Truce with turning 40

Shilpa Singhal
3 min readOct 20, 2020

Birthdays are special. Be it your kid’s birthday, your best buddy’s big day or especially your own. In this day and age, even if you want to forget your own birthday, technology and pesky marketing e-mails won’t let you. I turn 40 today and I would like to treat that number as Lord Voldemort, that- should-not-be-named. Did you feel the same? Here’s how I made my truce with turning 40, that too in times of COVID. No guarantees though that it will last though!

Beginning of year: As all of you, I had ‘plans’ when 2020 greeted us. My 40th birthday plans consisted of a huge party. Paris, Rome or Greek islands with my friends and extended family. Bags of shopping. An endless buffet with rows and rows and rows of dessert. And me…buried under gifts!! WoW. Not much to ask for…right.

Since last month: My special day had been inching closer and closer and I have been nothing like I am. Covid has upset my plans and any excitement I had for my 40th. I realized it’s not the going to be the birthday I hoped for. I have been crankier than usual, sobbing & feeling lost at every little thing. Now if this did not happen to you, lucky is your family! And a saint you are! I have been thinking this state was maybe cause of home-cooked meals (mostly self-cooked) everyday thanks to the current situation, maybe I am just as hormonal as women do when they are about to turn 40.

A day before: The good thing about social media is that the positivity can slide in as easily as can negativity. Fortunately, I am permeable enough and boy am I glad, I clicked on that inspirational video. Leave me a comment if you need the link. I quickly reined in my emotions, cultivated positive thoughts, practiced gratefulness and was armoured to make the truce with turning 40. I realized it is indeed a special day.

The D-day, today: This 40th birthday is going to be special for 3 reasons:-

· No party means no wastage. I have decided not to buy any decorations or decorations. Last year’s are good as new. There will be no more paper plates, plastic cutlery, bags full of trash. Better for the earth, better for my future and yours.

· No materialistic gifts In April I committed to buying no clothes to it. I have been fairly successful until now, barring one instance, when the comfiest t-shirt, for believe me ,1 euro, baited me. Now if you love deals — specifically — value for money — you’ll forgive me. Now it’s 40th birthday, but no reason to break your resolutions. Are you too done with the shoes, bags, clothes phase of life, I am. More now into my seeds, nuts, oils kind of self-care phase. Isn’t all that matters?!

· No trip hence no interruptions in learning. I get to attend my AI conference and go for my language class. Like actually physically go to class…that’s a luxury now. Feels like going on a trip. Can there be better way to ring in a new year than infusing learning and doing what you like to do?

Would you say I have had my truce with turning 40? Why not?! It is a special day and I suggest we should all resolve to ‘focus on the positive’ to make all our days special. Birthday or not, 40th or not, Paris & Rome or not, truce or not, every day is a special day. Celebrate!!

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Shilpa Singhal

Analytics & Arts Enthusiast | Toastmaster | Aspiring polyglot and ayurveda practitioner | Relaunching career at 40 | And, yes MS, MBA