I have never fancied myself much of a collector. That (seemingly) fanatical drive to seek out and amass Barbies, stamps, ornaments, etc., is beyond me. Plus, I can be a tad fanatical about throwing things out and de-cluttering, so collecting does not appear to be in my nature.
Or so I thought.
Lately, I have realized that I do have one specific penchant for collecting. My loot, the thing that I seek: amazing experiences. I collect memories.
This realization helps me relate to other collectors. I understand that there is comfort in surrounding yourself with things that have meaning for you, whatever those “things” might be.
When times get difficult I know I can tap into the catalogs of my memory and draw upon a time that brought me joy. When I feel uncertain I can browse through my mental shelves and see that I’ve been uncertain before and I’ve come through it.
One hallmark of collecting is the thrill of the chase. I understand this perfectly because I love to plan. Plotting my next great experience is an entirely satisfying endeavor, maybe even better than the resulting event.
Sometimes collectors spend seemingly ridiculous amounts of money on their goods. Well, I get that too. I once took off to Europe with only $20 in my checking account. Yes, my credit card got a good workout but I have never, ever regretted that choice. Chief among my most prized possessions are my memories of travel.
True collectors reach out to like-minded souls. Me too! I have an impressive collection of long conversations on the meaning of life. These moments have become more rare as I have gotten older. I wonder why. Really, I wonder.
Oh, and to wonder! That has become a vintage collectible in the age of Google. I need to fill my shadow boxes with more wonder!
This season, go out and harvest some of what makes you happiest. The memory of those moments is sure to help you through the Winter, or even a long night. Build your collection and remind yourself that you are here, in the World, and there are endless opportunities to surround yourself with what you love.
This post was originally published in October 2014. The arrival of Autumn seemed a ripe time to share it again!