Catherine Anaya

Act on inspiration

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purseMy mother has always been a bit of a pack-rat. It’s driven me crazy for years, her incessant need to have “stuff” around: a purse overflowing with receipts, a car piled high with bags of yard sale finds, and visits to the Valley that often involved hours of her disappearing into neighborhoods trolling for garage sale signs.

But, after years of complaining and eye-rolling about it, I finally accepted that what I considered my mother’s obsession with “junk” was actually a passion she’s had for finding treasure in someone else’s so-called trash.

It made her happy and who was I to argue with that, right?

We all have a little bit of it in us – slumbering passions and interests just waiting for us to stir and transform into dreams.

Take, for example, Cathy Garcia. I recently featured her in a CBS5 News story about her Cha-Cha Chic line of designer tees that were selected to go inside the Grammy Award celebrity “swag” bags.

Think about that. Everyone who is anyone in the music industry will now own one of her very colorful, fun, Latin-inspired tees. It’s her biggest break yet, and one that this Glendale woman might never have had were it not for a conversation she had with her granddaughter.

After years of taking care of her family, she wondered out loud about what she could do for herself. She credits her granddaughter with goading her: “Nana, you’re creative; just create!”

So, she took her passion for fashion and flair to a sketch pad and came up with a unique set of vibrant tees inspired by childhood memories and moments. In just three short years, her dream went from a conversation to a reality.

And that brings me back to my mom.

At 62 years old, she’s finally living a dream of her own.

Just last month, she took her love of all things used and opened her own thrift shop. All the boxes and bags of “stuff” that have taken up room in her house, garage, car and even my closet now sit, hang and  stand beautifully in the space she calls “Second Hand Treasures.”

She beams when she talks about it, despite the labor and dollars involved in becoming a small business owner. 

Both of these women are prime examples of the many shapes and sizes our passions can take and why no dream is ever too big or small to build on. Inspiration is everywhere we just have to take the time to look.

Catherine Anaya anchors CBS 5 News weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 10 p.m. She is a mother of two, marathon runner and motivational speaker. Reach her at; connect with her on Facebook, twitter and at

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