Anyone know what the one year anniversary present is? It's paper, right? Yeah, I think it is paper.
I could use this occasion to take time out and reflect on what the last year has brought me in the world of blogging. I could ramble on and on about how I am grateful to even have blog that I can write about my thoughts. I could thank everyone who "follows" my writings and has wished me well in my endeavors. I could wax ecstatic about how generous the blog community is or how much more engaged in the hobby I am because of the blogs. I could, but I won't.
It's all done before and been done better. Everyone of us knows how lucky we all are in being a part of this community. I am glad to be a part (albeit a small one) of it and I think that says enough. Plus, unless there is a contest involved, I doubt anyone really cares anyway. So instead of blubbering over my gratitude's like a Hollywood awards show acceptance speech, I figured I'd just give my 2 cents worth on my time in the blogoverse.
I made it a year despite the fact I didn't think I was going to make it a month. This has to be the only non-paid, freely voluntary work I have (somewhat) consistently stuck to in my life. To show for it, I have over 30 people that at least pretend they read my drivel...some on a fairly regular basis. I have even had some family members acknowledge my random musings once or twice, which I still don't know if it is a good or bad thing. I have probably increased my collection 10 fold because of all the trading I've done since my arrival here as well.
Because of all that, I think I have grown as a collector and am no longer embarrassed by the fact that I still participate in a "kids" hobby. Because it isn't a kids hobby. It is a human hobby. Those of us that turn on the way-back machine and relive our childhoods each and everyday are the reason the hobby stays alive and will never go away. Sure it can be time consuming and wallet consuming. Sure it makes me schizophrenic at times and causes me undue stress and anguish. Sure it gives me a complex and forces behavior similar to severe obsessive/compulsive disorder. I'm okay with that. I'm not afraid of people knowing about my "secret" hobby. It's all out in the open and I am much more comfortable with it.
I have learned over the past year that my collecting habits have always bordered on the edge of hoarding. Not hoarding in the sense that I need to go on TV to show off my living room packed to the ceiling with garbage bags of laundry, old pizza boxes, and Hummel figurines. But hoarding in the sense that I have always kept everything that has come into my collection with very few exceptions. This isn't limited to cards either. Programs, ticket stubs, SLU's, Headliners, pennants, photos, etc. have all played a major part in my stockpiling over the years. I have received numerous inadvertent advice from the blogoverse in regards to focusing my collection and parting with items that really have no meaning to me other than being used as "stuff". I still have too much "stuff" and if I stick around (which I plan to), I hope that will change.
I have learned that being a sports fan and a collector both elates me with joy and frustrates me with anger and hostility. I have always known that I can be a bit of a "sore loser" when it comes to my teams but only when I began writing about it did I realize some of my issues. Being a fan of Pittsburgh sports teams isn't always fun. Winning traditions have always been a big part of the city and anything short of a championship is generally considered a failure. Having an outlet to express about frustrating moments as well as crowning achievements has made me become a better fan (In my opinion of course. My wife would still disagree with me as would my old coffee table).
I have also learned that I suck as a trade partner. Too many of my trades with everyone take months to occur. This isn't fair to anyone involved. I seem to get packages on a fairly regular basis but my trips to the post office become less and less. I have two dozen (yes, there is really that many) piles of cards sorted out to go to various people around the world that have been generous enough to send me stuff. I think I just underestimated the kindness of everyone and got buried in trade proposals. I assure everyone I am trying to get caught up, and I will. It's a work in progress and my noviceness (is that a word?) in the logistics of what goes into a trade these days got the better of me. I guess it's no longer as simple as a few guys sitting in someones bedroom with their binders open, trying to trade all their Expos cards to the new kid for his 1974 Topps cards that his uncle left him and convincing him it's a good deal (all the while trying to accumulating as many 1987 Jose Canseco cards as he can because he knows that guy is the greatest baseball player who ever lived).
I think most of all, I have learned that despite never meeting any of you in person (Sal from Puck Junk being the only exception) I consider everyone of you brothers (and sisters, er, siblings, yeah siblings)-in-arms and would call any of you a colleague and friend. It has been a fun 365 days and with some concerted effort and a little luck, hopefully it will last a long time.
I guess I just spent the last few moments doing exactly what I set out not to do...patting myself on the back, reflecting on my accomplishments with the blog, gushing about all of the wonderful people out there and chastising myself as a bad blogger. So with that contradictory commentary, I leave you with the obligatory: Happy First Blogoversary to The Real DFG blog.
That is all for now.