Thursday, June 26, 2014


“Every time that I look in the mirror, all these lines on my face getting clearer,” Dream On, Aerosmith

As I sit here thinking what to blog about this evening, my birthday is quickly approaching. As the hours tick by, closer my day is coming. When birthdays roll around every year, you can’t help but start reflecting on your life. My life the past year has drastically changed, but my loyal readers are already more than aware of that fact. So instead, I want to write about celebrating.
Growing up the youngest of five children, my mom did an awesome job, and still does, of making our birthdays special. She always wanted to give us one day that was just ours. We pick the menus, she gets us the gifts we want, and dad goes along with it. Sometimes when we open our gifts, it is the first time dad has seen them as well, he is a great sport. I have no doubt that my love of celebrating others’ birthdays is a direct result of my mom. I really do love birthdays, just not my own.

The older I get, the more low key celebrations become. My surprise 30th party was legendary, but what about non milestone birthdays? People grow up and have their own lives, so celebrating is no longer a priority. I have had to accept this fact. But my question is, should I? Do we ever get too old to celebrate?
I say no! No matter what I do, I will celebrate my day. My mom will throw me a wonderful family party, and those that can make it will be there. I can’t possible blow out my own candles without help from my niece and nephews. For once in my life, I will be selfish and celebrate me. Who says I have to celebrate with certain people? If someone can’t make it, or expects me to change my schedule for them, I will just go with it. No ill will, life happens. It may hurt, but life goes on. Plus, I have a surprise concert from a friend to look forward to. Ahhh, I really want to know the surprise!

I am really uncomfortable being the center of attention or being selfish, but on my birthday, I am sure going to try! I already feel uneasy about it, but if you can’t be selfish on your birthday, then when can you? I think Laura Bush would totally agree with that.
I have survived another year. I (hopefully) will wake up in the morning and greet another day by asking, what would Laura Bush do? Cheers!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The World Cup

“The cup of life, this is the one. Now is the time, don’t ever stop,” The Cup Of Life, Ricky Martin

The world cup is everywhere. You turn on anything and there is something about the matches, players, fans, etc. It really is unavoidable. And you know what? That is awesome! The pride, the patriotism, the athleticism — it is truly a beautiful thing.
That being said, there is also so much negativity from folks that it is frustrating. And that my friends, is what I will be discussing today. It may not be an example of how I am living my life like Laura Bush, but then again it might just be. No one is a bigger supporter of all things U-S-A than the Bush family. Never has there been an event where our athletes are on the world stage that the Bush family has not supported. Even when they are not in attendance, their support can be felt and known. Just another reason I love that family, especially Mrs. Bush.

A problem is, as unfortunate as it may be, soccer has never been as big in the USA as around the world. And when people don’t understand it, they judge. Those that haven’t taken the time to study and learn the game, miss just how beautiful the sport is. It is fast moving, it is non-stop, it is exciting, it is fluid, it is beautiful.
Like any event that doesn’t happen every year, such as the Olympics, there will be bandwagon jumpers. While I dislike bandwagon-ers very much, they don’t bother me as much when it comes to people uniting for one thing — their country. I was a soccer fan in high school, but that doesn’t make me think any less of someone that really is just watching because it is the World Cup. I say, welcome! I still don’t know everything there is to know about the sport, but I will watch and I will celebrate the sport. It may not be something I watch regularly like baseball, but I will gladly take the judgment from others when I do. Bring it!

The old joke is how watching soccer is like watching paint dry. I get that. Sometimes no one scores in 90 minutes and a tie is Ok. It happens, but watching the struggle in those 90 minutes can be quite entertaining. How is watching soccer more boring than a NASCAR race? A race may give you the opportunity for a wreck, but soccer gives you the opportunity for a goal.
Plus, very few sports have participants more athletic than a soccer player. The pure strength, endurance, grace and health demonstrated via soccer players makes all other sports’ athletes suffer by comparison. And easy on the eyes to boot. Thank you soccer for David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo for their perfect faces, body, hair — well you get the point. To watch soccer players is to watch some of the most well-trained and conditioned athletes out there. They may not look like weight lifters or anything, but they are rock solid and more athletic than most. To run for 90 minutes, you almost have to be pure muscle. And take it from a distance runner, enjoy those orange slices at the half since every marathoner loves to see the orange stop at a race.

The point of this is not about how hot soccer players are (that is just an added bonus my friends), it is about either supporting the sport or shutting the hell up. You don’t like soccer, that is your choice, but just stop talking about it. I don’t like basketball, but do you see me talking about it? Nope. Just because I don’t enjoy it doesn’t mean any one else cares. How selfish would I be to think my opinion on the matter will change anyone’s mind? And who knows, someday I may learn to love it given the chance. Have you given soccer a chance? Have you really studied it? Have you looked past your negative thoughts, and the ones others push on you, to watch it? If you have and you still don’t like it, I applaud you for trying. Just keep it to yourself.
So as the world prepares for their teams to take the field, I ask you to be nice. If you don’t care for the game itself, support the patriotism, athletes, and your fellow man that wait four years for this event. See the beauty in the event as a whole. Avoid the negativity from friends and the news, and focus on the beauty. Focus on seeing the love from athletes, coaches, families and fans uniting for one thing — to win that cup. I can’t wait! And maybe, just maybe, find myself a soccer player. What would Laura Bush do?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Acting like Laura

“It was a beautiful day, don’t let it get away,” Beautiful Day, U2.

My day yesterday started at 4 a.m. and didn’t end until around midnight. But in that long span of time being awake, and trying to stay that way, I experienced a couple of acts of people acting as Laura Bush would. By no means does this blog have to be just about how I am living my life by asking what would Laura Bush do, I will gladly highlight those around me for being Laura Bush-ish. The world needs more Laura Bushes!
Yesterday began with a 14 mile run bright and early with my running peeps. My legs were killing me, but our group prevailed and finished. As usual, off we go to breakfast. Breakfast was a good and filled with our usual talking about anything and everything. When the bills came, before I can really do anything, a running friend pays for mine since we were on the same bill. Now of course I will pick it up next time, but how Laura Bush is that? It wasn’t a special occasion or anything, it was just him doing something nice for someone else. Thanks again!

Last night I get a text from my best friend asking if she can share my blog on her Facebook page. After some discussion, I said I wasn’t ready yet. She understood and said she would wait but she was just so “proud and excited.” I get to many it may not make much sense how I have this blog for the world to see, but I don’t want people to share it. If people find it on their own, please read, but I am still waiting to find my clear direction and formatting before people who know me read it. That might not make sense, but that’s me. Plus, I am not talking about that, I am talking about my bff. The fact that she wants to sing my praises, but respects me enough to first ask me if it is Ok, and then understand when I say no, is so Laura Bush. I told her to sit tight, soon I will be ready for her to share the hell out of it, but thanks anyway for the support. Everyone needs a friend like Laura Bush.
These are just two examples amongst many in the world. Kindness and class are not dead, you just have to look for them sometimes. People will always surprise you, just have faith. And if they surprise you in a negative way and you want to respond, remember to ask, what would Laura Bush do?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Being tested

“Every dog has its day, every day has its way of being forgotten,” What Would You Say, Dave Matthews Band

Well I had a test today and a perfect example of how to act like Laura Bush. I will admit I was not in the best mood this morning. Nothing serious, just an off day. Anyway, I was out running errands and stopped to run into a store. As I was walking in a somewhat angry person was hurriedly rushing out the store and of course, ran right into me. Her drink spilled all over me and things went flying.
The shocking thing was she next began to yell at me. How I should pay attention and blah, blah, blah. I will admit when something is my fault, I am quite clumsy, but this was not my fault as I was paying attention and she was rushing out not paying attention to where she was walking. Now being in a bad mood, I could have easily yelled back. I could have easily corrected her about how it wasn’t my fault and therefore I don’t care. But I didn’t.

I let her continue to yell while I picked up all her items that had spilled everywhere. I nodded as she went on. Then when she was finished, I simply said, “I hope I got everything you dropped, you have a nice day.” She looked at me and then accused me of being a smart ass. Now right here, I really wanted to blow up. I wanted to shout about how her and her attitude are one of the things wrong with people today. What would Laura Bush do?
It took every fiber of my being to not be a smart ass. I simply turned around and said, “No ma’am, I just want to make sure you got everything you dropped since groceries are expensive. Have a great day.” This dumbfounded look came across her face, but then it turned into a smile. She thanked me and walked away.

As annoyed as I was that she never actually apologized for spilling her drink on me (thankfully, I wasn’t wearing sneakers or this may have gone another way), I am happy that I was polite. I really don’t know how Laura Bush does it, but I am glad I was polite today. This woman may never remember this encounter, or tell it differently, but channeling Laura Bush really turned my mood around.

So when something like this happens to you, or you are blamed for something you didn’t do. Stop, breathe, and ask, what would Laura Bush do?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


“And I won’t stop until you believe it, cause baby you’re worth it,” Not a Bad Thing, Justin Timberlake

Those that are close to me, know that I am pretty much scared of everything. I am not kidding, everything freaks me out. Terrified all animals are going to attack me. Scared of the dark. Scared of awkward situations. Freaked out by mustard and the smell of buffalo sauce. Well, you get the point. I am a big old wimp. I just hide it well sometimes. But of all my fears, rational and irrational (like one night my closest door falling on me while I sleep), there is one thing that scares me more than anything or anyone — rejection. I admit that I have a very crippling fear of rejection in everything I do that it almost will paralyze me.
I have spent a great deal of time working on overcoming this fear. I have made progress. I have been knocked back a few times this past year, but thanks to many long phone dates and BFF nights, I have taken more risks and succeed. I still fail, but it isn’t because the fear of rejection stopped me, sometimes people just fail. So amongst all the steps to getting over this fear, why is it that one simple action can send you back to the beginning? Why does one thing or one person have so much power?

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to this question. But what I do know is how I think Laura Bush would handle it. When someone or something rejects you, how do you handle it like Laura Bush? That’s simple — with class. You get rejected in your professional life, be classy. Hold your head up high, your time will come. Your family rejects you — remember no one says family must be blood, find new people. You get rejected by a significant other — be the bigger person, you deserve better. See how easy it is to be Laura Bush?
Easier said than done, huh? Oh so true, sounds good though. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to handle rejection, some just handle it better than others. You can scream and yell, or you can cry, whatever works for you. I personally handle it poorly. When I start to shut down or pull away from rejection, I will remember that Laura Bush would not be impressed. She would want me to remain strong, and from now on, I plan to do just that.

Tonight I had a much different idea of how this blog entry was going to go. I was going to tell stories of rejection in my life, be all moody, but then I checked social media. When I logged on I noticed I had a new notification. I clicked to see what I had been tagged in and up popped a really sweet friendship quote. It reminded me that the people that matter to me will never reject me. Those I can always count on will never reject me.
Does it get any more Laura Bush than knowing you are loved by many? This blog is proof of what love and respect for others can do for you and the world. So even with the bad luck I have and knowing rejection is inevitable, I will remember what Laura Bush would do and go from there. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Always being right

“The more things you get, the more you want. Just trade in one for the other,” Right Now, Van Halen

I often wonder how much it must suck to already know everything, to go through each day never learning anything new. To never be accepting of others or their thoughts and ideas. That is not a way I want to go through life. How about you?
Now as Laura Bush, how do you tolerate just such people? The obvious way is to just avoid them. Being told what to think and do constantly gets old, so if you can, just omit the person from your world. But what about when it isn’t that easy? No two people are ever going to agree with each other or everything, a fact you must learn to accept early on. But you can accept others and their thoughts without agreeing with them. This I think people tend to forget.  

Laura Bush has been an example of how to remain classy when faced with someone who thinks they are always right. The obvious example is in politics. Her husband was never agreed with and they were constantly being told just how wrong the Bush policies were. I must say, how both her and husband would handle these people was one of the reason I decided to always follow her character example. No matter what, she would remain classy when hearing everything that was wrong. She would defend herself and her husband, but was always classy. She never flew off the handle, belittled anyone or pointed out how she was right and they were wrong.
This isn’t a blog about politics, I don’t want to debate politics, it is about how she handled herself against all the negativity. How she always held her head up high, remained strong, and was the true definition of grace and beauty. Her husband is still being blamed even today, but when you see her you would never know. I am sure sometimes she wants to just scream, but she doesn’t, at least not in public. I admire that.

So next time I am faced with one of these people, I am going to remember that if Laura Bush could remain classy in the public eye, I surely can remain classy around anyone in my life. I will smile, remain calm and think to myself, what would Laura Bush do?

Monday, June 16, 2014


“Cause you see I’m on losing streak, I can't get no, oh no no no,” (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones

Judgment is a tricky thing. I don’t mean the type of judgment that comes from court, as in the “final judgment.” I mean when others judge each other based on silly little things. We can all say that we are not judgmental, but everyone is in at least one way or another. I try to never judge anyone for anything or because they sin differently than me, but I do sometimes find myself judging others after they have judged me. Not so much on bad things they do, but on why they would judge someone else.
Sadly, the world of social media has made it quite easy to judge others based on what they post. Who hasn’t said “did you see what so and so was wearing?” or “I can’t believe they would post that.” It is true that those who post how wonderful they are or something in their life is, never really are that great, but that doesn’t stop people from saying something. Feeding into someone’s desire for attention is all too easy in today’s world. This judgment will always be there as long as there are people that overshare in the world and the fad of selfies. But this isn’t the judgment I am getting at with this post.

The judgment I am going to address is when someone close to you devalues your choices and tries to make you feel small. This is where I really think I channel Laura Bush as I am always supportive of people’s choices. Of course I don’t always agree with everything someone does, as no one would agree with me on everything I have done. But never will I judge someone. I will speak up if something is dangerous to them, but that should be a given.
Unfortunately the past couple of months I have been judged by many around me for choices I have made. I don’t fit the stereotypical girl that believes you must be married to be happy, or rich to be happy. I am happy despite those two things. I believe in relationships, but it is not my end goal. The people I have chosen to be in my life in this capacity are aware of that fact and I am thankful for them. Money has never been a driving force for me, or else journalism would not have been my degree. I made one decision in my life based on money and it turned out to be the wrong choice. I don’t begrudge anyone success in monetary gains, just don’t judge me because I don’t strive for that.

So what to do when someone judges you about your career or personal life? What if that person is “close” to you? Well when this happens it is a perfect moment to ask, what would Laura Bush do? Well she would be classy. She would not let someone else’s opinion change her path. She would listen to what they have to say, thank them, and then continue on her way. This is what I am doing. I am not letting it get to me or cause a smart comment from me. No more getting defensive. Just letting what they say roll off my back and move on. If I can remain classy when faced with judgment, then I know I have channeled Laura Bush and channeled her well.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Restoring my faith

“But something’s bugging you, something ain’t right,” Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Wham!

Last night I was starting to have my doubts in humanity and the caliber of character people have. It was really disheartening and annoying.
My story starts at the movies. My best friend and I were like two giddy girls super excited to finally be seeing “The Fault in Our Stars.” Young adult book or not, this book touched us both and our sheer joy at seeing the words we fell in love with on the big screen, even knowing we were going to cry, was just too much for us to handle. I am sure her husband was getting annoyed at our constant talking about it and was quite happy we were going to see it (thanks for being super dad so my BFF could get away). We get to the movies and get all our goodies — movie without popcorn, never! As we go to hand the ticket lady our tickets, she rudely says “the line is over there.” Wow, at least be a little nice. We laughed about her poor attitude, but got over it since after all, the movie we had been waiting months to see was to begin soon.

Once in the theater with start time approaching (yay!), I go for a quick bathroom run. It is wise that I always go right before the movie as I swear my bladder is like pea-size. As I am walking back to the theater I am behind two teenage couples. The completely inappropriate attire aside (do they have parents?), I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation. One of the young ladies when asked if she was going to cry said, “No, boys don’t like girls that cry.” I was floored! Seriously? Is this how girls now think? She continued to go on about how girls’ crying is “ugly.” I was speechless.
I go back in the theater and immediately tell my BFF that if her little girl ever grows up and dresses like that or talks like that, I may slap her. Thankfully my BFF said, “If that happens, slap me as I didn’t do my job raising her.” I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but it did. I understand that girls can be overly emotional, but that in no way makes them ugly, or should stop them from crying around a guy. If that bothers a guy, maybe find a new guy. I fear for the human race if everyone is scared to cry. Sometimes you just need to cry. And if this movie doesn’t make you even a little teary, you are a robot and will probably be fine in life seeing as you are a robot not designed to have any emotions.

Now I know I am not the most open with my feelings, but never would I judge someone for expressing them. We all express them in different ways, and all ways are beautiful.
This morning I was still annoyed at dealing with those teenage girls the night before, but a quick stop to grab a soda restored my faith in humanity. I was waiting in line at the local convenience store and the gentleman in the next aisle over realized he didn’t have enough money to pay for what he had. He said “oh, I don’t have as much as I thought.” You could see the embarrassment in his face and it was heartbreaking. Before I could act, the teenage boy behind him handed him the money he needed. I was shocked. Not shocked because someone did this, but shocked at this kid’s age. I would have gladly paid as well, but this young gentleman stepping up without question was incredibly sweet. He restored my faith in people, especially teenagers.

I admit it, I totally judged a group of individuals based on the actions of a select few. That was not very Laura Bush of me. I must remember that there is bad in this world, and bad people, but there is also so much good. So before I get annoyed with someone for having a poor attitude, I will remember all the selfless acts people are preforming right this minute. The actions of others will not change my view on people or the world, and kindness in me will always prevail. Always choosing kindness is one of the many things Laura Bush has taught me.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


“Luck ain’t even lucky, got to make your own breaks,” It’s My Life, Bon Jovi

So last night I believe I reached total exhaustion to the point that I fell asleep sitting up typing my blog. Thankfully my laptop never fell to the floor and my tiny bladder eventually woke me up. This morning once I woke up from clearly much needed sleep, I wondered if this was a sign that I really needed to not take on so much. Between work, marathon training, blogging, school and my actual life, my time and life is pretty much planned up to the minute. Looking at my room it’s clear I am never home in time to clean up (it’s a disaster!).
The problem, I really don’t see anything that I can cut from my routine to make more time for myself. I am trying to apply Laura Bush when thinking of each time suck in my life and wondering what she would do.

Work: Yeah, this one can’t really be cut as I do need to work. Having a job that keeps me on my feet all day is just exhausting regardless. I don’t work full time, but it feels like it most weeks. My class I instruct hasn’t started yet, but once it does it will be another thing taking up time. I am not complaining since I like work and am thankful that I do work, but it still wears me down. As each day comes and more work is added either by picking up more shifts, grading papers, freelancing for local publications, I will just remember that Laura Bush never got anywhere sitting on her butt. She may not need to work now, but she wasn’t always a child of privilege. She did work, and she worked hard. The life of a starving artist is not for the weak, but I have realized the past couple of months, it is for me. The judgment from friends and the world hurts, but I don’t care. Money doesn’t motivate me, happiness does. I don’t have fancy things or all the latest toys, but I do have happiness.
Marathon Training: This takes up lots of hours, but you don’t cross that finish line without training. People that have never run a marathon may not understand the time commitment or why I would stay in Friday night since I have a long run in the morning, but that is on them. Working my schedule to fit in the runs is tough, but worth it. I have the support of my fellow runners and that is all I need. There is no place I would rather be when I am running. Without it, I would be a mess. After all, I do have a goal of 10 full marathons before taking a break and those miles aren’t going to log themselves. Laura Bush I think would understand this love and passion of running and encourage me to get those miles in.

Blogging: Ok, this I also love! I admit that I have slacked a little on daily posts, but I am working on getting better at this. This has already led to many opportunities, so why stop now? Rome wasn’t built in a day. I may have to tweak my routine a little to accommodate getting back on track of daily posts, but never fear, this blog is going nowhere. Of course Laura Bush would encourage me to keep at this, it is after all inspired by her.
School: Grad school classes have not begun yet, but once they do it will take the majority of my time. Not so much because of the amount of classes I am taking a semester, but because it has been a long time since I have been back in the classroom and I am rusty. There is an awful lot of preparation before I even start. I sometimes wonder why I even decided to go back to school, but like everything else in my life, it comes down to happiness. I don’t particularly like school, but I love learning. It will be a struggle, but it will be great once I (hopefully) graduate. When I start to doubt going back to school I will remember how much Laura Bush loves learning and education. She doesn’t know me, but I like to think she would be proud of me when I receive that diploma.

My Life: This is the one thing I have to plan everything around. By that I mean, making sure everyone around me is happy and I do as much as I can when asked. All my life people have been telling me that I need to step back and not do everything that is asked of me. Not attend every function I am invited to, but that is hard for me. I am honored whenever someone wants to spend time with me or invites me to another party. I might complain and be like, “damn another kid’s party,” but that doesn’t mean I won’t be there. I will be there. I do agree with some of my friends that I am taken advantage of since people know I will always be there, but that isn’t a bad thing. I am aware of these people, but it still won’t stop me, it is my character.
People in my life do give me hell for being so busy and not having time for them all day, every day, but this is me. People that accept this fact about me will forever be a part of my life. I will always make time for those people and they know it.

So when exhaustion sets in and I start to wonder why my life and world is so difficult, I will stop and think about Laura Bush. Yes, I may need to say “no” every once in a while, but when I am needed I will be there. And also, try to find more time for sleeping and eating. I think Laura Bush would agree.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Be honest!

“I stretched my hands out to the sky, we danced with monsters through the night,” Best Day of My Life, American Authors

I spent most of my morning trying to decide what my topic for the day should be. Even during my morning run followed by yoga class, I kept thinking of what I could possibly write to interest my readers, while also making up for my lack of entries the past few days. I apologize to my loyal readers, but my presence and time was needed elsewhere and by a friend in need so I had to make sacrifices. That said, what shall I write about today? What Laura Bush-esque situation will be the focus. Without further ado, it will be honesty.
Why is it so hard for people to be honest with others and with themselves? I believe in honesty, but even I struggle with it daily. I don’t mean lying, I mean struggle with when to speak up and be honest, and when to keep quiet. I will present two examples and how I channeled Laura Bush in my actions and responses.

Last week I had contact with two people that I really hadn’t spoken to in a while. Why we weren’t in contact much isn’t the issue, it’s how the interaction with both went down. The first person I saw I hadn’t seen or talked to in over a month, and in that time a lot has changed in my life. But why did I not share any of that with them? Why when asked if anything was new with me, did I say no? I didn’t even hesitate, I just answered nope and changed the subject. Even when asked about my upcoming calendar and if I was available on a particular day, I didn’t even speak up. I just told them to get up with me. I wasn’t honest with this person, but I wasn’t dishonest either. I just wasn’t anything. The reason I think I was has to do with the other person I had contact with.
The other person and I reconnected and began a long, overdue exchange that started out Ok but then, well read on. As the conversation continued I started to be blamed for everything and the loss of contact. Seriously? I admit I had been MIA a little, but really I wasn’t to blame. I don’t believe in pointing the finger or placing blame in any situation, especially when it is unwarranted. I was livid the more this continued. Do I go off or let it go? Well I let it go. I did what I think Laura Bush would have done. Making a big deal over it wasn’t going to accomplish anything but make an already strained relationship worse. I just changed the subject and moved on. I think Laura Bush would have been proud.

What I don’t think she would have been proud of was how after that I let it change how open I was with another person. True I am a private person and don’t open up much to anyone, but I still usually would have told the person standing in front of me what was going on in my life. I don’t know if it was a trust issue or embarrassment, but I really need to work on being more honest. Essentially, more like Laura Bush.
A second example on honesty is when do you know someone is being honest and when they are just telling you what you want to hear. Now this is a trickier situation. It is hard to tell and you don’t always have the luxury of time to prove which one it is. So when does Laura Bush just believe the person and when does she know this isn’t the full truth. Well I personally had the luxury of time recently and learned, unfortunately, it was the latter. I was lied to over and over again. At first I was hurt but it didn’t last long. The more I learned, the more I realized that I didn’t care. Why was I even bothering with a dishonest person? I knew long ago they were transparent, but I guess I needed proof. I got it and amazingly, I am Ok. I do think Laura Bush would approve of putting myself first and walking away. Some people just aren’t worth it and time with prove that over and over again.

Honesty is something that presents itself every day, but it is how we handle it that matters. I will struggle with this daily, but I know that I will decide what is right by asking, what would Laura Bush do?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Getting lost in the written word

Laura Bush’s love of books is a well-documented fact. Her years as a librarian and the work she continues to do to get people, especially children, reading is truly amazing. Her passion and love of reading is inspirational. I also love to read. I love the feeling of getting lost in a book and escaping in to a world unlike my own. I don’t read nearly as much as I would like, but I still find myself enjoying what time I do spend reading.

Those closest to me know that for the most part my genre of choice is nonfiction, mostly rock musician’s autobiographies or historical accounts. But every now and again, a fiction book is introduced to me and it changes my life. It rocks me to the core and I can’t put it down. I am always pleasantly surprised when this happens. And one such book that did this for me was, “The Fault in Our Stars.” A book that hits the big screen tomorrow.
Now I know what some of you are thinking, “That’s a YA book.” True, the intended audience may have been young adults, but damn if my best friend and I are not completely obsessed with this book. And since it just so happens to be Thursday, our best friend night, why not write about it? Why not let anyone out there that hasn’t experienced this book learn about it? Now I won’t lie, the book will make you an emotional wreck, but it is worth it. To get lost in the brilliant way John Green writes is truly something I loved being a part of and that feeling has stayed with me. That feeling is something I aspire to give a reader sometime in my life with my writing.

As not to give away too much of the story, there is a part in the story that caused me to actually throw the book across the room I was so upset. That may not sound pleasant, but to have the power to evoke that much emotion from just words is amazing. What writer wouldn’t want that reaction?
The book is a love story. The two teenagers may be battling cancer, but that story is just secondary to the love story. You feel you know these two, you see yourself in these two, you hope for these two. I can’t really say much more since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone — just read the book. I promise it will move you. You may not love it as much as others, but there is no denying it won’t stick with you.

So next time you find yourself with some free time or need to escape, grab a book. Read the words on the pages, run your fingers across the cover, breathe in the smell, and get ready to enjoy the ride. When it comes to reading, you know it is what Laura Bush will be doing.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

National Running Day

“But till then tramps like us, baby we were born to run,” Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen

I learned today that it is National Running Day. I am a runner and I didn’t know this but I am happy to learn something new today. So in honor of today I am going to write about my love of running. Laura Bush may not be a marathon runner, but her husband is so it still fits.
First, I will begin with a funny story. When I wrote my first blog post about the gym and the annoying guys on the treadmill next to me (read it here), I left out part of the conversation. I didn’t purposely omit it, but thankful I did so I can tell it now. As the dudes and I were running on the treadmills, one looked at me and said, “You don’t know how tough it is to train to run a 5k.” I just smiled and said, “You are right, I run marathons.” Of course he would have no idea I have run 7 full marathons in my life, but he didn’t need to assume that I wasn’t training for something. Don’t ever assume anything. Running a 5k or a marathon, I will always support fellow runners as long as they aren’t arrogant about it. Running is hard, no one needs the added negativity.

Now to why I run and take on the time consuming habit of training for races. The easy answer is because I love it. But the more honest answer is because it makes me happy and keeps me grounded. I know that no matter what I have going on in my life, I can run to escape it or just clear my head. It is the best therapy out there.
Ten years ago if you had told me I would be a marathon runner I would have laughed, and so would everyone that knows me. Running and exercising wasn’t my bag. I had too many bad habits and it didn’t interest me. It didn’t interest me until my best friend got sick. She was diagnosed with cancer and my whole world changed. I began running to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the rest is history.

So today in honor of National Running Day, get out there and run. I don’t care if it is one mile or 10, be active. Running changed my life and it can change yours. And who knows, while you are running you may just solve all your problems by asking, what would Laura Bush do?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The power of one word

“I’ve been down, but never on my knees. I see the forest for the trees,” By Your Side, The Black Crowes

The word disappointment is a word that keeps popping up in my life. I have used it, I have been called it, I have felt it and my friends have felt it. It got me thinking, what is it about that word that hurts so much? It is just a simple word, but it can cut you to the core. Is it because of the feelings it brings up? Do you count on those feelings when you direct it toward someone else? When is the correct time to use it and when is it just too harsh a word to speak?
When I made significant changes to my life and my plan for the future, I was called a disappointment. Now this hurt. Not because these people thought this of me, but because before getting the full story they immediately thought the worse. There was no discussion, no hearing me out. It didn’t matter that I was finally taking control of my life, all that mattered was cutting me down and talking about me behind my back. Some of the people eventually apologized, but the damage was still done. I knew deep down how these people felt. Many were the same that never really understood my starving artist lifestyle. It is true that you shouldn’t worry about what others think of you, but it is never that easy, especially when it comes from friends and family. How would Laura Bush handled this situation? How would she still remain kind and classy in the face of such negativity? I was desperately trying to use her as inspiration when all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and cry. So what did I do? Well, I got back up. I took a few days to myself, got myself together and then dusted myself off and continued with my plan. I would prove them wrong and I would show the world that I wasn’t defeated. And so far it has been working. I am marking things off my list and getting my life on track thanks in huge part to supportive friends and phone dates. I still struggle with remaining classy around certain people who told me I was a disappointment, but I am just limiting my time with them. They can think the worst of me but that doesn’t mean anyone will believe them. How they act and what they say is a reflection on them, not me.

I have used the word a lot lately as well. I have felt disappointment from many people. People have let me down. It is a sad fact, but no one is perfect. It hurts when someone lets you down. When your close friends and family just don’t seem to be there for you anymore, it hurts. I am blessed to have close friends that are there, but they can’t take away all the pain others have caused. Others that never contact you. Others that don’t take a second to send a simple text to ask what’s up? It is true they could say the same about me, but the difference is, at least I tried. Eventually even I stop. Years of friendship down the drain, going forward I only make time for those who make time for me. Laura Bush may not say it that bluntly, but I am sure that even she had to let people go. Sometimes it is just simply because you outgrew each other. Sometimes people don’t want to be bothered or can’t handle the issue at the moment. And sometimes it is me. Sometimes maybe I am no longer useful in a person’s life. In true Laura Bush fashion I will always remain kind and sometimes walking away is the kindest thing someone can do. I will miss them.
Life is stressful for most people. I have some close friends that are feeling poorly and think themselves a disappointment. Some, like myself, have been called it. Being Laura Bush around these people is a no brainer. I don’t even have to ask myself how she would handle it, I know. She would be there for them, and I am. I know the pain of feeling this way. I know what they are going through. Our situations may be different, but knowing disappointment is a universal theme. I may not always have the right thing to say to them, but I never ignore a text or phone call. I love knowing that these people know they can count on me. It makes me realize that I am not a disappointment, that I am a good person, I am Laura Bush-ish.

So as I continue down this path I have set out on I am going to try to remember three things; One — to use the word disappointment sparely; Two — to not let what others think or say about me get to me; And three — to always ask, what would Laura Bush do?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Busy weekend

“Truth or consequence say it aloud, use that evidence race it around,” My Hero, The Foo Fighters

This weekend was crazy exhausting for me and I apologize for my internet silence the past few days. Other than pretty severe sunburn making me quite sick to my stomach at the moment, it was a great weekend. Greatness aside, amongst all the chaos I was presented with a bunch of what would Laura Bush do moments. Prepare to settle in and read some examples and how I handled it.
Situation No. 1: Friday night I found myself conversing with a friend about many different things to kill time. As usual the conversation turned to one of his friends that I really don’t want to discuss. As he was talking about this person I just kept thinking about what I could say in rebuttal as I have a lot of bullets in my belt. I don’t view this friend of his in the same light that everyone else apparently does. Guess I am the lucky one huh? Anyway, as the conversation continued I wanted to scream everything I knew about the topic, but would Laura Bush do that? I bit my tongue and didn’t say a word. I won’t lie, I do think I made a few facial expressions but I didn’t say a word. How Laura Bush am I?  

Situation No. 2: I received a text from a former close friend. A friend that I haven’t spoken to in weeks but was at one point close to (at least I thought so). They wanted to see what I was up to this weekend and if I wanted to get together. When I first read it I got a little pissed off. All I could think about was how clearly I was a last resort. You don’t have anything else to do so you will settle for hanging out with me. And as I was getting ready to fire off a text that echoed those sentiments, I stopped. I deleted what I had written — I don’t need to treat people poorly just because they treat me that way. Yeah, it will get me hurt, but I can live with myself. I responded that I was pretty busy this weekend but would keep them posted on what I get into incase they want to join. And I did the next day. I was happy with the way I handled the situation until they couldn’t bother to even text me back. Nothing. You could at least have texted back “screw you” just so I know you got the text. But nope. Again I left it at the no contact, I can take a hint, but realized that when this person is involved I may no longer be Laura Bush. How long can you be nice to someone before it destroys you?
Situation No. 3: My sister was home this weekend visiting from California. She was only home for a weekend and by Saturday night I really hadn’t spent that much time with her with my work schedule. Before I knew what weekend she would be home, I made plans for other functions. I was presented with a dilemma — stick with my original scheduled plans or cancel and spend time with her. Neither option appealed to me as I figured either one would land me in the dog house. To make a long story short, I picked family time. I was worried about telling my best friend that something she told me about months ago I wouldn’t be at. I broke the news to her and she was Ok with it. There was no guilt, no anger, she was fine. That made me realize I made the correct call and both her and Laura Bush would be happy with it.

There were other Laura Bush moments this weekend, but I will just leave you with these three for now. I have to save something for those writer’s block days. Life is going to continue to present me with difficult situations begging for me to ask, what would Laura Bush do?