The Everyday Joy of Collecting

collection vintage-cameras-antique-cameras
Marco Marques at diyphotography.net

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Jerry Seinfeld (who you can catch while in residence at The Beacon Theater) 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.”

Well, if you do have any modicum of spare time to spend, you want to fill 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 Punch & Judy. While I know little about all of the sub-types, I surmise that they all bring joy to their owners. (My father collected and 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 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:

  • Mastery. Learning something new, is 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 get out there. As a result, you 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. Some 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. (BTW, I collect vintage copper. You can see my collection on our Instagram page.)

Want to explore collecting? Start at Collector’s Weekly.

Do you already collect? 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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