Enjoyment & collection

When I was young I collected stamps. And I think I still have a massive stamp collection lurking somewhere. I’d collect lots of stamps from my family’s mails, and my relatives, even distant ones would know I was collecting and give me a whole bunch of them. I wasn’t so discerning and I collected a lot of repetitions, and they looked good when I lined them up.

I’d spend hours soaking, extracting them from the paper they were stuck to, and then drying them out in the sun. I figured it was easy to process when you can stick the wet ones on a plastic sheet and leave it out to dry. By just twisting the plastic sheet when the stamps are mostly dry, you could take out the dried stamps easily. And that process itself was interesting. Never mind the actual stamps. They were nice to look at, the designs were interesting but I never did study them so much in detail – I did not know the history of each of those series, nor how they intertwined with history of the countries they were from. There were commemorative editions which helped me discover things about foreign lands and culture. But that was all the curiosity I had about my stamp collection. I was enjoying it; there wasn’t a checklist I was benchmarking myself against and hunting for that ‘rare stamp’ or to complete a particular ‘collection’.

As far as I was concerned, my collection was always complete, and never complete, at the same time. The thing about us in the modern world today is there’s always something more we want to complete our lives, that we forget to enjoy our lives for what it is today. I need to consider more of my stamp collecting days.