I love the idea of collecting things.
I thought of this while scrolling mindlessly through my Facebook feed and seeing a famous TV news writer and his collection of Smurfs. How fun! I, of course, then wanted to know the story of the smurf collection, his criteria for selecting an item for his collection, how long he had collected, and so on.
If you know me then you probably know I am obsessed with the Happier by Gretchen Rubin podcast because I have probably tried to indoctrinate you once or twice. Gretchen and her sister have discussed collections many times on the podcast and how collections relate to happiness.
Gretchen collects bluebirds, the symbol of happiness. I am not sure whether she purposefully started collecting them or if it was chosen for her based on her career field. Either way, now she has a healthy collection of bluebird items. She even has enough bluebird Christmas ornaments to fill a small tree at Christmas.
The interesting thing about collecting items is the journey. Some items are so easy to find that collecting can become a burden. In that case, you have to develop a strict criteria for the item (which I do for many of my collections). Less common items are fun because it is like a hunt and when you find the item, it is a true treasure.
I started collecting Home Grown figures by enesco several years ago. These figures bring together two of my favorite things: animals and food. The figures are vegetables depicted in the form of animals. Think, sweet potato alligator, mushroom lion, cabbage dog and one of my favorites, cauliflower sheep. It is too cute!
I had kind of slowed down on my collection because I wanted to put them in my kitchen, but I had / have no where to display them. On one of our yearly cabin trips with our college friends, we stopped in at a coffee shop in this little, tiny town. One of my friends found radish mice that looked to be maybe 5-10 years old. It was dusty and faded by the sun, and I was in love. I am not even sure if it was truly for sale, but my husband worked his magic, and the little mice came home with me.
I think I like the idea of collecting so much because it is a celebration of our personal uniqueness and style. I collect many things. Here are a couple of my largest collections currently:
Unicorns: I have been fascinated with unicorns since I was 3 or 4 years old. Someone, probably my mom, bought me a unicorn shirt, and I was hooked. Unicorns are depicted in many different styles. I am very specific in my collectibles. Currently, I have purses, adult onesies (yes, plural), figures, stuffed animals, and prints. I recently added a unicorn coloring book and unicorn color by numbers book to the collection.
Cat stuff: After becoming a cat mom at 22 years old, I inadvertently became a collector of cat items. I like my cat collection because it is more of a reflection of how people view me than how I view myself. It was such a logical fit that I ran with the idea myself.
Growing up, my papa Leonard collected many things, but one of my favorite collections of his was model cars. I am not a huge car enthusiast myself, and I do not keep up with current trends, but the way in which he cared for his collection was so intriguing. As soon as he got a new model car, he would clean it with a Q-tip and place it in a protective display case immediately. The passion for his collection showcased his unique (maybe slightly obsessive) personality.
Many people get overwhelmed with stuff. I happen to be one of them, but I think collecting items that are important and valuable to you, if only for your happiness, is worth it. As I continue on my journey to find my happiness, I am uncovering the things that promote happiness and the things that detract happiness. My collections definitely promote happiness for me!
Do you have any collections? Did you start the collection or did someone else start it for you? I am curious to know your story.
Here is my whole Home Grown collection: