I've been feeling pretty wiped out with a cold the last couple days. And as the cardboard mountains begin to grow around me, it becomes way too easy to start thinking about the things I love and hate about this hobby.
I've quite literally been collecting as long as I can remember. My first pack of cards was a 1991 Topps pack from the local gas station (along with a slurpee) when I was about 4 years old. Those packs from the gas station or when dad came home from work turned into to trips to the local card shop after music lessons with mom, which turned into multiple hour drives across states for the National, or taking a vacation day off work so I could get a jump on the crowds at a big show.
Card collecting has become an integral part to who I am. It's a tangible connection to sports. And it's a hobby where I have met some fantastic people. But there are days when I sit here blowing my nose way too much, sleep deprived from barely being able to breathe all night where I wonder what the point of it is.
Don't get me wrong. I had a blast hitting a local show last weekend. I can't wait for the Robert Morris show in May. I'm even tossing around the idea of proposing a long weekend in Chicago so I can have a day at the National again this summer.
But there's a real big part of me that just feels like I'm going through the motions when it comes to collecting. I look at the stacks of cardboard around me that need cataloged and sorted - piles of COMC pickups, show purchases, and a few ebay additions. Commons, shiny things, numbered cards. Of those few hundred cards, there are maybe 2 or 3 that I would describe as a card I love.
Most of them? Wants? Sure. But my affection for them is no greater or less than the other 20,000+ I already had. There just hasn't been much that excites me about the hobby. I don't mean excited the way I feel before a show, or during a COMC sale. Those still get the adrenaline rushing. I mean excited in terms of something new from this hobby that makes me say "I have to have that card."
I felt that way about the 2000 Gold Label reprints in Topps this year. Or when I snagged a new Kordell Stewart rookie card I didn't have for a dime at a flea market last month. But for the most part it's just...going through the motions. A 2015 Topps case break because I'm not really ready to stop collecting. New pickups here and there. New mini collections popping up regularly. Toying around with custom cards. They're all fun, in their own way. But all seem to be a larger symptom of just not really having anything that I'm excited about chasing, or collecting, or adding.
I'm a collector. It's what I do. And I could have 10 million cards, and I'd still be able to find *something* new that I wanted in a dime box. But as far as something new, shiny, exciting that really gets me excited about collecting? It's just not there for me right now.