Cardboard Icons Returns! Sorta …

BenAlexaYes, I am still alive.

For much of the last three months, there has not been a bunch of new content here. No pithy comments about drama in The Hobby, not many “Card of the Day” posts, and surely no product reviews.

And as I write this today, I have no plans to bring all of that back in a flash. I’d love to sit here and proclaim that Newspaperman is back, and that Cardboard Icons will be bigger, better than ever. But the simple fact is that I’m not “back,” and this blog is what it is — a blog that you either read or you don’t. If you enjoy what I’ve written thus far — and what I may contribute in the future —  then I’m happy to have impacted your life for even a moment. If you’ve stopped reading, I can’t blame you — I’ve stopped caring to an extent.

Part of my desire for this blog left after Mario at Wax Heaven removed my link from his Heavenly Seven. And as I write this I have no ill will toward Mario for doing so. I didn’t deserve to be there any longer; there were (are) dozens of other bloggers whose product reviews and smart comments were (are) worth reading. Hell, even before that, I kind of already had one foot out the door — not because I lost the love of the hobby and writing, but because my life had changed.

In January I welcomed my first child into the world. And without getting all sappy and what not, I realized that there are certain priorities in my life (family is No. 1, hands down) and cards and blogging were not at the top of the list. And because of this I have spent less time sorting cards, and almost zero time writing about the cardboard that has been a part of my life for more than two decades.

Today, as I write this, I am still unsure what the future holds for me in this hobby. It’s expensive, time consuming, and requires an insane amount of patience and organization. But truth is I still love baseball cards.

Over the last three months I’ve attended a “major” card show, and purchased cards at garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores — the same activities I’d done before — but I have not taken the time to write about these adventures. In all of these cases I’ve wanted to sit down, scan some images and write, but I’ve been short on time. The kicker:  I’ll have even less time in the future.

But I think my mistake is believing that I HAD to write something every day, because that was what I expected of myself. In my line of everyday work — I’m a journalist at a daily newspaper — it’s in my blood to write something everyday, sometimes multiple pieces within just a few hours. But the difference between my day job and this blog (which I consider to be part of my hobby) is that one of them pays the bills and the other merely sucks time away from my family. I’m sure this struggle for time is a common issue among married men, particularly those with young children.

Just before my wife and I headed to the hospital, I wrote about it here. That was one of the greatest weekends in the history of this blog. I had nearly 1,000 hits over a series of three days, beginning with a post that basically announced that we were heading to the hospital. (Big props to Mario for the extra plug that day.)

In the weeks after my daughter’s birth, I continued to blog and proudly stated that I’d basically continue as I had in the previous months. I also said that this blog would not turn into a journal about fatherhood. But I think that was a mistake because my experience in the hobby, especially now as a new parent, is valid to share with others.

Having said that, I’m going to do what I can to write what I can, when I can — without pressure. If you decide to read it or not, that’s out of my control. If you do, I thank you and I hope you learn something or find this entertaining. If not, thank you for at least taking the time to read this entry.

When I started this blog last year, it was not about page views — it was about writing about a hobby loved. And as I look forward, I hope to return to my roots, all the while injecting a new element: parenthood.

This blog won’t be about fatherhood per se, but it will be about a card collector and father who is trying to maintain a hobby while being the best father and husband he can be.

Got questions or comments, feel free to leave them below of e-mail me at cardboardicons@yahoo.com.

3 Responses to “Cardboard Icons Returns! Sorta …”

  1. I understand completely. When my daughter was born, I had absolutely no time for anything else other than a job and sleeping. And that’s the way it was for 2 or 3 years.

    But you know what? After that (unless you have other babies crawling around), your time starts to become your own again. Or at least a little bit. And you find yourself thinking, “OK, now what did I do with my time before my kid was born? I know, I blogged about baseball cards!” And then maybe it will come back.

    Or maybe not, but at any rate, I’ll be happy to read what you write when you write.

  2. Thanks, Greg. Honestly, I am very happy that Mario included your blog in his Heavenly Seven. I love your blog.

    By the way, I’ve still got some freakin Dodgers I’ve been meaning to send your way. I’ll send you an e-mail.

  3. Nice to see that you havent completley given up on blogging! I will still follow your site!

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