Later this week I will turn 50. I am not crazy about milestone birthdays, honestly – the year I turned 30 I informed friends that I was just going to turn 29 again, and quietly turn 31 the following year. The year I turned 40, I was distracted with a newborn, so I hardly even noticed that particular birthday.

My favorite description of this season of life comes from Dr. Christiane Northrup, who writes that at this age, women are preparing to give birth to the next version of themselves. I love that idea so much, and it fits – for the past six months, but especially the past few weeks, I have found myself racing around the inside and outside of the house decluttering, clearing any hidden spiderwebs, washing windows, repurposing furniture, and choosing paint colors for a refresh.

Yesterday as I was madly washing windows, I wondered why I felt in such a rush to get them clean, until I realized that the last time I felt this pressured to make everything in our environment perfect, I was having my younger daughter. Oh, I thought. I’m nesting.

I’m preparing for the arrival of the 50 year old version of myself, whoever she is. May I raise her with love and kindness and with joy in who she is.

Here in Minnesota, it’s not quite fall, but you know it’s coming. It’s easy to notice the leaves on the oak trees starting to change, but look just a little more closely, and the acorns stand out. The oak trees are nesting, too, and preparing for the next versions of themselves. May they also grow tall with strength and love and joy. May we all grow with strength and love and joy.