This question ultimately landed the top prize at the New York Festivals’ World’s Best TV and Film Awards (and an executive producer credit for me!) for an original film, Breathing Under Water, commissioned for one purpose: to make a field sales force feel the personal burden and professional distraction of ten years of antitrust litigation.
I was less successful in harnessing the power of emotion in my personal life. For most of my adult life, I regarded feelings as a distraction. Who had time for feelings? I had kids to raise, a bad marriage to save, and I had to make the world safe for Marlboro! During that time, the story of my life would’ve been entitled “Waiting to Feel!"
Now, I got a lot done. I raised two kids, kept my family together (despite the marriage falling apart), put those same two kids through private school (from age 3 to the Ivy League), and still have a few pennies to feed myself. I served on 17 nonprofit boards, gave generously to organizations and causes I care about, and am besties with my 24-year-old daughter (my polar opposite!).
But it was only after I retired from my company of 20 years that I gave myself permission to feel again.
Since that time, I’ve made it my mission to dispel the notions that women must check their emotions at their office door, that success in Corporate America requires women to sacrifice that which makes us fully human, and that emotions serve no useful purpose at work.