Beth Prochaska is the executive vice president at Potter Lawson, an architectural and design firm in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a business woman. She's tall and stylish and friendly. One of the things I most appreciate about Beth is how positive she is; it's a choice she makes on daily basis. She radiates life. Here she answers the Proust Questionnaire.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Peace and calm, and spending time with Tom and our pup at the cabin.
What is your greatest fear? Losing my children.
What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself? Being a people-pleaser.
What is the trait that you most deplore in others? Dishonesty.
Which living person do you most admire? My daughter because she’s overcome a lot and is still strong and beautiful, and my fiancé Tom, because he too hasn’t been treated well, yet he’s still loving and trusting.
What is your greatest extravagance? Chocolate. No -- jewelry.
What is your current state of mind? Stressed and blessed.
What is the most overrated virtue? Honesty. Sometimes it's ok to withhold information.
On what occasion do you lie? When the truth isn't going to serve any purpose.
What do you most dislike about your appearance? That's an interesting question. If you'd have asked me that five or six years ago I would have said my wrinkles, but now I'm totally OK with them because every line was formed by laughter. So I would probably say my child-bearing hips.
Which living person do you most despise? I don’t despise anybody.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Compassion.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Compassion.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? If you can't be nice, be quiet.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My kids, and for the second half of my life, Tom.
When and where were you happiest? The happiest I've been in my whole life was in 2008.
Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could sing! In my shower, I sound just like Whitney Houston.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I need to get better at boundaries.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Being the first woman stockholder/owner in our firm.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing what would it be? Any one of my dogs.
Where would you most like to live? Somewhere tropical on the ocean.
What is your most treasured possession? A fake turquoise ring my dad bought me when I was 9 years old. It's in my jewelry box with all my expensive jewelry because it's really treasured.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? When my dad died. Although, having to be strong and comfort my children when their dad died was pretty horrible too. Death sucks.
What is your favorite occupation? I love what I do. I get to work with the most amazing clients and fantastic staff. Every day it's great to go to work.
What is your most marked characteristic? My laugh!
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty.
Who are your favorite writers? Elkhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra.
Who is your hero of fiction? Wonder Woman.
Who are your heroes in real life? For sure my dad. I really commend Oprah on a lot of the things thats she's done, not just for women but for a whole lot of people.
What are your favorite names? Smoochie. Lovebug. I have these terms of endearment for people I really care about.
What is it that you most dislike? Disrespect and arrogance.
What is your greatest regret? Trying to save someone for 20 years and I couldn't save him.
How would you like to die? Quietly in my sleep.
What is your motto? It’s a Marilyn Monroe Quote, that has definitely proven true in my life. “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”