections, from 1rst edition books to Pokemon to antique silver spoons to sea shells. While I know little about all of the sub-types, I surmise that they all bring joy to their owners. (My father refurbished vintage Victrolas and the associated records. It was on one of these that I first heard Enrico Caruso sing Pagliacci.) I now realize, that the activity of collecting was a welcome counter-balance to his role as a physician.

Collecting can provide balance & order for many of us — it can link us with the past and offer a deep sense of satisfaction.

Why collecting is enjoyable isn’t a mystery. Here is what collecting can offer:

  • A sense of mastery. Learning something new is always high on the hit parade of things you should be doing. Becoming well versed in a new area, can engage your mind and boost your mood.
  • Community. When you collect —  you will inevitably meet other people who collect. What could be better than exchanging stories about a rare item or a great new source.
  • Fun. The enjoyment that goes with the hunt for that perfect piece, is probably one of the higher points of collecting. The great thing? You never know when or where that piece will turn up.
  • Sharing. Displaying a great collection is an added bonus to collecting. You’ll create opportunities to discuss the where, why and how of your efforts.
  • Memories. Objects can connect moments and keep them alive in our minds. It is as if what we are experiencing, becomes frozen within the item.
  • Income. In some cases, collections can evolve into profitable businesses. The passion behind the collection can drive you to help others do the same. With sites such as Ebay, there is likely a market for your items. (More options to sell your items here.)

I’ll have to add, that as Jerry Seinfeld expressed about “filling that dead air” — collecting does a pretty fine job.

Do you collect? What has collecting brought to your world? Share what you collect in comments.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the perfect fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

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