Mindy Kaling’s 40th Birthday Cake Was Fantastically Meta

She celebrated the big 4-0 in all the best ways.

So much to celebrate about Mindy Kaling’s birthday. (On Monday, June 24, the actress/comedian/writer/producer/director/etc. turned the big 4-0!) Let’s just count a few:

1. She marked the occasion in her favorite way, embracing past, present and future, and reflecting on her life thus far: “Just doing what I do every birthday morning, listening to the Graceland album and weeping my eyes out, reflecting on the joys and heartbreaks of my life,” she tweeted on her big day. “Today I look back, tomorrow I look forward. Happy birthday to me - I worked hard these 40 years.”

2. She expressed gratitude and paid it forward, donating $1,000 to 40 different charities in honor of each of her years in this world: “I’m so grateful to have my wonderful, peaceful life w/ my daughter Katherine,” she wrote of her 18-month-old toddler, to whom she is a single parent. “How lucky am I to turn 40? I would love to express my gratitude by donating $1000 to 40 different charitable orgs that help others. Pls suggest some! I will kick it off by giving $1000 to @RAICESTEXAS!” Kaling got a lot of suggestions, and took, well, 39 of them, including organizations that helped LGBTQ youth, kids with disabilities, homeless people, survivors of sexual assault and more.

3. She whooped it up dancing to Trap Beckham’s “Birthday Bitch,” sharing a video of herself getting into it while brushing her teeth, buttering a slice of bread, tapping on her laptop, paging through a magazine and cleaning up her daughter’s toys. (Cookie Monster cameo!) “When your birthday falls on a Monday and you wanna turn up but still have responsibilities,” Kaling captioned the video.

4. She received and retweeted birthday wishes from Larry King (who, at age 85, probably knows a few things about celebrating birthdays himself): “Happy Birthday, Mindy! That’s how I dance in front of the mirror too,” the veteran TV host (or whoever runs his social media account) wrote on Twitter. To which Kaling understandably responded, “oh my goodness.”

5. She put on a sparkly red dress and enjoyed a festive celebratory dinner with friends that featured a bespoke drinks list.The list included a choice of two cocktails: a “Mindy Mule,” comprised of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, and “Actually Just a Diet Coke,” comprised of Diet Coke and ice.

6. And as food people, this is our favorite part: She posed for a photo giving the thumbs-up sign alongside a candle-topped birthday cake featuring an image of her giving the thumbs-up sign alongside a candle-topped birthday cake, in an image so wonderfully meta we can’t stop smiling about it. But our smile is nothing compared to the cat-who-ate-the-canary smile of her good pal, former “Office” co-star and godfather of her child, B.J. Novak. People really seem to want Kaling and Novak to get together again. (Please note: Kaling doesn’t like the phrase “briefly dated.”) We just hope she enjoyed that cake!

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