At age 50, Maria Leonard Olsen drank her way out of a 25-year marriage. She had, against advice, put all her eggs in the motherhood basket, willfully derailing her successful law career. As teenagers, her precious children did not need her in the hands-on way they previously had. She and her husband had grown apart because, among other things, they failed to nurture that important relationship. She was depressed and stuck. When she turned 50, she had the distinct feeling that she was on the downward slope of her life. Actuarially speaking, she was.
So when she turned 50, her gift to herself was to go on a crusade to make the most of whatever time she had left. She set out to do 50 new things that were significant, at least to her. The list spanned physical challenges, adventure travel, and lifestyle changes. Each taught her something about herself and about how she wanted to lead the next years of her life to come. This work follows the work she did to accomplish those 50 new things and shows readers how to make their own action lists - whether it be joining a knitting club or hiking the Himalayas, every item has significance for each individual and speaks to her needs and desires. The list is the match to spark the fire that will light the years after 50. Readers will hear about Maria's adventures and the rewards of each. Accomplishing new things, learning new skills, deepening personal and spiritual relationships, and seeking out challenges will add the spice to a life that may feel repetitive, insignificant, inauthentic, or just plain boring.
Maria Leonard Olsen is an attorney, women writing/empowerment retreat leader, public speaker, and a cohost of the "Inside Out" radio show on WPFW, FM 89.3, in Washington, D.C. She has written for the Washington Post, Washingtonian, Bethesda Magazine, Parenting, and other outlets. Olsen also counsels women recovering from addiction and trauma.