64 doesn’t sound old to me.” So declared veteran TV journalist Jane Pauley in West Chester Friday night to plug the paperback version of her book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life.
“Dateline” Jane is now 64. But you’d never know it – at least from my rear-mezzanine vantage point for the finale of West Chester University President’s Speaker series. She has the same silky-smart-but-warm voice, the same placid smile and the same sun-kissed hair – sans the girlish pony tail she sported nearly 40 years ago when she first replaced Barbara Walters opposite Tom Brokaw on the “Today” show.
Can you imagine a 25-year-old anchoring “Today” today? No how, no way.
Jane wore a sleek solid-gray dress and leg-lengthening pointy-toed nude stilettos. (Tres modern classic chic, a la TV first lady Claire Underwood.)
Her appearance is not my primary purpose here, however. (Funny – and a bit worrisome – how we gals can’t help but size up other women’s looks.)
Instead, I’d like to share some of Jane’s provocative (and occasionally funny!) pronouncements. Among them:
I have the memory of an Etch-A-Sketch.
We are recalibrating the meaning of getting older; middle age is stretching out to decades. Death is the new old age.
60 is a lot more active than 50 was 10 years ago.
On hitting the big city and its bright lights as Today’s anchor at age 25:
My deficiency was youth; but I got over it.
Perhaps the luckiest day of my life: the day I didn’t make the 10th grade cheerleading squad and joined the speech/debate team instead, paving the way for a career in broadcast news.
On finally giving herself some credit for her early career successes:
I used to think it was all luck. But now I know it took courage.
On her most surprising interview subject.
Joan Rivers was much deeper thinker than any of you would have given her credit for.
On redefining ourselves in midlife:
Necessity is the mother of re-invention.
Sometimes we need to be re-introduced to ourselves.
Say yes more than you say no. The hardest part is going from “maybe” to “yes.”
“Doing” is more important than “thinking.”
Inspiration is everything: you just have to be looking.