Four-Question Interview: Writer-Mom-Diabetic

September 10, 2007 at 9:05 pm Leave a comment

I was lucky to “cyber-meet” writer mama Amy Mercer when we participated together in an online writing class taught by the “official” Writer Mama, Christina Katz. (That class, and Christina, were the impetus for me launching this blog, by the way!). The Writers on the Rise class was on platform-building for writers, and many of us were struggling to define our platform (mission statement, focus), questioning, kvetching, trying on this and that.

Amy was one of the only class participants who had her platform down from day one, and just needed a nudge in launching it. Amy’s platform is about being a woman with diabetes, and helping other women with diabetes, especially younger ones who are living through what she already has.

I instantly became sucked into Amy’s platform — her blog, articles, and books-to-be — because I know well that health is the absolute, fundamental foundation of “having enough.” Without our health, everything looks different, every challenge is harder. And Amy has faced this reality every day for most of her life, with dire consequences if she doesn’t. She did this as a teenager. And now as a 36-year-old woman with kids. And a writing career. She has a lot to share with us.

Here are Amy’s answer’s to my “four questions”:

1) What does “having enough” mean to you?

Having enough. Hmmmmm….I don’t know if I’ve ever believed I had enough. I am definitely a grass is always greener kind of girl and I struggle with that straight jacket on an almost daily basis.

As a woman who quit her well paying job when my first child was born, and haven’t gone back yet, my husband and I have been living on a fixed income for what feels like forever. I want to be the kind of person for who living within my means is a lifestyle choice, the kind of person who recycles her children’s clothing, who lives in a small house, drives an old car and cooks dinner every night because it’s better for the environment not because I can’t afford to go shopping, buy a bigger house or go out to dinner more often.

I even want to be the kind of person who writes just because I love to write, the kind of person who doesn’t care about being published, but that’s just not me. I think the only thing I’m sure I have enough of, is my two boys!

2) What do you think about the concept of “having it all” in our culture?

On that note, I do cringe at the idea of having it all. I believe we are a wasteful culture and I alternate between being green with envy and feeling nauseous when I see the giant homes, giant SUV’s, giant bodies eating giant portions (not envious here) around me.

I grew up in New England and come from a family that believes, “Everything in moderation” is the way to go. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 14 years old so having it all, as far as food was concerned, was never an option for me. So it’s probably my Protestant/Diabetic upbringing that is very anti-having it all.

3) How do you define success?

To me, the definition of success is a mixed bag. I know I feel best on the days when I have woken up well rested with a good blood sugar reading, had a great morning run, got my kids off to school without too much trouble and can come home to write.

I feel successful when I am on a roll writing, when something I write gets published, when someone likes the story idea I want to tell. I felt successful the other day when I apologized to my son for being grouchy and he said, “that’s okay mom, you’re a famous writer!” (my name was in the paper that day for a book signing!) I’ll feel successful when a book publisher agrees to publish my anthology, Dreaming About Water, a collection of personal essays and practical advice by and for women living with diabetes.

4) Can you describe a defining moment in your life when you had to choose between “having enough” or pushing for more? (And how did it turn out for you?)

The moment that stands out for me is when I quit my job. I knew I couldn’t go back to work and leave my new baby with a nanny or a day care provider. I didn’t care what kind of sacrifices we had to make, I was ready to sell our house and move into something more affordable so I could stay home with Will. There was just no way I was going to do anything but.

I am an introvert by nature, I am not someone who is comfortable asking for what I want but this time I knew I had to. I stood up for myself and refused to back down from that decision and I have never regretted it.

Readers, how does health factor into your vision of “having enough”? Do you take your health for granted? How do you deal with health challenges?


Entry filed under: Career, Having It All, Health, Interviews, Parenting, Success/Failure.

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You are visiting "Having Enough (In a Have-It-All World)"...

Blog Mission

To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

Blog Author

Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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