Baseball cards? Barbie dolls? GI Joes? Pogs? Rocks? Pokemon? Money? Guitar picks? Sticks? Animals?
I was a baseball card collector. I loved the smell of a new pack of cards.
I remember walking into the card shop, looking at the cards that were of great value (so were kept in the glass case, with a negotiable price tag on them), then getting to pick out a new pack of cards that I wanted. It was a great treat. 3-4 times per year, our local mall would host a card show, and vendors would be lined up throughout the whole mall, displaying their cards. That was one of the few things that would draw me to a mall.
Maybe the greatest treat was when I was given a little extra money, and bought a whole box of new cards. There were usually 24-32 unopened packs/box, and I’d always spread it out across multiple days so as to prolong the excitement. I would open a pack or two a day, and as I would, I’d check them against the ones I had already opened, find the duplicates, and make sure to put the “rare” ones to the side. I’d check the latest Beckett prices, look at the trends, and know which cards I needed to finish my collection of that 1994 Fleer set. I’d barter with my friends to trade my duplicates.
Recently, I’ve stumbled back on those cards. I say recently, because by the time I hit late middle school, I didn’t care so much about collecting baseball cards. It wasn’t as cool anymore. It had lost its luster.
The reason I care about them now is that one day, I’ll give them to my son. It thrills me thinking that one day, he’ll be able to flip through my cards and build off of my collection. That one day, he’ll have that same feeling of excitement when he opens a new pack of cards.
I’ve been doing a lot of forward-thinking lately. I feel like I’m getting old…but I’ve been thinking a lot about what lasting effect my life will have. What I do, day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, that will truly last beyond my life.
Maybe I’m having a pre-mid-life-crisis or something. Is that even possible?
Here’s what I’m asking myself right now.
How much does what I’m doing at this moment matter beyond the here-and-now?
Will it still matter in 50 years?
How will my children and grandchildren think of the way I spend my time and energy?
Is what I’m amassing going to have any eternal impact? If not, then why am I amassing it?