We are collectors.
All of us, without exception.
Young and old. Rich and poor. No matter. We’re all collectors.
If you took look around your house, you’ll discover that you have all kinds of stuff you’ve collected over the years. Things you tremble to let go. You might have expensive paintings or a cellar stock full of rare and vintage wine. You might have boxes and boxes of comic books, or hockey cards, or shelf full of old Disney movies on VHS or Betamax.
I’m not talking about holding, or keeping things for way too long in a storage locker, before they make a tv show out of you. I’m talking about those little signs, we can see everywhere that indicate we prefer our life to be just the way it is.
We collect to preserve something that cannot be preserved.
We keep things around to be reminded who we are.
Sometimes we don’t even know why, and unless you’re very disciplined or perhaps somewhat deceased, you and I have a tough time letting things go. We want things to remain the same.
I have my mothers and grandmothers wedding rings. I also have my girlfriend’s love letters. She’s now my wife and she wrote them and hid them in my suitcase when I was going on an oversea trip. Those letters kept me connected to her, brought a smile to my face, and imparted how much she loves me.
A also have a bunch of DVD’s that I’m stubbornly reluctant to part with. I have boxes and boxes of hockey cards which I am reluctant let go as well. I have clothing which I haven’t worn in a very long time. I have tools I will never use. I have old computers which should have been recycled long ago.
We are collectors and I wonder why.
Keeping my mothers and grandmother wedding rings is easier to understand than the countless thing that get move from one house to the next, from one corner of the house to anther, that if it they was gone or ruined, not only wouldn’t I miss them, I don’t think I would remember that they were gone.
Letting go is important. Change is heathy. It’s vital to our happiness.
You can’t build a new house on an old foundations. You can’t put new wine into old wineskins, but you can make a good thing last.
I think our collections are memory keepers. Just like the smell of a particular perfume that will flood your mind of days gone by, so does looking at things that mean something to us.
We have to be on guard that we don’t cross the line between collecting and hoarding. We should also try to let more and more things go. It’s good to share. To let other people enjoy things for a while. It’s much better to make more room for more growth, than face the prospect of running out of space.
What do you collect?
Why do you collect it?
What are you going to do about it?
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Alex Iby via unsplash.com