50 Over 50 Project for 2020

46

Maggie Paul

Age: 65

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"Follow your passion – it will reward you with an authentic life."

Age: 65
Profession: Poet and Writer

What is the best thing about being your age?
Looking back and looking forward – with equal amounts of gratitude.

What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
Growing up in a large family with two alcoholic parents was a hardship. But I learned how to find peace through literature, nature, friendship, and by listening to the wisdom of older women.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My kind, intelligent, and compassionate children.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Possessing self-assuredness, touching the ineffable in poetry, and of course, knowing love.

What is your most treasured possession?
My mother’s hand-written letters to my father during WWII.

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
I’ve visited Ireland – the homeland – twice!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be more assertive; to make my voice heard.

What is your greatest fear?
That I could run out of time before writing all the books that are in me.

What is a trait you are most proud of?
Insisting upon tenderness and beauty in a difficult world.

What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty, and the time they share with me.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Fresh flowers, candles, champagne and an ocean view.

What advice would you give your younger self?
To trust in my own instinct and abilities.

What is your favorite motto or quote?
“To thine own self be true.”

Additional thoughts for younger women...
Follow your passion – it will reward you with an authentic life.

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