When you hit another birthday, sometimes it's difficult to get your new age into perspective. So that got me wondering, what if the human lifespan were to be compressed into just one year. Every seven years of life squashed into just one month. I think it might go something like this...
January (age 0-6 years) Celebrations. Time to welcome in the New with cheers and glasses raised. You'll no doubt sleep and gurgle through the opening hours, then it's time to explore what this new world has in store for you. Learn to stand on your own two feet and engage with fresh opportunities - these should be your resolutions.
February (age 7-13 years) Prepare to take a leap into the unknown. There's a lot of energy waiting to burst through, but not yet the right atmosphere to head outdoors and make the most of it. Expect to be shown a lot of love and affection, perhaps with a cuddle and big box of chocolates.
March (age 14-20 years) There are stirrings inside as nature wakes up. Spring fever hits, and heady irrational behaviour is likely. Is that a green shoot poking through, or are you just pleased to see me?
April (age 21-27 years) Don't be a fool. Life's warming up, and there's plenty of opportunity to get out and make your mark on the world. There must be some jobs going in the field, although don't expect to get paid much for doing them. Several activities revolve around the sharing of eggs.
May (age 28-34 years) The days are long, but the nights are alive. Burn the candle at both ends, step out beneath the stars, and party! It's time to fly the nest and see if you can find your own way through life's troubles. Mayday, mayday.
June (age 35-41 years) Full bloom. The sun is at its highest, midsummer has arrived. Life doesn't get much better than this.
July (age 42-48 years) [I am here] The dog days are here, so watch out for crow's feet and grey hares. It can be hard getting everything done while the heat's on, but keep your cool and try not to dry up. Energy levels may be slightly down from June's peak, but so far their decline is imperceptible.
August (age 49-55 years) Now that the children have broken up, this could be the ideal moment for an independent break. Maybe you'll head abroad, maybe you'll stay at home, it all depends on the plans you made earlier. Make hay while the sun shines, because there could be stormier weather ahead.
September (age 56-62 years) The second half of the year may not be turning out as badly as you once feared. So long as the clouds stay away, September brings the chance of a late burst of summer - one last flush of sunshine before autumn rolls inexorably in. Some might say you're over-ripe, but better to say you've matured.
October (age 63-69 years) Have you saved up enough for less bountiful times ahead? Cease your toil and prepare to fall back on your personal harvest. As ye sow, so shall ye reap. The clocks go back, the nights start to draw in, and it's time to retire.
November (age 70-76 years) Things are starting to turn brown, and even drop off. There's still plenty to be done, battening down the hatches and tying up loose ends, but expect to be spending a lot more time indoors. Feel the chill, try not to freeze up. A time of remembrance, and fond memories of days long past. Remember remember.
December (age 77 years plus) Advent is here, the final countdown. The midwinter festival brings long hours in front of the TV and a lot of waiting for the family to come round. As for the week after Boxing Day, it always seems to go on and on and on... but nothing holds back the chimes of Big Ben forever. Should old acquaintance be forgot.