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A Lawyer Looks at 50 ... And Buys a Motorcycle

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 01, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For many lawyers, turning 50 was just another day to bill as many hours as humanly possible. For others, it was probably like looking at 40, but worse.

For a good number of others, it's something they don't look forward to, but are hopeful they get to see.

And then there was the lawyer and PTA mom, who after turning 50 (and after having her kids grow up, and after getting divorced from a 20+ year marriage), decided to buy a motorcycle and travel the world.

From Lawyer/PTA Mom to World Traveler/Biker

It's no secret that being a lawyer isn't the easiest thing. Neither is being a mother. Both at the same time is even more challenging. And after doing it herself, Maria Leonard Olsen, a Maryland lawyer and author (and one-time PTA mom), decided to truly embrace the major life changes that were happening right as she hit 50.

Within a year, her children left the proverbial nest, her marriage of 23 years ended, and, unlike most lawyers in her position, she stopped drinking and went sober. Rather than wallow, she decided to go big for 50 and do something life changing. As she explained: "I wanted some kind of goal, and so I set out to do 50 new things to discover who I really am."

As you might have guessed, buying a motorcycle and traveling were high on that list of new things. When traveling in Nepal, Olsen did volunteer work, and really started to put her life back into perspective. And now, she not only considers herself a biker, for her, riding her motorcycle is "wind therapy."

The Everyday Intentional Actions

One of the big pieces of advice Olsen offers is to think about the actions you take in your everyday life, and find new ways to approach them. For example, a short walk to the car can be used as a brief meditation, or simply going for a walk in a place you've never been is an easy way to find adventure.

And while Olsen may seem to have temporarily disavowed material possessions, she also recommends creating a space, even if it's just a corner in your home, where you can put things that make you happy. She suggests the space can be used to help you recharge, or maybe just to remind you what you do it all for.

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