50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2021

31

Leah Wolterman

Age: 58

Small Business Bookkeeping and Consulting.

"Be curious about everything and embrace what inspires you. Curiosity will take you very, very far."

Leah Wolterman

What is the best thing about being your age?

FREEDOM! I just don't have the sense of urgency to achieve, build wealth, raise children, impress my boss, prove myself. It is a gift to just be, and be satisfied with that.

What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?

I don't really subscribe to the idea that what doesn't destroy you makes you stronger. I've overcome childhood sexual abuse within and outside of the family. It took a lot of bad decisions before I sought therapy. I grew up always waiting for the sky to fall. Get help earlier – that's my advise. You are so worth the effort and the other side is amazingly beautiful.

What is your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?

Traveling – anywhere. That's the only item on my list.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

When I get a call from either of my sons wanting to share some news, and we share a laugh. I cannot express what I feel when we hang up – it's the joy of connection and the feeling that they might actually get just how much I love them.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be less fearful of the unknown and learn to trust my gut.

what is your greatest extravagance?

I love to travel and pretty much work to support this passion. I worshipped my grandmother who traveled the globe by herself, on a shoestring, and with unparalleled courage. I am not her; I go on a big boat with lots of people. But at least I go.

What is your most treasured possession?

It's a small thing – my grandmother's passport. She was curious about everyone, traveled everywhere (really - outer Mongolia - alone) and was always so full of wonder.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

Without question, my 30 year marriage. My husband is my home and my greatest source of peace.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

A sense of curiosity. It's been dulled over the years, but I'm trying to revive it.

What do you most value in your friends?

Intelligence, curiosity and spontaneity! My friends are my teachers, my confidantes, my travel buddies and my sanity.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

Be passionate in your pursuits and always begin in wonder. What advice would you give your younger self?

Be curious about everything and embrace what inspires you. Curiosity will take you very very far.

Words of wisdom for younger women

If I could share one message to any young person, it would be to find your inspiration – what inspires you, what stirs you – and pursue it. It can be a small part of your life, but it will lift you up during times of challenges when you dearly need joy. Don't ignore your absolute NEED for inspiration in life.

Leah Wolterman
Leah Wolterman