What do you collect?

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

I love lists. And taking notes. I keep two journals on my desk, one for lists, and one for taking notes. I’ve also got multi-colored post-it notes and several mugs of pens and markers.

To be more specific, these are Leuchtturm1917 journals, a cabinet pack of post-its (24 to a pack!), Uni-ball Vision pens, PaperMate Flair felt-tip pens, and Stabilo Pen 68 markers. With some random Sharpies, highlighters, and other odds and ends mixed in.

I know someone out there is nerding out with me :)

Next to all of that is an increasingly tall stack of books towering over my desk. Not too far from bookshelves overflowing with books. (Tsundoku support group anyone?)

There’s not much of a system to this, other than it’s all within reach when I am at my desk. For now, that works for me.

You could say that I am a collector.

I could say that you are, too.

Maybe you’re a collector of scraps of paper, streaming services, colorful sneakers (guilty!), craft supplies, musical instruments, browser tabs, or bottles of something or other.

Maybe you’re a collector of stories, ideas, memories, beliefs, and desires.

I think it’s worth taking inventory of our collections (physical or otherwise) from time to time.

We can learn a lot about who we are, and what matters to us.

When I do this, whether it is in the form of list-making or surveying the contents of my house or computer, I notice what I can start to let go of. I also notice what has stood the test of time. Or what is ready to fulfill its purpose now, or in the near future.

Sometimes I notice that I no longer need to replace something, because it was there all along.

Sometimes I am able to give myself permission to expand in some way.

I notice themes and patterns.

I see my former self and my future self.

I get curious, inspired, and feel a bit of momentum.

I guess you could say it helps.

Want to try it with me?

Here are some prompts to get you started on your own exploration of your stuff and things (tangible or not):

  • What room in your house do you spend the most time in? What’s in there? What do you reach for the most? What are you ignoring? Why do you think that is?
  • What are your interests and hobbies? What supplies do you have already? Which ones do you need? What habits do you have already? Which ones do you need?
  • What are you worried about? What’s holding you back? Write it down and either release it (destroy it!) or flip it. Ask yourself which parts are true and see where you can change your perspective or gather what you need.
  • What are you dreaming of, desiring, or longing for? Visualize it, draw it, map it, type it, write it, paint it, collage it. Make space for it in your life.
  • How might you share your collection with others? What will you leave behind?

You are the curator of your life.

This was originally posted in my newsletter. You can sign up here: newsletter.rozduffy.com

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design strategist + researcher, coach, fun. she/her.

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roz duffy

roz duffy

design strategist + researcher, coach, fun. she/her.

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