"It's not how fast you can go, the force goes into the flow... more than just survival, more than just a flash. More than just a dotted line, more than just a dash... You can do a lot in a lifetime, if you don't burn out too fast. You can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance- first you've got to last..." ~Rush's Marathon
In a 1986 interview for Canadian Composer magazine, Rush lyricist and drummer Neil Peart describes the message behind the band's song Marathon, "It is about the triumph of time and a kind of message to myself (because I think life is too short for all the things that I want to do); there's a self-admonition saying that life is long enough. You can do a lot- just don't burn yourself out too fast trying to do everything at once. Marathon is about individual goals and trying to achieve them."
If my collecting journey in this hobby needs a theme song- or a metaphor- then Marathon should suffice.
That's because I often find myself running not a marathon, but a sprint. Better get it now because- hey, it might not be there for me tomorrow (or next month). As wonderful of a tool as the internet has become for, among other things, the collector, the ability to find most of what we want on eBay, COMC, Sportlots, etc. can also be a curse. Call it instant gratification. Our collecting community is often a microcosm of society at large.
The funny thing is...much of what I find myself sprinting towards will be there next month.
Two recent purchases were made towards the end of April, despite the fact that I had already spent my monthly budget. Blame my renewed interest in working towards the Braves Topps master team sets. Why else would I purchase a Trey Hodges Future Phenoms relic card.
Or a Rico Bragna game-worn piece?
The cards themselves were not much money- so that wasn't so much the issue as it was another underlying issue: I am not a patient man and I couldn't wait until May.
To put it another way, do I want longevity (like a Spahn, Murphy or Mathews), instability-moving from one thing to another (like a Fick or Betemit)- or a shortened time in the hobby, never reaching the fullness of my goals (like Hodges, or worse- Caminiti)?
What's that old saying? Slow and steady wins the race.