It’s kind of funny the things you remember about childhood and how other times draw a blank. I don’t remember the first family pet nor the names of my early classmates. But, I do remember the first time I began collecting marbles and dinosaurs.
Maybe the memory is so concrete because it’s an early part of our growing independence. Something we could call our own; something we cherished.
You never really stop collecting throughout life, do you? It shifts in interest and costs but the same, underlying childhood thrill of finding that special collector’s item or the memories tied to sharing the experience with friends, family, and others.
The 7-Year Cycle and Our Evergrowing Collective Nature
Hopefully, I don’t lose you on this one:
There’s this idea we go through a 7-year cycle.
It’s this idea where our minds and bodies have fully changed within that timeframe. We’re essentially new people at the end of this cycle.
Think about it:
You hit these different stages of life where you’re constantly growing, adapting, and rebelling. Right with it is our goals and aspirations. This includes what we like to collect along the way.
What are We Collecting?
For younger folk:
- Stuffed animals
- Video games
It’s interesting because a lot of these overlap into our adulthood (like Legos and video games). Though, there are mature things we’re excited about since we now have the money to indulge our collecting desires:
- Presidential autographs
- Vintage signage
- Classic cars
- Stamps and coins
…and some enjoy collecting ever-increasing credit card bills. I kid, I kid.
It’s interesting seeing how the older we get the more our collections align with the topic of history.
The autographs are challenging yet rewarding for history buffs wanting to complete their collections related to a particular period in country history.
The classic cars or antiques take us back to the older days we fondly remember. Or, for some, obsess about because that’s their thing.
Sometimes Collecting is to Flaunt, Other Times It’s for Fun
What’s the difference in personal value when comparing your kids Sara Bell trading cards to your signed books?
Why we value things is a timeless question hard to pin down since the value is in the eye of the beholder.
Though, I have some ideas why:
- Scarcity (to own something hard to obtain)
- Activity (treating it as a hobby because it’s fun)
- Competition (comparing and dueling others)
Some like to flaunt their collections because it embodies their being. They use their collection as a representation of their lifestyle choices. Other times, it’s because we want to play fun card games with our friends. Both are valid.
Time Marches On (and Collections Follow Suit)
I look around and think about what I collect in the current day. Things like records and obscure DVDs.
My collection has come a long way from those days of hoarding marbles and standing in line to buy new dinosaurs at Toys R’ Us. The expense has certainly gone up but those same childhood feelings remain intact.
Maybe we’re all just using our collections as a way to take a snapshot in time. Or, maybe it’s us trying to project ourselves to that period.
Either way, I think it’s neat to think about since we’ve all said “it’s not about the things we own…” because, really, they do become a big part of our lives.
Would you agree? What do you collect?