Catherine Anaya

Full plate of passion

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My news director recently asked me to come up with a word that would best describe me. 

I wracked my brain for days thinking of the right one, since I consider myself a multidimensional person. I wear so many hats (mom, television journalist, magazine columnist, marathon runner, motivational speaker) that coming up with a singular description almost seemed impossible. 

Then it hit me. I have my hand in many different pots, but I believe I approach each with passion. That’s it, my one-word description: passionate. 

This passion leads to a very full plate. And for the first time in my life, I can honestly say my plate is full of all things I love and am passionate about. But I didn’t reach this point quickly or easily, and that’s something I recently shared with a friend struggling to find her way out of a personal funk.

My path to passion began when I returned to the Valley nearly nine years ago. I swore I would no longer let my job define me. I was more than just a news anchor and I wanted to flex every facet of my evolving self. 

But personally, I was at a crossroads, knowing I didn’t want to be married anymore. With a one-month-old son, though, I felt I owed it to him and my daughter to stick it out.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what made me personally happy. I discovered a newfound joy in my job in using it as vehicle to help make a difference in the community. It’s what I call “community-minded journalism.”

When I finally decided to divorce, it was liberating on so many levels. For the first time in a very long time, I felt I could live my life the way I wanted, not the way it was expected of me. The more I focused on the positive things, the more inspired I became in wanting to share some of that sense of empowerment with other women and continue to give back to the community.

I’m still a work in progress, but it really took stepping back, taking control of my life and prioritizing the things that I consider truly important that has led me to feeling like I’m living with passion. I’m more protective of my time and strive to spend it with people and doing things that are important to my big picture of core values and beliefs. 

I’ve learned to come to the table of life from a positive place with a feeling of gratitude for all that’s been given to me, even those rough roads I’ve had to travel – because without them, I wouldn’t be able to measure how far I’ve come.

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

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