Norah O’Donnell Reflects on a News Year Like No Other

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Happiness is …

Not having an alarm clock! I mean, for seven years I was waking up at 4 a.m. [to cohost CBS This Morning], so now I just wake up on my own around 5:45 and read the paper in bed without having to go anywhere. That actually brings me joy.

And for a rollicking good time …

I exercise! I really enjoy it. I grew up exercising — my parents were my soccer coaches. In San Antonio it was so hot we went swimming every day, and we played sports in school. I like to run, golf, play tennis, take walks with my husband. It’s what keeps me centered.

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A line a day

Before I took over at CBS Evening News, a friend said to me, “I want you to just write the date down and write one sentence, every day. It’s not a diary, just a sentence about how you feel or one interesting thing that happened, because the next year of your life is going to be incredible.” Two years later, I’m glad I did that, because daily reflection is one of the most important human elements. As they say, the days last forever, but the years fly by.

And one more thing!

I think real, practical stuff should be taught in school. Like daily writing, how to balance a checkbook, apply for a mortgage, read the stock market and how to invest. And how to get tax deductions! Nobody understands the tax code, and it can treat people so unequally if you don’t understand it. That’s my couple of cents.

—As told to Marilyn Milloy

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Emmy award–winning journalist Norah O’Donnell, 47, lives and works in Washington, D.C., where CBS Evening News is produced.

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