This month’s speaker is Marilyn Murray Willison who will discuss the role that “Happiness Consciousness” played in helping her adjust to the losses – both personal and professional – she faced while living with MS for over three decades. Her award-winning memoir, One Woman, Four Decades, Eight Wishes: A Journalist’s Memoir of Challenge, Change and Growth,provides a template to help readers approach their senior years – and the challenges that come with them – with a positive and productive mindset.
Marilyn began her journalism career in the sixth grade when she wrote and mimeographed her summer school newsletter. By the time she was in high school, she was a page editor of her weekly school publication, and at UCLA, she contributed book reviews to the university’s daily newspaper. The author of six non-fiction books, Willison worked as Health and Fitness Editor at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and wrote book reviews, beauty, celebrity profiles, fashion, health, and travel articles on a regular basis for the Los Angeles Times.
In the late 1980’s, Willison and her two sons (B.G. and Geoffrey) moved to London where her Fleet St. responsibilities included covering Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s royal wedding, as well as interviews with A-list personalities. During her long career as a journalist, Marilyn’s byline appeared in a wide variety of American and British newspapers, including The Sunday Times of London and The Wall Street Journal.
Like so many of us, when Marilyn turned 65 she wondered what it all meant and where it all went – the dreams, the goals, the plans. In her new memoir, she explores the twists and turns her fascinating life has taken, and comes to the conclusion that those of us on the threshold of – or over 65 – need to let go of the old dreams and learn how to create new ones.
One Woman, Four Decades, Eight Wishes is a Baby Boomer’s relevant memoir that reviews Marilyn’s major life events—from an unusual childhood, UCLA, career success as a London-based international journalist, thorny relationship issues, and discovering ways of accepting the harsh realities of living with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), which forced her to become wheelchair-dependent. Her book is a courageous, honest and inspiring conversation about the value of optimism, and the importance of learning how to cope with life’s emotional and physical challenges. Her take on happiness is an invaluable guide to embarking on the new exciting journey that awaits all of us.