Yesterday, a 61 year old man called into the radio show I was listening to. He went on and on about all the NBA he’s seen in his life, and referenced a game in 1986 that I remember well. Michael Jordan dropped 63 against the Celtics in the playoffs. I wouldn’t say I remember it like it was yesterday, but I do remember it.
I got to thinking about this 61 year old man. In my head, 61 years old sounds, well, old. I then wondered what age he must have been when that Michael Jordan game happened. I did the math, and it came to 37 years old. Which by the way, is precisely the age I am as my crotchety old fingers type out this blog. How is it possible that I’m the same age, that old guy was at a time that I remember very, very well?
1986: I played on a baseball team called the Union Mets. That same year, my beloved Houston Astros lost in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, to…….the New York Mets. That’s right, the same year, I owned a blue jersey that proudly said METS across the front, they beat the team I hold near and dear to my heart.
But that’s beside the point.
Sure, I was in the 8th grade, when this 61 year old man was my current age. I suppose that should seem like a much larger age difference than it does at this moment, but it’s really got me thinking.
I remember when I was in 8th grade. My parents were not 61, they weren’t even 37 yet. But to me, they were 100. When you’re 13-14 years old, you don’t really have a concept of time. That’s why Christmas seems to come around once a decade, school seems like a 19 hour day, and the summer seems like a long weekend. But then why does that year seem like not so long ago?
I remember when I was about 20 years old, we had a friend who was about to turn 25. On his 25th birthday, my friend Jason and I went to the restaurant he was working at, and then paid him the tab and his tip, in $25 worth of quarters, spread out, all over the bar. We did that in love, since he was turning a quarter of a century old. Which to us, may as well have been 61.
I remember back in 1986, a friend down the street had a sign on their garage door that read, “LORDY LORDY, Dad’s turned 40!”
I remember thinking that her dad was ANCIENT. After all, my parents were only 35 and 32.
But now, here I am, pushing 40, and that dad who was turning 40 back then? Yeah, well, he’s nearly 65.
They say Time flies when you’re having fun. They also say Time waits for no man.
Well, “They” know what they’re talking about.
How is it possible that as a 37 year old father of two, I can all at once compare myself to a 61 year old, and a 13 year old? Well, because I realize, that I remember being 13 very well, and I’m just as close to that age, as I am to 61. In other words, in a blink, I’ll be 61.
When I was a kid, I used to hear my parents talk about their high school days, I’d see the pictures, and all I could think was, “How in the world do they even remember that time?” I thought for sure that old people like my parents, at 35 and 32, felt a certain way. As if you get to a certain age, and something clicks in your mind: I no longer like loud music, today’s music is unlistenable, I’ll have dinner at 4:30, and Hey! I should join the Rotary Club!
But guess what, I don’t know about the rest of you old people reading this, but in my head, I still feel 18. I know that’s not true, I know I’m not 18. The evidence is all around. I’ve picked up some extra passengers along the way. No way at 18, I coulda scored the hot chick I’m spending the rest of my life with. No way at 18 could I have managed to live with the responsibility of shaping and molding two growing boys. No way at 18, I would have thought that 7 coneys in 7 days is probably pushing it just a little bit.
So you must be asking yourself, what is this guy trying to say? That is, if you’ve come this far in this chapter.
Don’t take time for granted. You live the first 20 years of your life, wishing you could be older, then the next 10, living in the moment, without stopping to pay attention, then, you spend the rest of your life, if you’re not careful, longing for all the time you’ve missed.
There was a time, I thought 25 was OLD. Then 35. Then 40.
But you know what, there comes a time when 25 and 35 and 40 become ages we wish we could be again, so why wait to enjoy those times when it’s too late?
Time waits for no man, true, but without man, time doesn’t exist.