>Today’s my birthday. 46 today. Yay.

Some people I used to know were fans of horoscopes and would try to apply the alleged character traits associated with persons born under particular zodiac signs to actual people they knew who were born under those signs. Thus, in my case, being a Capricorn, I was supposed to be a cautious, considered, “political” type of person. Not so sure if that is the case with me, but then maybe I’m too close to the subject to take an objective view.

But one thing I can say for a fact:- if the month of January was named after the Roman god Janus, then, on the basis of a particular habit of mine, I could only ever have been born in January.

What do I mean by this? A few examples:-

  1. I’m 46 today ( I know, “Yay“). I started work when I was just about 18 years old, say 28 years ago. In 28 years time, if I’m still alive, I’ll be 74 years old, which will be three years older than my father was when he died and around four years younger than my mother was when she died. In those few sentences, I’ve spanned 56 years – longer than I’ve lived. Since I can remember starting work like it was only yesterday, will I feel the transition to 74 like it will be “only tomorrow”?
  2. Similarly, I will reach retirement age in 19 years. Around 19 years ago, Elder Daughter was born. Can I honestly say that at 27 years of age, I ever gave serious consideration to retirement? No, but I will reach that landmark soon enough. It’ll certainly feel as quick a canter through life as the journey from being a new parent to paying university bills.

I have this compulsion to put myself at the centre of a particular scenario and count the years backwards and forwards from this particular point in time. I find myself thinking, almost simultaneously, “where did the time go?” and “where is the time going?”.

Not that this is anything to get depressed about. But it does bring home the fact that time is only running in one direction, that there is a limited amount of it available, and that ever day you live is one day less that is available to live. So “get on with your short life”, as Brian Kennedy might say.

Having said that, a person I know is currently recovering from a heart bypass. On the assumption that the op was required to prevent imminent death, then every day that person lives is a day extra. Until the days run out, of course. But you have to think that this gives one a new perspective on life. Provided the op is a success, that is…