Many people have wondered why I didn't go to the National this year. It's a valid question, since it was practically on my doorstep. The main reason was money. Looking for steady work, that actually is attached to a paycheck, is difficult in the current economy. I've always prided myself in being a dependable worker, who usually does more than his fair share of the work. I know my strengths and weaknesses and don't try to kid myself about them.
Even with a sterling work history, with years long stretches at jobs and overlapping time at these jobs, it's been a struggle to stay afloat financially. Many people are in the same boat I am and unless you know someone, chances are you will be overlooked on the job front. I still keep plugging away every day and I know my luck will turn around. The law of averages is with me. Until then, I am forced to be frugal. My collecting has been mostly through trades this year. It satisfies my need for a hobby and it brings people closer together.
I just picked up my first two packs of cards in three months. I thought I needed a little pick me up, so I treated myself to a rack pack of Allen & Ginter and a rack pack of Topps Lineage. There was really nothing too special in either, but I did manage to find an Alexei Ramirez A&G card, so I'm happy. There's nothing like opening a pack of cards. Even though it was a couple of pretty dull packs, it felt magical opening them after such a long absence.
The overall reason was financial, but that's never stopped me from finding a way. The other reason I did not attend was medical. Somehow, I developed a nasty ear infection that knocked me off my feet for a few weeks. There was a reason for less posts during the last few weeks and that was it.
The ear infection has cleared up and things are starting to return to some normalcy, medically speaking. I expect the financial situation to improve sooner rather than later. Things (with the exception of one very recent private matter that some of you know about) have been looking up and I see no reason why that trend shouldn't continue.
The short answer is that I didn't have the spare cash and I was sick. The longer answer is a little more complicated, but it all boils down to essentially the same aspects. The fact of the matter is that I have been to card shows but I have never been to the National. I intend that to change soon. If not next year, shortly thereafter. And maybe I'll have some cool freebies to give out when that happens. Only time will tell.