Today is my birthday.

A pilot wearing a 55P helmet.

That always happens. Should we recap our lives on this day?

Oiginally published in the “Fire in the Foxhole” newsletter. Subscribe.

It’s supposed to be a happy day for everyone. You, and the people around. Every week or every month, there must be somebody’s birthday coming, so we can be happy all year round.

Last night, a friend sent me a recording of a rarely-heard version of the birthday song. It was sweet and sentimental, but I suddenly felt sad listening to it.

There’s no better day to recap, review and rewind your own life till today on your birthday. However for most people of my (middle) age there were not always nice things in life, and there were even things you don’t want to look back on again.

On this day, you have to, helplessly, face it mandatorily — it’s your birthday, it’s a beginning of a new cycle, and people will remind you to stand in front of it. You’re pressed to end something here, start something here then move on.

Should we look back on every birthday? Wisdom told us that gone is the past, you can’t reverse the time so it doesn’t help to be sad or happy, so just ignore it and get yourself refreshed like a clean sheet of paper for the next round.

Can you?

We all have our own burdens. You can keep it out of sight but you’ll always feel the force.