Thursday, August 14, 2014

It Is All About Perspective

You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted in a little while.  I figured I would dive into the personal a bit but promise I will get back to card collecting before I end this post.

Most of you who have traded with me or followed me for over a year know that my family and I moved last summer. It was a job change for me with a company I have been with for over 20 years.  The job was a lateral (no extra cash) but they did pay for relocation.  My wife left a great job that paid very well (she is now in a similar position in our new, similarly priced area, that pays 40% less) and I uprooted 2 of my 3 kids from their school and friends.  It was a tough decision.

The reason for the change was the allure that this new job was a developmental job that I would be in for about 2 years then move up to the executive level and that’s where the big bonuses and better financial security come into play.  It wasn’t a promise but I was “sold” the idea stating that my past performance and the skills I brought to the table were perfect for the next level, I just needed some broader experience.

Well, 7 months into my new job we had a change at the top and the department I am in is somewhat under attack.  We are a support group where in the past I have always been part of the core business.  My boss isn’t the most effective and she is struggling with the new leadership team and based on some feedback it appears my reputation is getting caught up in this mess. I am now being questioned regarding if I am top talent.  Quite disappointing and I have been struggling to keep my attitude in check.

Then, while struggling through this I got a really bad infection on my left index finger.  Sounds like not a big deal but for about 5 days it was the most painful thing I have ever experienced.  To make a long story short, I ended up needing surgery to clean out the infection and biopsy it.  I am on the road to recovery and the pain is pretty much gone.  BTW thank goodness for my health insurance and that we put money into an HSA - just got the bill today for the surgery - over $20k!

As I was going through all the finger stuff I had a lot of time to think and my head wasn’t in a good spot.  I wasn’t anywhere close to the depression Robin Williams faced (RIP he was one of my favorites) but I was looking at everything as half empty.  The job, the pain, the boredom, feeling alone as my wife had to do everything because I couldn’t function, focused on the moments of bad behavior from my kids, etc.  Not being able to type took the blogging option away as an escape.  I am normally a half full guy.

Well as my title states, sometimes it is all about perspective.  A couple of days ago, I walked in the front door and was greeted by my 20 month old daughter.  She yelled “dada” from across the room, put her arms into the air, ran across the room with a huge smile on her face and gave me the biggest hug and kiss ever.  She has greeted me similarly but never with so much joy.  Looking at her and hugging her completely turned my attitude and my world around.  Screw the BS at work, the injury is temporary - I am blessed with a wonderful family and I am lucky enough to have a job that pays the bills, takes care of my family and allows me to partake in this wonderful hobby.

Speaking of the hobby, here is my tie in.  As mentioned above, for a few days I was incapacitated with tons of time to think and my blog and card collecting crossed my mind quite a bit.  I realize I still get a ton of joy out of chasing sets, going after Giants, looking for HOFer Autos, seeking out cards for my player collection.  In short my love for the hobby is still strong.

I also recognized I was feeling anxiety and stress about not posting on my blog.  I have seen quite a few posts from other bloggers who seem to be having struggles on posting frequency, how many views or followers they have, what to collect or if to collect.  I gave it a lot of thought and tried to put the blog in perspective. I thought back to why I started blogging.  I saw an opportunity to broaden my collecting network, make new trading partners, show off my collection, have fun with my cards doing more that just buying them, cataloging and put them away and overall just add another layer of joy to my life through my hobby.

A couple benefits have popped up as well in that I have met a few people I truly consider friends through this.  I also have an online want list I can access wherever I am.  I have decided to put my blogging in perspective as well.  I plan on doing it for the reasons that it all began.  I will not put stress on myself to post at a certain pace, while I may look at blogging stats, I will not allow my stats impact me - I am doing this for me.  Now I hope you gain some entertainment or enjoy some of the cards but that isn’t my driver.  There will be stretches where I blog daily for long periods of time and other times some gaps and I am going to be fine with that.

One of those friends who I have met though the blog is Jim aka mr haverkamp. He doesn’t have a blog but I do know many of you have traded with him.  I have had the pleasure of meeting up with Jim 3 times and exchanging several cards.  A few weekends back Jim gave me a call from a card show he was at and thought I would be interested in.  He described the cards, shared the price with me and I decided to take the plunge and am I glad I did. 

 This set of all time Giants greats from Mother's Cookies is one of my favorites and now I have autographed copies of the two players I collect!  These look nice scanned and even better in person. Two of the best cards in my collection.

Jim also tossed in some 1971 cards for my set quest.

But Jim's generosity and  thoughtfulness wasn't over.  He dropped me a note and let me know that the guy selling the auto was a distributor for Mother's Cookies and had tons of back sets for sale at a card store in the Bay Area.  Jim asked me to send him my want list and he would go by the store for me.  I shot him my list and he was able to pick up all the complete sets for me - 6 Mother's Cookies sets, 3 Keebler Sets and 2 4-card player sets!  Now I only need a few singles to finish off the complete Giants run.

Here are a couple of pictures from different perspectives to show off the sets:

 He also tossed in an autographed Wayne Bebb who I am assuming is the distributor.

So putting things in perspective, this is a great hobby with great people involved.  My blog has brought more fun to the hobby for me and allowed me to interact with an amazing group of fellow card collectors.  I plan on continuing with my blog at my pace and have fun with it and try and keep away any guilty feelings when posting isn't in the cards.  Hopefully that works for all of you and we can continue to trade and share our passion for the hobby.

Jim, thank you for helping me with my collection.  You have added a great many awesome pieces to it.


  1. Perspective is definitely key! I'm in the midst of a new job as well (same place of employment but moving from the faculty side to the staff side of things). My wife and I are also currently in the midst of buying a home (and selling our current place) so I can understand at least part of what you are going through. All the best!

    PS: Shoot me your address, I have some stuff for you.

  2. One of the many great things about blogging is that you can do it at your own pace. Life comes first, blogging second. Hope all turns out well for you, Adam.

    Super jealous of those Mother's Cookies cards. I've dreamed about finding a dime box full of them one day. No luck. So far, at least.

  3. Family first! Cards should always be fun. Always good to take a break if a hobby is feeling like a chore. Hope everything turns out well.

  4. stay positive adam. speaking from experience, perspective is a wonderful thing.

  5. You're more than welcome...actually Wayne Bebb is the marketing guru behind all of the Mothers' sets from 1983 on....he did all of the design work and worked with all of the featured mlb teams in designing such a quality product that was so well received by the collecting community. I'm confident he'd love to move his remaining inventory that he accumulated throughout his time in the business; if anyone has complete set Mothers' needs I'd be happy to facilitate them with the shop in San Leandro that he's working me at

  6. Stay positive...if your finger is worth 20 grand, I can't imagine what the rest of you is worth. Everything will work out for the best.