To be honest, I never thought birthdays were too important. The day I was born was a result of almost pure randomness and luck, which makes it hard to see it as meaningful. Before I saw birthdays as a measure of how much someone cares (too much) about aging. The more they care, the more of their attention is stuck on youth, aging, and having a portrait in their hallway reflect their inner ugliness while they pursue eternal youth.

That's true in one documented case, I think.

Lately I've seen a different meaning that doesn't relate to the birthday person at all. It goes back to the friends and family who celebrate it with them. The more someone takes the time to celebrate another's birthday, the more they care for them. The birthday just gives another excuse to express that affection.

So this note goes to the people who took a little time to wish me a happy birthday, either in person or online. It's a strong sign someone's grateful to know me, and I'm quite grateful for that in turn. As thanks, here's a gif of a corgi going off a water slide in slow motion.

"A corgi majestically jumping off a water slide into a pool."

This note also goes to myself, who after realizing all this, will actually try to wish others a happy birthday instead of realizing I forget in a panic several days later.

For everyone else, just know I'm understanding and forgiving of your reasons for not wishing me a happy birthday. I even have a "Forgiveness List" with the names of everyone I plan to "forgive" one day. Don't know if you're on my Forgiveness List? You will soon enough, so don't worry and don't bother resisting.

Anyway, here's to 26 years alive, and hopefully at least 26 more!