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Life Lately

Life lately has been incredibly weird, busy, and a little overwhelming. I made a goal to blog every day this month, and well… that hasn’t happened at all. This morning, I woke up in my grandparent’s house in St. George. After spending most of this past week in Colorado with Griffin’s parents we headed down to St. George with my family to see Newsies at the Tuacahn. It’s been a fun week, and I’ll be a little sad when it’s back to real life.

But as I sat thinking this morning, I couldn’t help but ask myself “am I happy with my life right now?” “am I happy with who I am right now?” That second question hit me hard because, in a lot of ways, the answer is no. I notice myself complaining all too often, over things that usually don’t matter. I feel as though I’ve been lazy for no reason at all and not really having the motivation to do anything.  Thankfully, some of these might be easier fixes than others.

Why I blog.

It’s funny how I set a goal to blog every day this month, I even planned out a post for every day. Posts that I still hope to write in the future, but this month it wasn’t happening. I had no desire to sit down and write blog posts. This morning I was scrolling through Instagram and I clicked on a blogger that I used to read religiously, and she made it easy, as she blogs every weekday, but I clicked on her blog and started to read. I have always LOVED reading Stephanie Nielson’s blog. Her words fill me with hope, and even though not all of our personal values are exactly the same, I find so much joy as I read her blog.

And that’s when it hit me.

I’ve been trying so hard to make my blog into something that I don’t want. I follow a lot of bloggers on social media, but I realized that I haven’t actually been reading their blogs all that much. I mean, I do sometimes, but most of the time what they are talking about isn’t interesting to me. But NieNie Dialogues was interesting to me again today.

Living the life I want.

I want to blog, write, read, and be me. I created this blog so that I could share my story with the world, that’s the purpose of it. If you’re looking for a fashion blogger or a blogger who writes about blogging, you’re not going to find it here.

Life get’s crazy sometimes, and I feel like this is a lesson I’ve learned over and over again, that I need to hold fast to my values. I don’t need to be anyone else. I’m Taylor, and that’s enough. Books are my favorite thing, talking about mental health is important to me, sharing my experiences helps me move forward. So, I may not be the most popular blogger, maybe I’ll never be Instagram famous, but even from the beginning, those things haven’t mattered to me.

Keeping it real.

I want to be real about my challenges, but also my victories. Talking about mental health helps me dig deep into the emotions that I’m feeling but don’t always want to acknowledge. Being real on my blog and in life is important to me. So, I guess all these jumbled thoughts from today come down to this, a promise to my readers.

I promise to write fairly consistently on my blog (at least once a week.) I promise to write about life, mental health, books, and all the things that I’m passionate about. And I promise to keep it real, and I hope you do the same.

June Goals: Following my Passion

As I sat listening to Gretchen Rubin‘s podcast the other day about planning your summer, I realized exactly what I wanted to do this summer. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was younger my dad once told me that I’d be an author someday, and I think that is when the dream truly began. So, for the month of June I will be focusing on my passion, writing.

June Goals: Writing (+ Reading)

  • Write 1000 words a day. Over the past few weeks I’ve been creating a storyboard on Pinterest, writing about characters, and building the world of my current work in progress. It’s actually a story that I wrote in high school, but it’s time to rework it! I am so excited for the changes I’ve made and I’m ready to write this novel. I want to write 1000 words every day for the month of June & July to have a solid size draft to begin editing in August. Wish me luck (and if you ever see me, please ask how this is going, I need to be held accountable!)
  • Read (at least) 50 pages a day. I LOVE books. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and the more you read, the better you write. So, I’m wanting to read at least 50 pages a day, if not more!
  • Daily blog post. Yup, you read that right! I’m going to write a blog post every day (M-F). Ever Tuesday you can head over to The Simple Writer for a post about social media and/or writing. Then on Monday’s, Wed-Friday you can watch for an update on this blog. I know it’s a HUGE commitment, but I’ve been struggling to write only once a week. The more I write, the easier it is, which is why writing posts for every day will be a good thing!
  • A poem a day. Have you ever read Milk and Honey? When I was a missionary I always had this little notebook with me where I wrote poems about my past experiences. Poetry is a powerful way for me to express my feelings about the past and the present. I’d like to create a collection of poems to tell my story. (In other words, I’m working on 2 projects this summer, and I am so happy about it.)

Mental Health Goals:

Writing and reading are my 2 main coping skills when I’m having a rough anxiety day, but there is more I can be doing to improve my mental health!

  • Plug phone in at 7:00 pm (and no social media on Sunday). I use my phone way too much (ummm I am a social media manager) but even when I’m not at work, I’m constantly on my phone. In order to reach some of my other goals, I’m going to have to put my phone down. Scrolling through Instagram is fun, but it does not help my anxiety. It will be nice to unplug in the evenings, and then on Sunday’s I want to be social media free. I did this when I was in high school and had a phone, why can’t I do it now? But I am very excited to unplug and focus on other things.
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal. I’ve been sooooo grumpy lately. Or maybe just always *shrugs* but no more! To break this habit of being a negative Nancy I want to be grateful! I recently started a weekly blog series, Thankful Thursday, to help get me started. Every night I will pull out my journal and write ONE thing that I’m grateful for that day. Writing more than that doesn’t seem to happen, so one it is!

Other (because IDK what category to put these 2 goals in):

  • Read the Book of Mormon Daily. I STRUGGLE to keep this habit. But I love being in God’s word every day. I have started listening to the scriptures on my way to and from work and it’s made a huge difference. How do you make time for the word of God? I need tips!
  • Make Dinner. Ugh. Dinner is the worst (well planning, prepping, and cooking actually are but..) when I make dinner it’s healthier and cheaper. I really just want to make this a habit. Griff does make dinner some nights, which helps a lot, but while we’re home this month, I’m hoping to make dinner every day. Wish me luck (and send me tasty recipes… I NEED NEW IDEAS.)

I am so excited for this summer and for the month of June. My main focus will be writing (my novel, poems, and blog posts) but why wouldn’t I spend my time doing the thing I love the most? This month will be challenging as I push myself to write and focus on what I love, but I know that it will be worth it! What are your goals this month?

Thankful Thursday: Holiday Weekend

I love Holiday’s! And Holiday weekends are the best, time spent with family, friends, and making memories. Since Monday was Memorial Day, I went with my mom and sister to the cemetery’s close by and then headed home. Griffin and I made homemade Ice cream (I’ll share the recipe at some point) and invited some friends over. It was a good time!

What I’m thankful for this week:

  • The holiday, obviously. Gotta love the long weekends!
  • Persephone sleeping 6-7 hours at a time!! This is huge! We’re finally getting more sleep.
  • Going on walks. Griff and I get to talk about our day and whatever is on our mind, plus we get exercise (and then the dog is sleepy!)
  • Podcasts. I started listening to a few new ones this week at work and on my commute. I LOVE IT! Do you listen to Podcasts, if so, which ones?
  • MH Twitter chats. I’ve joined in on a few mental health chats on twitter and I love the MH community. I gain so much from each of the chats and I get to connect with people.

Life Update:

  • We rearranged our furniture to open up our space. We know have a couch against the window, which makes it so Persephone doesn’t want to go outside every five minutes. The window has a ledge that Persephone now walks on and sits on. Basically, she’s a cat.
  • Griffin’s been sick, caught some sort of bug. I hope he gets better soon!
  • We had people over! Since we’ve been married we’ve had 2 get togethers (averages 1 per year I guess) we like people, but we also like it being just us. Granted, we have had 1 or 2 people over at a time more than this, but we’ve only had a larger number of people over twice.
  • I made a plan to blog every day in the month of June! (Well, Monday – Friday) All about books and mental health! I’m so excited to share these posts with you!

I think that’s it for this week. We’re enjoying the warmer weather and I love that it’s starting to feel like summer (even though I’m still just working full time!) What have you been up to this week?

 

Summer Feeling 

The smell of fresh cut lawns, meat on the grill, and the sound of family and friends talking and laughing fills me.

Summer.

The beginning of something new.

As an adult, summer is still exciting but we still have to work. It’s not long days of playing and reading and imagining (though I hope someday it will be like that for me again)

But summer is more than what you do with your day.

It’s a feeling.

Yesterday I got up early and walked the dog with griffin  I saw a hot air balloon and felt excited about what the summer will hold, about the traditions we have for this time of year.

I went with my mom and sister to see some family graves. To remember those who have gone before us and who have served our country ❤️


Later we had friends and family over for ice cream. And griffin and I got to spend most of the day together.

I love this time of year. I love going on trips. I love seeing family. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, and I am excited for it. Life is always changing, always moving, but summer always comes around and I love that.

 

Living With Anxiety & Why I Can’t Just “Suck it Up”

Recently at work, I overheard some coworkers talking. Now, I don’t know the full context of this conversation, but what one of them said something that really bothered me. “Everyone has stressors and anxiety, but we all have responsibilities, so you just have to suck it up when you’re feeling that way. Anxiety isn’t a reason to stay home all day and not work.”

Okay okay, hold up now.

Yes, we all have stressors and anxiety. That’s true, and to some extent, I do agree that when you’re just having a bad day you shouldn’t sit at home and do nothing.

But, anxiety is the real deal.

At least for me, it is. I don’t stay home when I’m stressed about moving or school or work or the million other things that could stress me out. But saying “anxiety isn’t a reason for someone to stay home” is wrong.

Nearly every morning I wake up and I wonder what the day will hold. Some days I start fighting my inner demons before the alarm clock even goes off, and some days the fight doesn’t begin until later. But I’m always on guard. I have my walls up and my coping skills ready, just in case.

With last week being mental health awareness week I wanted to write this post (even though I’m a week late.) PTSD and anxiety are a real part of my life. Which means that going to work EVERY DAY sometimes isn’t an option, even though I’d like it to be.

I want to suck it up.

I recently wrote a post about how hard self-care is for me. Taking time for myself has always been something that I struggle with. I am all about squaring your shoulders and working hard, but I am learning that I also need to take care of my mental state, and that means self-care, resting, and sometimes staying home.

I know that in the workplace mental health is a tricky subject. I am grateful for my employer who is understanding and willing to work with me since I work hard and do my job well. But I realized that even though some are understanding not all get it. And I guess that’s part of why I wanted to write this post. I want people to understand. I want to come to work and not stay at home. Sitting at home all day isn’t as fun as one might think. It’s not like I just want a day off every week or so, I hate missing work. But sometimes going into the office just isn’t possible. And that’s just my reality.

My anxiety keeps me home.

I don’t want to stay home, but sometimes that’s the only option. And to that coworker, I have to say that anxiety is one damn good reason to stay home. Otherwise, I’d be completely useless at work the rest of the time. But ya know, if you don’t get it, that’s okay. You do you and I’ll keep doing me.

Mental illness isn’t something that I understood until it impacted me on a very real and personal level.

Mental illness isn’t something that we should ignore. We need to talk about it. After this past week, I’ve realized more of the direction that I want to take this blog. There will be more posts about Mental Health in the future, and I cannot wait to share them with you. Also, I changed my major (again) back to Psychology, but more on that another day.

How does your mental health impact you in the workplace? I’m always interested in hearing your experiences, let me know in the comments!

I know that I’m not the only one who has a mental illness and works full time. These are some other stories that have stuck with me (from The Mighty):

What It’s Like Working with Anxiety and Paranoia
7 Things I wish I could tell my Customers and Co-workers About my Anxiety
The (Not-So) Silent Workplace Battle With Anxiety