Your Turn

Your Turn/Laura Sievert

Posted: Aug. 4, 2018 10:05 pm

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... I've always been interested in so many things. I think I wanted to be that guy in the TV show "Quantum Leap." Wouldn't it be great to be able to just jump into different careers and try a little bit of everything? I'd be a doctor, an artist, a scientist, a firefighter.

What would you rather be doing right now? Today would be an absolutely perfect day for a nice long bike ride or to go fly kites with my kids.

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I've always wanted to be on stage at QCT, and I'd like to play a villain. I think it would be a lot of fun to play a character so different from my day-to-day life.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? A moment that stands out would be when I completed my first 100-mile bike ride at the 2012 Capital City Century in Springfield, Ill. I've since done several more 100 mile rides, and I even did a 100K (63 mile) ride just 12 weeks after having my last baby, but that first time you accomplish such a big goal is an amazing rush. I've cycled thousands of miles on my bike, "The Dream Machine," and it's an incredible and inspiring way to experience the Midwest. I'm looking forward to the upcoming Moonlight Ride for Horizons Soup Kitchen.

It really stinks when ... people say there's nothing to do in Quincy. Have you see the Arts Quincy calendar? There are over 300 events per year and dozens of great clubs and classes. There's always something to do!

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Curious. I love to explore new topics, new ideas, new places and so much more.

I always laugh when ... anyone suggests I give up coffee. Please! No way!

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? My mom, my grandma and Paul McCartney. Wouldn't that be a great dinner party? My mom had cancer and passed away in 2001, and my grandma passed away not long ago. I'd love for them to see my kids and just catch up. And Paul McCartney? I'd just like to hang out and play guitars with him!

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... read with my kids. My 3 1/2-year-old is reading by himself already, and I just love seeing him explore the world through books. My 1-year-old eats more pages than he reads, but he's starting to get the hang of storytime.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... oh, probably a bit of a nerd. But to be fair, I still am a bit of a nerd.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... when I was a little kid, I met Ozzie Smith on one of those Cardinals Caravan tours. I had hair down to my waist at the time, and he said, "Little lady, you have pretty hair!" And that's why I'm a Cardinals fan to this day.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... hang out with Paul McCartney. Did you see him and James Corden on Carpool Karaoke do that tour around Liverpool together? Talk about living the dream.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... live where I had a long commute. We've got such limited time on this earth, and I'd really hate to spend more of it stuck in traffic.

America should be more concerned about ... funding for the arts in schools, particularly in the lower grade levels. All careers, whether they are artistic or not, require problem-solving skills, creativity and resilience. The arts engage students and build these important intangible skills that will lead to the careers of tomorrow.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... kid books. It's not at all an exaggeration to think I probably have 2,000-plus kids books at my house. I always think if you surround yourself with books, you're naturally going to love the worlds they open up for you.

When I'm on the internet, I always go to ... Facebook. As much as it's maligned, I love Facebook and the way it connects me to friends far and wide. I recently asked my Facebook friends to help pay an expense for a friend with cancer, and people from Pittsburgh to Oregon and everywhere in between chipped in to help a family they didn't even know. Facebook can be a force for good in the world, if that's how we choose to use it.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? "Practice the pause." My dear friend Kellie said this to me once, and it's become really important in my professional and personal growth. It's my instinct to try and problem-solve on the spot, but if we "practice the pause" and think through problems, we'll come up with a better solution than if we're hasty.

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... '90s pop hits. #SorryNotSorry.

I always get sentimental when ... my kids do something for the first time. They grow so fast, and the "firsts" really take me by surprise sometimes. There is such wonder to watching your kids experience the world. It takes my breath away.

The older I get, the more I realize ... that I'm awfully lucky to be where I am, and that I have a responsibility to help people that are not as lucky as me. I have become more mindful about ways big and small that I can make the world a little better today than it was yesterday.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... Gosh, that's hard. Butterfly wings and all that: If you change one thing, you change it all. Maybe, I guess, I'd have done my master's degree before I had kids. I'm doing mine at Mizzou online right now, and it's hard to squeeze it in.

My favorite item of clothing is ... my Brooks Trail Running shoes. They've been up volcanos and mountains, on local trails, races and hikes, and they're one of the best pairs of shoes I've ever owned. If you lace up your trail shoes, you're about to have a great day.

If I've learned anything at all ... I lost both of my parents to cancer at young ages, so I think the thing I've learned is to dive into life and explore every single day. Whether I die at 40 or at 104, I just want to experience as much of the world as I can. People are fascinating, the world is beautiful, and it's all so vast. I'll always be curious, and I'll always be an explorer.

Laura Sievert, 36, is executive director of Arts Quincy, America's first arts council. She's the mom of Elliot (3 1/2) and Grant (1) and wife of Justin. She loves art, music, theater and history, of course, but she also adores the outdoors, especially cycling.