Meet Susan Gail Taylor, Harmony Healthcare Manager, Marketing
1) What 4 places would you most like to visit and why?
- The Art Institute of Chicago: I was supposed to run the Chicago Marathon this year, but the pandemic postponed that dream and my dream of seeing this amazing museum. I imagine most 80s kids grew up wanting their version of the iconic Ferris Bueller scene in front of A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, and I’m counting the days til it happens for me at next year’s marathon – God willing.
- Ireland: One of my greatest dreams is to sit in the lush green countryside and soak up all the nature and inspiration it provides. I’d love to find a quaint jewelry shop and buy an antique claddagh ring, too.
- Paris: Pop culture put this dream on my heart when I was a child. It looks so perfect there! Maybe it’s too tourist-y. Maybe my childhood expectations will never be met. But I want to see the art and hear the people and feel the culture for myself.
- Forks, Washington and La Push Beach: If you know, you know.
2) What’s on your wish list for the next 10 years?
- To complete at least 3 marathons – including the Chicago Marathon
- To own a home and some land for an animal rescue with my husband in an inclusive and diverse community
- To take several cross country road trips with my husband and our dogs in an eclectic RV
- To live closer to my sisters who are in my hometown of Little Rock and my second hometown of Las Vegas (Hoping to recreate the Golden Girls housing situation one day!)
3) How do you balance your work and personal lives?
I learned the hard way to prioritize it. When my dad died, I was 1000 miles away. I got to say goodbye to him a few days before, but I had to drive right back for work during my teaching days. I don’t remember the lessons I taught, and I doubt my students remember either. But I remember that I missed being there to hold his hand as he crossed over.
I don’t have any tips or tricks for balancing both lives. It just takes consistent effort. Each day we have to pause the grind, gauge how we feel, and engage with the things we most sincerely connect with.
4) Create a soundtrack to your life with just 5 songs.
- “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga: Gaga and this song are both legendary. Her lyrics here always remind me that we should celebrate who we are and surround ourselves with people who recognize that and love us unconditionally.
- “The Beautiful Ones” by Prince: My beloved late brother introduced me to Prince’s music when I was just a kid. We used to watch his videos together and sing and dance around our living room. I love so many of Prince’s songs, but “The Beautiful Ones” is the sweetest.
- “Overprotected” by Britney Spears: I am a huge Britney stan! This song and all the remixes take me back to so many good times dancing and enjoying carefree time with friends.
- “Georgia…Bush” by Lil Wayne: Lil Wayne’s music runs parallel with so much of what it means to grow up and live in the South. His music resonates and commands attention, but his art runs deeper than just party beats. This is one of his songs that shows that.
- “Can’t Help Fallin’ In Love” by Elvis Presley: My parents had me late in their lives, so I grew up listening to a lot of oldies. Of course that included The King. My late brother danced to this song at his wedding when I was a kid, and I chose it as my wedding song as well. To top it off, our ceremony was performed by an Elvis impersonator and held at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada sign!
5) What’s a small thing someone did that encouraged you?
Listened to me. It’s rare these days.
6) Tell us about the latest book you read.
I waited many years for Midnight Sun to see the light of day, and it was finally released this August! I can’t thank Stephenie Meyer enough for giving the fandom what we wanted. It was authentic, faithful to our cherished characters, and perfectly layered so that now the fandom is clamoring for every book in the Twilight saga to have a companion novel.
I’m looking forward to reading President Obama’s memoir A Promised Land that’s set to be released in November. It’s on pre-order!
7) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My beloved late dad was the wisest person I’ve ever known. He never made it beyond the 9th grade, so every day growing up I heard how he wanted to see me go much further. I can still hear his smooth, Southern drawl: “Get that education, baby girl. Can’t nobody take that away from you.”
He cried when I walked across the stage for all 3 of my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I like to think he was proud from above when I paraphrased his sage advice for my students during my teaching career.