Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer


April 2011

Everything in Moderation

If you’re anything like me, you vowed to begin your diet after Easter.  Just like there’s no logic in watching your weight before the holidays.  There’s a reason everyone starts in January.  We want to allow ourselves to indulge at certain times of the year.

In fact, this time as I start anew, I’m going to follow popular wisdom and not call it a diet.  The word has negative connotations and brings with it a notion of deprivation.  Case in point — the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the low-carb diet.  Feeling deprived easily leads to binging, which isn’t simply falling off the wagon, but hurling yourself off at top speed.  I have a friend, grateful to remain nameless I’m sure, who gave up sugar for Lent.  When I l heard from her Monday, she was halfway through a bag of chocolate eggs, surrounded by pastel-colored foil wrappers.  I once went on a “detox diet” that limited me to fruits and vegetables.  I lasted two days and on the third, ate an entire pan of brownies.

My mother likes to say, “All things in moderation.”  Maybe she has a point.  Sunday evening, I polished off an entire 12-pack of Peeps.  You know, those cute, little marshmallow treats covered in enough sugar to jumpstart your way to Diabetes.  Needless to say, I felt a little ill, yet seemed to have boundless energy.  Then hours later, I couldn’t pick myself up off the couch to let in the cat.  Even a single Peep defies the moderation principle.  It’s simply too sweet for some.

Just ask Frankie.  While he certainly doesn’t live by my mother’s rule, he does have particular tastes.  Having stolen a Peep from my Easter basket, he discarded it, soggy and uneaten, in the middle of my mom’s bed.  My friend, Mary, says the only thing worse than finding a wet Peep in your bed, is stepping in cat puke in the middle of the night.  Though, now that I think about it, maybe Frankie took issue with the texture, not the taste.  Or maybe it was both.

So, here’s to fresh starts.  And don’t forget you can give the forbidden treats away.  Take it from me: you don’t have to eat the whole package of Peeps to get them out of the house.

Downhill in a Bucket: Intro to Disabled Skiing

Skiing was one thing I was sure I would never do again.  I had loved to ski.  I loved being outdoors, away from the hot, flat terrain of Florida.  I loved the physical exercise, the cold wind in my face.  I loved the rush of adrenaline as I dared myself to go faster, steeper.  So when my friend Tracy called last year to see if I wanted to try adaptive skiing when I visited Colorado, my answer was an emphatic “no.”

Tracy (left) and I ski Winter Park before my hemorrhage.

Then, I reconsidered.  I’m usually game to try anything — once.   I agreed, as long as it was understood that I might hate it and want to quit after the first day.  We made plans to return to the same mountain we had always skied together in Winter Park, Colorado. Continue reading “Downhill in a Bucket: Intro to Disabled Skiing”

Ode to Late Bloomers

I was on the far side of thirty-five before I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I had stirrings and dreams, yes, but real commitment?  Not until recently.  And I’m forty-one.  That’s why I love stories about late bloomers.  Don’t tell me about child prodigies like Mozart, composing at the age of five.  I would rather forget that Zadie Smith published White Teeth to critical acclaim before she was twenty-six.  People like that don’t inspire me.  So they had clear callings.  Good for them.

Paul Ce'zanne
Apples and Oranges, 1890s

I’d rather know about the late bloomers.  Those that didn’t know what they wanted from life right away.  Maybe they went back to school for the first time in decades.  Or maybe they toiled away at their craft without much early success.  Like the French Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Ce’zanne.  Though he knew he wanted to be an artist and worked at being a painter at an early age, his work didn’t attract much attention till he was in his fifties. Continue reading “Ode to Late Bloomers”

Disability Has Its Perks

‘Disability has its perks!” I say.

What?” my father asks.  He can’t believe I just said that.

It’s kind of a running joke of mine.  Just like the statement that I finally found a way out of nine-to-five.  And it’s true.  And hey, if I can joke about it, shouldn’t everyone be able to?

But my father’s money, along with decent Social Security Disability Income payments, allows me to live alone at the beach.  In other words, he’s not laughing.

I’m grateful to be able to live where I choose.  But I’m also grateful to finally be living my dream.  And let’s face it.  If I hadn’t become disabled, I’d still be toiling away at some well-paying corporate job I hated and fantasizing about being a writer.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think I’d rather walk.  But that’s what I mean when I say disability has its perks.  There’s usually always a bright side.  Yours doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic.  Just look for it.

Sooner Than I Thought

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Amy and I’m currently working on a book, Misadventures of a Happy Heart: A Memoir of Life Beyond Disability. The working title really tells you a lot about this blog and its categories.  There’s On An Adventure (or misadventure as the case may be,) my perspective on life as a recently disabled person (From Down Here,) and my happy heart (or overall positive outlook.) Continue reading “Sooner Than I Thought”

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