And I am not saying which product to buy next or what card to pick up next. I am thinking about the hobby in general.
Do you ever realize that we are collecting pieces of cardboard with someones picture on it?
Do you know we get excited when we get a piece of someone's clothing embedded in this piece of cardboard?
Do you know we pay money for someones signed name?
I recently sat down and thought about all of this for some reason or another and realized how much time I spend talking, interacting, joining in the acts, and spending money on this hobby when it all is just pieces of cardboard, or cardboard with clothing or with someones signed name on it. In a way, for a moment I thought I was crazy for doing this. It's cardboard! I can make this stuff at home. Of course I don't even come close to making as much money as the people featured on the cardboard, but they are still no different than you and I. Well, except most are exceptional at the sports they play but you get the point.
Then I realized what these pieces of cardboard, cardboard with someones clothing embedded in it and cardboard with someones signed name really meant to me and it was amazing.
This hobby means having something to do in my spare time (which isn't as much as it was when I was a kid) and take me away from the real world problems. It's sort of a meditation and I know a lot of you will agree what sorting a pile of cards can do. I think it's probably the way any person with a hobby feels. Sorting those coins, putting those stamps in albums, modeling those cars or building that mountain scene for your trains to drive by. It's all a way for us to sort of "blow off some steam" without going crazy and having fun instead.
But, most importantly to me it means memories and nostalgia. Whether it was spending time collecting with my father and still doing so, that moment my grandmother bought her first packs of cards at 60 years of age hoping to get a big insert pull of the 90's, trading with my grandmother's neighbor who was a huge Michael Jordan collector, having my mother steal all of my Emmitt Smith cards from packs of football I opened, going to card shows and meeting people, trading with friends on recess, blogging about these moments, Tweeting and trading with you guys, watching the athletes and moments featured on the cardboard bringing me joy in winning moments and records, seeing those pieces of embedded clothing as a historic relic from some of those players and finding something signed from those players bringing me closer to them that once may have had a memory attached to them. And it's not just athletes either. I found my way into the world of non sport collecting and TTM for the same reason.
Every single card in my collection has a reason to be there and I can tell you about it. Well, I do. Right here. Right on this piece of paper (that's the way I look at it). I document moments from my collecting past and moments as of the now.
So if you ever have one of those days where you are questioning the hobby and why you are collecting those pieces of cardboard, just think more about it. I am sure you also have a reason for doing it or you wouldn't have done it in the first place. I know that's all it will take to put your mind at ease like it did with me.