What do You Collect?

I collect words.

Declutter and simplify. Those words are thrown around everywhere right now. There are people who make a living showing us how to declutter, simplify and organize.

I’m not one to jump on a fad wagon, but the urge to get rid of things has been pretty strong lately, especially things that I have been storing for a long time and haven’t even looked at, let alone used. You know, those beautiful nick-nacks that I plan to display when I have company, but rarely come out of the box. How about the duplicate items that “I might use some day”? I just have too much stuff.

As I looked around at what I wanted to sell or get rid of, I realized that there are few things that mean enough to me to matter. I would rather sell them than hang on to them. If there was a fire in my house, the things I would mourn the loss of most would be the family heirlooms and the photos.

I really don’t have “collections” of things, except plants. I have plants all over my house. If offered the right price, the few collector’s items I have would go in a heartbeat. Another interesting thing I realized about myself is while most people collect things – plates, spoons, various themed cards, sports memorabilia, etc – I collect words.

Words have played a part of my life for as long as I can remember. They can make me feel every emotion imaginable, sometimes by reading them and sometimes by writing them.

I recently had these Post-it notes all over my desk with phrases, descriptions or quotes that had an effect on me of some kind. It was getting pretty bad. From a distance my desk looked like it had yellow hair. I do that when life is stressful or traumatic, which describes the last two years. Collecting words helps ground me and guide me to peace.

So instead of continuing to grow hair on my desk, I bought some chalk board paint and turned one wall of my office into a chalk board. Now the sayings, phrases and descriptions rotate to the chalk board and then into a blank book I made, which has turned into an eclectic information collector.

Growing up, I was picked on ruthlessly with words. The saying “sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you” is not true. Words can bless, words can condemn, and words can harm. I’ve always tried to be careful with what comes out of my mouth because of what words can do to others. They can also come back to bite you.

Words are the most wonderful powerful things. When life is hard, they can give a person strength. When grief strikes, they can give comfort. Words can give joy and happiness flight. They can turn strangers into friends, and friends into lovers.

I have always collected words. What do you collect?

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