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106: Living My Amends with Maria Leonard Olsen

By Chelsea Leigh Trescott

Life for Maria Leonard Olsen, attorney and author of 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life, pretty much fell apart as she approached her 50th year. She had drank her way out of a 25-year marriage, found herself completely codependent on her two children, whose trust she had lost due to her alcoholism, was a new empty nester, and was forced to reenter the work force to support herself financially after a 15 year hiatus playing supermom. It was her rudderlessness, however, that incentivized her to change her life for good. And change she did. Now 6 1/2 years sober, Maria opens up with immense honesty about how the various trauma and heartbreaks she endured—recovery from addiction, sexual abuse, divorce, empty nesting, racism, codependency, parental death, and being raised as a latchkey kid—impacted her character and how her call, ultimately, toward sobriety, mentorship, and adventure helped her cultivate an attitude of gratitude, forge new neural pathways, drop the perfectionism shtick, regain her children’s respect, and enter into her healthiest, most independent relationship yet. Gems to look out for: + feeling like you don’t belong in the affluent neighborhood you are raising your own children in + the pros and cons of marrying into a wealthy family + helicopter parenting + the perfectionism of motherhood + the impact of not having parents that were good role models + parenting your own mother + the anxiety wrapped up in being June Cleaveresque + harboring unexpressed rage after her father’s death + the triggering nature of trauma + why she didn’t speak up about the sexual abuse she endured until she was about to become a mother + sober sex + feeling like you’re alone and freak because no else is experiencing what you’re experiencing + how she embraced the use of medication to treat anti-depression + 12-step programs are not a once-and-done sort of thing but a guide to being a good human being + dealing with rejection via The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz + becoming codependent on your own children + love is choosing someone every day + how she got back into the work force after 15 years away + swapping out people pleasing to commit to oneself And so much more. Interview begins at 13:30. Transcript: __ To connect with Maria, visit her: Website: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Purchase 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life __ Work with Chelsea: Chelsea’s website: Sign up for Chelsea’s newsletter: Instagram: Connect and send in your questions and/or letters via Or by email:

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