happy collectors versus hoardersDear Kid,

Hoarders have a gotten a lot of recognition recently. There are tweets, magazine articles, and TV shows highlighting homes with only narrow pathways (or sometimes no pathways at all) for floor space. Each of these articles or shows features a team that comes in to separate the hoarder from the accumulation (with varying degrees of drama and success).

Hoarders amass pretty much anything that comes across their path. They generally treat moldy plates with the same reverence as a platinum family heirloom.

Contrast hoarders with collectors.

Collectors curate their obsession interest. They keep the best and generally don’t bother with things that don’t have value. (Do not try to tell me that moldy paper plates have value to hoarders. I’m not listening.)

Collectors showcase their collections either for themselves or for others. They care for their collection and tend to it. When an item no longer has value for them, they sell it or trade it.

Guess who’s happier?

It seems to me that there are also hoarders and collectors of emotions. Some people seem to throw every feeling they’ve ever had into a big mosh pit in their brain and never clean things out. They treat an accidental slip of the tongue with the same level of importance and horror as a sibling suggesting a public duel. When necessary, emotional hoarders will even borrow miserableness from others (being upset because someone mistreated mom 3 decades ago). Their feelings have no expiration date and nothing is ever released.

Emotion collectors take a different approach. They hang on to emotions and experiences that have value to them and let go of the ones they no longer need.

Guess who’s happier?

Just to be clear, I’m not saying you should be happy all the time. I’m just suggesting that some events and emotions are worth letting go to make more room for the valuable ones you want to keep.

Love, Mom