I saw a Tweet the other day that basically asked, “Are you content with your collection?”
What a great question!
Am I content with my collection? I need to start my answer with another question. What do you mean by content?
Do I have every card I could ever want? Is my collection complete? No, absolutely not, and I doubt many collectors could answer yes to that.
But am I happy with the collection I’ve built so far knowing that I view collecting as a journey and I’ll be able to continue to add to, refine, and build into the future?
Yes, I’d say I am content with the collection I’ve been able to build so far, but I’ve still got a ways to go on the journey.
What’s your answer? Are you content?
If not, why not?
I think understanding the answer to why we’re not content is a key to increasing the enjoyment we get out of the hobby. Sometimes, the lack of contentment comes because we’ve passionately identified a collecting goal and we haven’t yet had the opportunity to achieve it yet.
Other times, it can be hard to feel a sense of contentment with our collections because we don’t have focus and don’t really know what we’re collecting towards or why we are collecting the things we collect.
Both of those make sense to me and if we put in some work to either meet our goals or narrow our focus and purpose, we can start to feel better about our collection.
However, there is a third reason that we sometimes feel unsatisfied with our collections.
We get caught up comparing our collections to other people’s collections. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy.
From time to time, I find myself getting frustrated with where my collection is at, or I see someone get recognition for their collection and I find myself saying, Pshh, my collection is better than that”.
Then ultimately I take a step back and realize, that those frustrations are dumb and that there is no reason for me to be frustrated at anyone but myself. And furthermore, most of those frustrations would go away if I stopped comparing myself to others!
Hi, it’s me, I’m the problem, it’s me.
Why do we do that? Why do we get caught up comparing ourselves and our collections to others?
We all come at this journey from different angles and different approaches. How other people collect, what they collect, and whether they have more or less than us really shouldn’t influence our contentment with our own collections.
I love the sense of history that comes from completing a vintage set. I don’t care about the condition of those vintage cards. I probably won’t have the highest grade sets and that’s ok.
Norman Smiley is a wrestler that brings back the memories of spending the summer watching the Monday Night Wars with friends during my college years. I don’t think anyone else in the wrestling card world cares about Norman Smiley, but the Smiley collection I’m building is priceless to me.
If we have a goal for our collection, a plan to continue building it, and a purpose behind the items we’ve collected, I think the contentment comes easier.
You can enjoy learning about other peoples collections. You can even be inspired by them. But remember, you set the rules for your collection. You know why you enjoy your cards. Don’t let “collection envy” steal your joy!