Earlier this month, I attended the Pennsylvania Conference For Women along with almost 8000 other women. It was an impressive showing and an important audience. I learned from the media kit that not only do women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population per the census, but the largest demographic of women are between the ages of 50-54 (7.1%). Go boomer girls go!
I was excited to have a press pass to cover the event. There were many keynote speakers and one of my favorites was Jane Pauley.
Who Is Jane Pauley?
“Who is Jane Pauley?” asked my son D when I picked him up at the bus stop. D was visiting for the weekend. “How could you not know who Jane Pauley is,” I replied. “She is a former co-host of The Today Show.” Then I realized that Jane Pauley was the co-host from 1976 – 1989. She ended her reign the year before D was born.
I told D that Jane Pauley had been a mentor from afar (actually not that far since I was a summer intern at NBC News in 1976). She was the person I woke up to on the news every morning when I was his age. Soon Jane will be 64 years old and she recently took a job as correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. She also is the author of a new book, Your Life Calling, about people who are reimagining their lives during their second act. (Check out Jane’s show on AARP.com too!)
Jane Shares Her Wisdom
Jane had very inspiring things to say about baby boomers during her interview at the opening session:
♦ “People in their 50’s are more vital today than 10 years ago,” said Jane. (I agree Jane. I feel more vibrant, spirited and active these days. I get more exercise and so do many other boomer women I know.)
♦ “Exit used to be what retirement was. Now it’s a different world,” said Jane. “We are going to live a lot longer than we’re thinking we’re going to live.” (I hope so Jane. I retired from my full-time corporate job a year ago. I don’t feel retired from life. If anything I feel more invigorated.)
♦ She shared insights from her book and talked about Barbara, a former stay-at-home mom and volunteer, who during her life after 50 started a non-profit organization called Fresh Artists. “It’s okay to be scared. The future is unknown. Don’t hold out for that perfect someone,” said Jane. “You have many someones inside of you.” (I do? Oh Jane, it is a bit scary, but this is wonderful news.)
♦ Jane noted research on wellness and satisfaction which was promising: The chart showed the worst satisfaction during one’s 30s when people have a job and young kids. It was higher in your 40s and 50s and was the highest in the 65+ age group. “We are making older look aspirational,” said Jane. (Yep, those younger years were stressful. Sometimes I wonder how I juggled it all. I do feel a sense of calmness and accomplishment now that my kids are grown and on their own.)
♦ She defines success “as having the courage to say yes, to try something hard.” (Lately I’ve been building up my courage to work on my memoir. It’s hard work. I’ve also been exploring learning more about yoga. Am I capable of being a yoga teacher? Do I want to be a yoga teacher? I need to do more exploring.)
♦ Jane reads The New York Times every morning. “The newspaper is filled with ideas. I’ve been doing this for 20 years.” (I’ve been doing it too, Jane! Some days I don’t want to leave the breakfast table because there is so much to learn.)
♦ Jane closed her keynote with an uplifting quote from The Washington Post, reminding the large audience of women that “Inspiration is everywhere, but you have to be looking. You may not know what and I hope you find it everywhere you look.”
Note: Congratulations to Helene B, winner of the giveaway for Jane Pauley’s book!
I find a lot of inspiration online, reading blogs like your’s and in articles on forums.
Thanks Cathy. Glad you are inspired by blogs.
Jane is a fantastic role model for is boomers. She is a great example of how we can reinvent ourselves and find fulfillment at any age. Bravo to her!
Helene, I applaud Jane and so enjoyed her positive attitude. She is inspiring.
Courage to say YES to try something hard…this is where I am right now and it is frightening and invigorating!! Loved the post and would love to win the book! Sounds like she was amazing!
Pam, I hear you. Good luck with your challenge and go for it!
While I’m not 50 yet, I love to read about women who don’t look at age as definer, but just as a place in life that they’re at. Good thing my greatest happiness is still to come. That means it’s going to be stellar.
Mara, life after 50 is the best.
I loved this book! She’s so down to earth and accessible, I really enjoyed it.
Claudia, so glad you loved the book. I found Jane’s presentation style to be so inviting too.
I left 50 behind a few years ago and now that I’ve left full time magazine work behind too, I draw a lot of creative energy from the people I interview for my blog on parenting grown children. It’s all about the quotidian challenges we face every day, and the issues people get hung up on or find ways to solve–people have amazing and inspiring insights to share. I love getting them to talk about whatever they’re dealing with.
P, it sounds like you are finding inspiration all around you. So happy for you during your life after 50. Since I am a parent of grown children I will definitely check out your blog.
Hi Judi – I love Jane Pauley too! Never missed the Today Show when she was on.
I find my over 50 inspiration from many of the interesting women I have met over the last few years as well as long-time friends like yourself. It’s fascinating to see how so many women are reinventing themselves at our age, or at least taking some time to explore the interests they may have had to put on the back burner while raising kids and pursuing a career.
Carolyn, thanks for your feedback. Glad you find inspiration from other post 50 women. There are many inspiring women out there who are doing some amazing things during their life after 50.
When I was in high school, I think, my mom used to say that I looked like Jane Pauley (and then I decided to become a redhead). I always thought she was very cute and seemed like a nice person too. She put up with Bryant Gumbel for a long time, lol.
Allison, you do look a bit like Jane Pauley did years ago. Now her hair is short.
I just found you-I’m researching great sites and blogs for the launch of the next leg of my coaching program aimed at fabulous women 50 and up. I started my business at 57, did my 1st tri and 58 and looking for new adventures on a daily basis-thanks for this site!
So glad you found my site. Sounds like you are enjoying much success professionally and personally during your life after 50.
I see women all around me reimagining their lives after midlife and I love it.
I do too Carol. I think life after 50 is some of the best years.