Many of my critical life choices were based on emotions, not logic. I delayed marriage until I was thirty years old primarily because no one asked me to marry.
I was such a different woman at thirty that I always felt grateful for not marrying earlier. It would have surely resulted in a divorce.
I decided to attend law school right after graduating college. In my world, a woman became a nurse (I hated needles and blood), a teacher (kids were not my thing) or a nun (pro-choice views were in my DNA).
Choosing to become a lawyer was unusual, especially coming from my Italian American, blue collar background. From law school to every job after there were few women and almost no female role models. Every door I walked through meant that “boot camp” was waiting on the other side and my survival skills would be tested.
With my legal career in the ascent, taking time to have a child was just not an option for me. Soon-after getting married I was offered my first major corporate career opportunity. It required me to live in New York City during the week, leaving my husband – in Washington, D.C.
Today, a commuter marriage, domestically or internationally, with technology is no big deal.
At that time, it was considered strange and weird! It was a very difficult time as we juggled schedules, limited family finances, emotions and family disapproval. This life choice at the time was risky but a calculated investment in my professional future that worked!
However, years later when I received my Medicare card at 65, I thought having no child around to take care of me as I grew older now seemed a real mistake!
Geographic separation from my family provided an opportunity for learning independence and growth. Learning to survive and thrive with no support system and often lean finances, taught me to take care of myself.
As a catcher playing softball, the most challenging scenario I faced was the defensive first and third play. There are runners on first and third: if the runner on first tries to steal second, I have three options, if the runners stay put I have three other options. It is the most complicated play, but it was my favorite one. I try to relate my life to the game of softball. My actions calculated, my decisions complex, yet in the end I make whatever decision is best and face the consequence with confidence.
When reflecting on my life thus far and the choices I have made, I look back to when I was a child. I chose to not play with dolls; I chose to play sports instead of participating in dance class. The consequences resulted in always being different, constantly battling my mother about not wanting to wear a dress (a battle still fought today), and having a label tattooed on me by society. However, what I have come to realize is these choices and how I handled the reaction from other people helped define me and guided me in overcoming each challenge that I deemed a failure. Sports helped me developed this attitude. When you lose, you fail; when you make an error, you fail. However, when you continue to work hard, take risks and face adversity, you eventually find success.
You can calculate all of your choices, analyze the data, and make an informed decision, but in the end, it is how you respond to the consequences that matters the most. The saying “the juice is worth the squeeze” has resonated with me since I was a child. It is a reminder that we are fortunate enough to make choices in our life; therefore, we should take advantage of the opportunities to make our own decisions and embrace the consequences. Having confidence in taking risks allows for us to experience life and learn from our choices. I would not be the successful person I am today without understanding there are choices in life, and with those choices comes consequences. Embracing the opportunity to make mistakes, learn from them and more importantly grow from the consequence has taught me that in the end, it’s worth the risk!
When Detroit Tiger GM Jim Campbell told me ‘Over my dead body you’ll go into our Tiger Clubhouse,’ I knew I had to open those locker rooms – not just for my own credibility, but for every women sports reporter who would come after me.” – Anne Doyle, TV Sports Broadcaster, Author, “Powering Up! How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders”
For each of these leadership topics we’ve shared our own individual experiences as a baby boomer and a millennial, shared some of the questions we are often asked and seek to answer in our work, and some related resources for women who want to explore further on their own.
Powering Up! How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders Anne Doyle
No One Tells You This: A Memoir Glynnis MacNicol
USA Today How female business owners will save America Rhonda Abrams
The Wall Street Journal Baby’s Arrival Makes for Historic Day on the Senate Floor Digital Publications
espnW.com After 43 years in 24/7 jobs, Judy Rose reflects on her pioneering career as athletic director Mirin Fader
MORE Power, Passions, Work, Mothers and Sting Guest Editor: Michelle Obama, “The Balancing Act”
The Wall Street Journal The Tyranny of the Queen Bee
The New York Times A Baby Bust, Rooted in Economic Insecurity Claire Cain Miller
Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” – Margaret Sanger