61

What comes to mind when you see or hear the number “61”? Or how about “62”?

I hesitate to admit my answers here, because it has to do with my continued denial of the reality of the passage of time. Said passage of time has been said to speed up as one gets older, and while I hate to admit that, I can verify it, not that I’m old or anything.

It doesn’t seem that much time has passed, but 53 years ago, Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961. Yes, I remember that well. I was nine years old, and I was a great baseball fan, so much so that I wanted to be a major league player when I grew up. That dream folded in high school when I found out I couldn’t hit curve balls, and I didn’t have much of an arm. But we were talking about “61” and Roger Maris. Even though I didn’t particularly like the Yankees, his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s record, with Mickey Mantle sticking with him most of the season, made for an interesting year. My team was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who the preceding year won what to me is still the most memorable World Series, one of the very few times when my favorite team in any sport won the championship.

So that is perhaps what comes to mind for a lot of you when you think of “61”, but the majority of you probably didn’t even know or care about that, and you may be going on to something else on the web, because of the realization of how old I am. Yes, I remember being in my twenties and thirties and thinking someone who is over 40 is old, and not someone I could relate to. Thirty years from now, you’ll be wondering where the time went all of a sudden, and you’ll be in denial of how old you are.

Yes, I am 61, and almost 62. And doing a creditable job of denying it.
Sixty-two is potentially retirement age, but won’t likely be for me. I will never really retire, even if I stop having a regular job. There’s too much to do. I will continue to write, unless my brain gets addled. I’ll always have projects to work on around the house, until I’m not able to do them anymore. I suppose that time could creep up on me more suddenly that I expect. My kids will be hauling me out of this house, saying I need to move to a retirement or assisted living place, and I won’t believe that I’m old enough to go to one of those places.

I suspect the denial will never die until I do.

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