Proper Grammar and Raw Nerves

I had this brilliant post formulated in my head for today, but I kept putting off writing it for no good reason whatsoever, and now I can not really remember exactly how it was going to go because I am just so tired, which is ironic (I think – unless it is not ironic but merely a coincidence – I am not really sure I know how to use the word ironic properly) because the post was going to be about how I am so tired.

I do not even mean physically tired, although I absolutely am that!  I am mentally tired; exhausted might even be the right word.  I am not even sure what to say.  Things have just been taking their toll on me.

The last time I attempted to go back to school, in 2002, I ended up in the deepest depression I have ever experienced.  I felt like I was under so much pressure and that there was so much for me to do with not enough time to get it all done.  When I started thinking about going back to school this time around I had very real concerns about whether this would happen again.  To be fair my depression was essentially undiagnosed at the time and I wasn’t under any sort of treatment for it.  These things are different now.

I went into this round of adult education with my eyes as wide open as I could make them and I have been very watchful and alert to the potential pit falls and road blocks I might encounter.  There have been many, sadly, and I’ve been very fastidious in my efforts at managing the situation, but recent weeks have brought many challenges.

My last post really stirred some things up inside me; more than I would have expected.  And now, on top of everything else, my emotions are — I was going to say that they are out of whack, but maybe they are in whack for the first time in a while, I don’t know.  I know it is new and that I am struggling to deal with it and I do not much like it.  I feel like one big raw nerve, not so much irritable, though I am irritated with some things, more so…

I said in my last post that I do not cry.  By and large, that is true, although I did well up a little when I reread the post after my awesomest and most loyal reader commented that, “Maybe you don’t cry… but I do, and I am.”  I feel like I could cry.  I feel like I should cry.  I feel like I need to cry and maybe if I did, I would feel so much better… But I do not and I do not know why.

There is a lot going on inside me that is taking its toll and there is a lot going on around me, things that are completely outside of my control, that are just rubbing my one big raw nerve all the more raw-er.

I’m not sleeping because…

Um, well…

Because I’m not going to bed, honestly.  I don’t have any problem sleeping once I go to bed, it is the getting to bed that is the problem.  So much to do and not enough time to do it all and almost like a child, I am afraid I will miss something if I go to bed.  Only instead of being afraid I’ll miss some experience or some fun activity, I am afraid I will not get “it” all done.  I’m afraid I’ll miss something.

And then I do go to bed, much later than I should have, and I sleep soundly, as far as I can tell, and when the alarm(s) go off in the morning, it is all I can do to drag myself out of bed and into the bathroom to get ready for work and then I am late for work (more so than we are all already accustomed too) and then I have to stay later and then I’m later getting home and the whole cycle starts again.  And so, yes, I am also physically exhausted.

Maybe the physical exhaustion is contributing to the mental exhaustion.  Maybe the mental exhaustion is contribibuting to the physical exhaustion.  Maybe it is the chicken and the egg scenario.

I know it is temporary. I know I will get through this, just like I always do.  I know that the class will end and I will have fewer stressors and things will get back to normal, such as normal was.

But Lord, I could use a nap!

I’m Still Here

To borrow a rather brilliant title from what is sure to be a rather horrendous mocumentary, “I’m Still Here.”  I know you’ve been missing me terribly!

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have struggled with clinical depression in my lifetime and as many of you probably know, anxiety, in one form or another is often the evil handmaiden of depression (as if Depression on its own isn’t evil enough.)  I have been no exception to that rule.  Pretty early into my relationship with Deb, my therapist (like, probably 5 minutes in) she “diagnosed” me with Social Phobia.

For some reason this frequently comes as a surprise to people, but I’m actually quite shy.  In person, anyway, I am very uncomfortable meeting new people, or putting myself in situations where I’m going to have to meet and interact with strangers, and even though intellectually, I know I shouldn’t worry about what people think of me there’s still that small, insecure, child-voice in the back of my head that remembers every tease and taunt and abuse I suffered at the hands of other, cruel, children as I was growing up and fears experiencing more of the same.

Deb also diagnosed me, to a much lesser degree, with generalized anxiety disorder.  It’s nothing major.  In fact, for the most part I think of it as buzzwords that loosely translate to “I don’t like the unknown!!!

Who does?

Honestly, I am most aware of anxiety in the car, as I drive to my therapy appointments.  I don’t know what I’m going to talk about (which is actually a better way to go in, even if it doesn’t feel like it) and therefore I don’t know what our 50 minutes holds and it makes me anxious.  I feel a sense of needing to “do it right” even though there supposedly is no right or wrong way to do it and I worry that I’ll get it wrong and that it will be bad.

I occasionally realize, especially when I’m deep in thought, that I’ve not taken a breath in a while.  Quite literally, I forget to breathe.  My mind mulls over the situation, sometimes a very stressful thing, and I start to feel cramps in my stomach, both a feeling nausea and the potential on-set of diarrhea, and only as I feel a sense of panic start to come over me do I realize, “oh hey! I haven’t inhaled recently.”  A couple of deliberate, deep breaths, and the cramping starts to subside, the nausea disappears and the need to rush to the toilet subsides.  And then I continue to mull over whatever I’m mulling and I forget to breathe again and the whole cycle repeats itself.

Now, let’s be fair.  I’ve learned a lot in my… five(?) years of therapy and the anxiety, both social and generalized, has lessened quite a bit (though, sadly, not been completely dispensed with.)  I know what the physical symptoms mean, and I know that, usually, a few deep breaths will go a long way to remedy them.  Sometimes that’s enough to do away with the anxiety and sometimes it’s just enough to make me aware that it’s happening and to try to manage it as best I can.  (By the way, I’ve had to remind myself to breath, no fewer than 12 times just as I’ve written this much of this post.  Almost a “chewing gum and walking” effect.  I can’t seem to breath and type at the same time, right now.  I realize I’m not breathing, I have to stop typing so I can focus my energy on taking a deep breath.  There’s a reason for this.)

Up until recently, I’ve felt like I had a much better handle on these feelings.

~~~~~~~

When I decided to take this EMT class, I knew I was signing up for a lot of work.  I knew it wouldn’t be a cake walk and that I’d have to put a lot of time and energy into it.  I had no idea how much time and energy it would require.  We have to cover three chapters of textbook a week and we have tests over each chapter each week.  THREE TESTS!!  These chapters are anywhere from 40 to 70 pages long and they’re filled with information that is important and needs to be retained and remembered.

My instructor goes out of his way to be an asshole and his general attitude and demeanor are very difficult for me to tolerate.  He’s not friendly, or kind, or supportive.  He’s determined to make the class as uncomfortable and unwelcoming as possible.  He’s doing it on purpose because the job is a high stress job and he thinks he’s preparing us for it by doing things this way, he has said so, more than once.  He might even be right and I understand that way of thinking.  But on the other hand, wouldn’t it be better to make the class as conducive to learning as possible so that we can know our stuff and then when we get out in the field we can focus solely on dealing with the stress, because we’ll have the knowledge down?

The class is very disorganized.  We have the tests first thing Monday night, usually and then if there’s time and he has his act together (which he frequently doesn’t) he’ll lecture, but there’s never time to do lecture on all three chapters that we’ll be testing over the following Monday night, so it really does depend on the reading.  Wednesday nights are supposed to be about Skills.  We break up into groups and he assigns each group to one of the volunteers from the last class who go over the skills with us, which is all well and good, except they’re not experts and as likely as not, they’re not getting it completely right anyway, and then when we demonstrate what we’ve learned for one of the two instructors we get called out for doing it wrong and made to feel stupid when in fact we demonstrated it exactly the way the volunteer had shown us, (for example, using a pediatric non-rebreathing mask on an adult sized mannequin – thanks for that, volunteer whose name I can’t remember!)

So every Monday we have three tests, one over each of three chapters that we’re supposed to read and learn and then we have not very good lecture over the materials in one (maybe two) of the next chapters.  Wednesday we go over skills and are constantly reminded that there’s going to come a time – though I’m not at all clear about when that is – when we will have to actually test over these skills and if we don’t get them right on the first or second try (except for airway at which we only get one shot) then he will kick us out of the class.

The purpose of this class is not to qualify me to get a job as an EMT if that’s what I decide I want to do.  The purpose of this class is to qualify me to take a National Registry exam to become licensed as an EMT.  As if the stress of this class weren’t enough, there is then additional stress about when and whether I’ll take and pass the written and demonstrative portions of the National Registry exam.

I’ve heard conflicting reports about what the pay for an EMT is.  Some reports have it as low as $16.00 an hour while others have it at $60K a year.  If I decided to pursue a job as an EMT that means a cut in pay, but how much of one is still up in the air.  And while I decided to take this class first and foremost because I wanted to know the information, the more time and energy I spend on it, the more I think it might be the direction I want to go and if I go through all this and then can’t make the career change, then what has been the point?  (I do recognize that this is not entirely rational thinking, but it’s still among the thoughts that are going through my head.)

I spend hours and hours and hours reading my textbook and highlighting information (I’ve completely drained three highlighters, which either means I’m highlighting too much (likely) or there’s a lot of important information that needs to be marked.)  I spend at least two hours a day at work, most days, reading or working in the work book.  I have hardly watched any television at all in the last three weeks and once I finish preparing food for the next day (or on the nights before a class, the next two days), cooked and eaten dinner, I spend a couple of hours at night reading and have been staying up way too late.

I read and read and read, and then when I’m finished with a chapter, I go through the review materials in the back of the chapter, I go over the sample questions on the last page (to which I have found no answer key, so I have no idea if my answers are correct or not.)

Then I break out the work book which does not get turned in, but is purely for my own study purposes.  I go through the materials in the work book, anywhere from three to twelve pages and then check my answers in the back.  I usually do pretty well on the mix and match, multiple choice and true and false sections, though not as well as I feel like I should be doing.  But the critical thinking sections are harder.  And the written answer questions are —  I don’t even know how to explain it.  I read the answers they give in the back and I realize it made sense and I remember all the information from when I was reading…  But I couldn’t formulate it into an answer on my own…  I don’t know what that means for my ability to make use of the information in the real world.

And then as if that weren’t enough, I download the three chapters of the book I’m working with to iTunes and then into my iPhone and I listen to them. ALL. THE. TIME.  I listen when I’m working.  I listen while I’m driving.  I listen while I’m grocery shopping.  I listen while I’m preparing food. AND I LISTEN IN MY SLEEP.  All in the hopes of retaining most of the pertinent information.  I never feel like I am.  I never feel like I know this stuff backwards and forwards and every Monday I walk into class worried that I am not going to pass the tests we have to take that day.

When I’m reading, I stress because I don’t feel like I’m getting it and I think about all the other things in my life that I’m not getting done and then I realize that my mind is wandering so I have to stop and go back to the last thing I remember reading and start over.  (By the way, I read out loud to help focus my attention on the text.  How can I read out loud, say the words, and not be thinking about them at all?  Doesn’t seem like that should be possible.  But apparently it is.)

When I’m not reading, like right now, I feel guilty, like I should be and that if I don’t get to it, I might not finish reading in time and it stresses me out.

I worry that I’m not reading enough.

I worry that I’m not learning what I’m reading.

I worry that I’m not going to pass the tests.

I worry that I’m not getting the practice I need to learn the skills.

I worry that I will learn the skills and still bomb the test, even if only out of stress and fear.

I worry that I’m not equipped to handle what’s coming when we get into the trauma portion of the materials (I don’t have a great track record with pictures of graphic things.  I don’t get sick or throw up, though that might be better.  But in my lifetime I have passed out as a result of looking at pictures or reenactments of serious injuries and I worry that this will be a problem now.)

I worry that I won’t make a good impression, or be able to handle myself, when I have to go on a ride-along later in the semester.

I worry that I won’t make it far enough in the class to have the opportunity to go on the ride-along.

I worry that I won’t be able to pass the National Registry Exam.

I worry that I won’t be able to make a good impression on a hiring manager when I start looking for a job.

I worry that I won’t be able to find something that I want to do with this new knowledge and skill.

I worry that I will get a job, only to find out that I can’t live on the salary, or that I can’t handle the working conditions or the hours or the stress.

I worry that I’ll get to the end of all this and realize that it’s not for me and feel like I’ve wasted my time and energy.

I worry about all of this, ALL of the time and I can’t shut my brain up and focus solely on what’s in front of me, the learning.

I’ve been crampy and nauseated and diarrhea-y for three weeks (you’re welcome.)  And as I was driving over to my therapy appointment on Tuesday and feeling all those things, plus the not at all unusual anxiety of “what am I going to talk about today?”, I suddenly reached the very rational realization that, “Hello!  I’ve been feeling so crappy and stressed out because I’ve been living at a heightened state of anxiety since the class began.”

So I asked Deb about Anti-Anxiety medication.  Deb is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (what that means exactly I don’t know) so she is knowledgable, but not expert about medication.  It also means she can not prescribe anything.  She told me what she knows, and helped me to eliminate some specific possibilities (I can not go on a benzodiazepine – Valium, Xanex – because they’re too “stoney” and I wouldn’t be able to function, or retain information while taking them.)  But there are some other possibilities and she suggested it might not be a bad idea to talk to my psychiatrist about it.  Honestly, I’m a little reluctant because after five and half years on antidepressants and feeling dependant on them (I’ve now been off them for about 22 months) I don’t want to rely upon more pills to regulate my life.  On the other hand, I’ve never been under this much pressure before and if it’s a temporary situation with a temporary solution, maybe I can work with that.

I contacted the Psychiatrist that I last saw at my healthcare provider and he informed me that because he hadn’t seen me in over 2 years, I had to start fresh with the intake process, which is funny because when it was all said and done, I still ended up with an appointment with him. BUT, the earliest appointment I could get is on Friday, September 17th.  What’s wrong with this picture?

I was actually going to end this post right there, because, I at least, think that’s funny, and I like to end my posts with a humorous note.  However it seems like a good idea to add a little bit of a reality check to this as well…

Up until now, we have taken our tests in groups.  Each week, we split up into our little work groups and we get one copy of the test and put all our names on one answer sheet and submit the one answer sheet with our “collectively arrived upon answers”.  Starting next week we will take our tests as individuals and it will be every man for himself.  (Don’t think I haven’t worried about that too.)  But here’s the reality:

1) I have not once, so far, been unable to finish the reading before Monday night’s class.  (I was going to add some “but”s and some qualifiers, but let’s just leave it at that.  Reading gets done in time.)

2) Somehow I became the default test-reader-out-louder-guy, possibly because I am able to speak clearly and rapidly and buzz through the test at a rapid pace, or possibly because I felt the need to take control and feel like we were doing everything we could to get through the test in the time allotted.  I usually read the question out and then select the answer I think is right.   I told my group-mates, “I’m going to just do this, if you think I’m answering wrong, speak up.”  They were all OK with that, and hardly, if ever, disagreed with my selection.  Either I actually do know the stuff when I need to, or they’re completely clueless and allowing me to lead them down the wrong path, except…

3) We finished our three tests last night (yes it was Wednesday but there was no class on Monday for the holiday) in record time.  We were completely finished more than half an hour before the other five groups.  I started to worry that maybe that meant something bad and just as I was verbalizing that to my group-mates the instructor asked, from across the room, “Are you guys done already?”  We confirmed that we had and he made some sort of comment designed to shake our nerve.  But then the Teaching Assistant spoke up and said, “No, they’re actually doing really well.”  He had already graded our three tests and knew our results.  I asked him, “We did well tonight, or we’re doing well over-all?” We haven’t gotten anything back, or any way of knowing our grades to date.  The TA glanced back at the computer screen and said, “Well, everybody did badly on Chapter 5” (chapter 5 was vitals, so, you know, that’s bad) “but over-all you guys are doing well.”

As of last night, we have an 88% in the class.  Naturally, an A would be preferable but I was a C average student in high school; I will not be complaining about an 88%!

I know all the real, rational facts about this situation.  I have a job that I’m not in danger of losing and that pays a decent salary.  If I fail (or get kicked out of) this class, I can take it again next semester (at a different school where this instructor isn’t teaching).  I’m probably not going to fail or get kicked out and I’ll do OK on the materials and testing and the certification.  I own the textbook so I can review whenever, however often and for however long I want and I can learn this stuff inside and out, at my own pace without all the pressure, once this class is over.  Time and experience and exposure will over-power any anxiety about the job and the injuries I might witness and eventually, it’ll become second nature to me, just like my job today became second nature to me.

It would be nice to think that having this rational knowledge would help to alleviate the anxiety, but you know what?  It doesn’t! Not one iota!

I sure do hope the psychiatrist can give me something to help!

Answers? Maybe.

Things I’ve learned in the last 48 hours:

  1. All but two of you people can not follow instructions (and one of those two kind of cheats.)
  2. More people feel similarly to how I feel than I realized.
  3. Those questions were deeper and more stirring than I imagined them to be.

I read my last two blog posts to my therapist yesterday.  Part of what prompted me writing them was thinking about how I feel about my life at this point and what may or may not be the point of continuing to go to therapy.  I felt like, at least in part, those posts answered some of the questions that I’ve been considering and that I imagine Deb might be considering, as well.

When I read her the questions her eyes got really big and she said, “Wow!  Those are some big questions.  Have you gotten any responses?”

“Yes,” I told her, “One person responded right before I left to come here.  Which is disappointing because at this point, I know the post has been read ten times.”

The truth is I thought, however naively, that those questions would be easy for people to answer.  I thought most of the people who read that post would be able to whip out a few sentences and explain the meaning of their lives to me.  I don’t honestly know if I thought everyone would have a wonderful, beautiful, meaningful story to tell that would confirm my suspicion that my life doesn’t mean anything, or if I thought everyone would have a story similar to mine that would help me find some sort of comfort in this meaningless, day to day grind.  Whatever I thought, I expected to have my comments section filled up with replies to my questions and my pleas for assistance.

The truth is Jody, my first respondent, nearly took the words out of my mouth.  Jody says:

“I get up because I have to. I get up because I am awake. I have nothing that makes me bound from my bed in happiness or joy or fear or desire. I get up because that is what we do.”

“You know these questions make me feel like I have nothing going for me.”

“Hell, I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like a waste of space. That I will be one of those people when gone no one misses.”

Terri’s answers leaned a little more in the other direction, relating that what gets her out of bed in the morning is a job she enjoys, with people she likes and feeling valued in her work.  I envy that for sure.

Terri cheated a little.  I specifically asked that you not answer with “my kids” and that’s what she did, but after reading her answer, I understand why:

“I don’t know yet. I really don’t know. The easy answer is my kids. My kids are the focus right now. Raise them. Help them be successful. Help them take flight and hopefully help them not to make the same mistakes I made. What scares the hell out of me is who I am and what is my purpose when they’re grown and on their own. I was barely old enough to start wondering about my purpose before they came along, so I had to put those thoughts off for the past 21 years. A couple more years and I’ll have to face that question for real.”

I’m surprised really that only two people responded to my little “interview” and even more surprised that I didn’t get even one uber-peppy, my-life-is-all-rainbows-and-butterflies-wonderful responses.

My answers, which I did not want to share in that post, are far more doom and gloom:

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Fear.  I get out of bed because I’m afraid not to.  I’m afraid to lose my job and not have a pay check.  I’m afraid to lose my income and not be able to pay my rent and my car payment and my bills and have my life be turned upside down to suck even more than it already does because I’m homeless and broke.  I don’t get out of bed because I can’t wait to get to work.  I don’t get out of bed because there are such great things and wonderful people waiting for me outside my front door that I can hardly wait to get going.  I get out of bed – late – because if I don’t, things are going to go from bad to worse.  And that’s a really sucky reason.

What do you believe is your purpose in life?  What is your reason for living?

I haven’t got the slightest inkling what my purpose is.  There really isn’t even anything more to say about that.  I have no idea what may be my reason for living.

What do you live for?  What keeps you going?

My answer is the same.  It isn’t for any kind of fulfillment or personal satisfaction.  I don’t have any of that.  I don’t get any satisfaction, whatsoever, from my job.  Aside from the paycheck every other week, which never seems to go far enough, my job gives me nothing.  I don’t like the people I work with; I don’t like the customers I serve; I don’t even like the field I’m in and yet, I have no inkling of what I could do instead that would provide any of that satisfaction.

I don’t have children, nor do I want them.  I really thought, though, that being a Big Brother would be something that would give me some of that sense of accomplishment or fulfillment; I thought it would give me some satisfaction.  It doesn’t.  I like Lil’B a lot and for the most part we have fun when we hang out, but if something happened and I couldn’t be his Big Brother any more, I really wouldn’t be bothered by it.  In fact, it would be a bit of a relief.

So while it does seem to be somewhat of a cop-out answer, what keeps me going is the fact that I am alive.  I do wake up every morning, like it or not, and therefore, I have to keep going… like it or not.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this except to say that clearly I’m not the only person in my world who struggles with these questions.  I suppose that’s comforting in a way, although, knowing how very much it sucks, I do feel badly for the other people in the same boat.

While the questions were intended to be for my edification, I can’t help feeling badly for asking them now that I realize how tough they are.  I hope no one was harmed by reading those questions and being forced to consider them.  I don’t know why I didn’t realize how tough they would be.

I don’t really know where to go from here.  I am reaching for a conclusion, both for my state of mind, and for this post.  It seems, however, like the truth is there is no conclusion… yet.

Interview

The song says, “Gotta put it all behind you, ‘cause life goes on.”  My response was, “’Life goes on?’  What life?  I struggle a lot with this one and it’s actually prompted what will probably be tomorrow’s post if I can get it together in time,” and then I mulled it over for a while.  Obviously, it wasn’t “tomorrow’s” post, but it is next so close enough.  I decided to conduct a little interview with you, the reader.  There were a few questions I wanted to ask in an effort to gain a better understanding, to try and change my own perspective about this thought, “Life goes on.”

Five specific questions came to mind.  What gets you out of bed in the morning?  What do you believe is your purpose in life?  What is your reason for living?  What do you live for?  What keeps you going?  I wanted to ask these questions of my readers, but I wanted to ask them without having to answer them myself.  So I mulled some more.

I realized that if I posted this list of questions without delving into it myself, people would make some assumptions about what’s behind the questions.  People would, perhaps not so much answer the questions as try to offer me encouragement, or solutions, or hope against whatever they presumed my motivation for asking might have been.  But here’s the thing.  I’m not sure I know the answers to the questions for myself and that’s the reason I’m asking.

Yes, I want to compare myself to your answers, but I don’t want to compare myself to your answers.  That sentence, of course, makes no sense to anyone but me.  See, a very stereotypical depressive behavior is comparing oneself:  Oh, he’s better looking than I am.  She makes more money than I do.  I wish my hair looked like his. And all that does is lead to a more and more harmful image of oneself and reinforce the negativity in their already troubled mind.  That is not what I’m trying to do here.

I thought about these questions and what my own answers might be and perhaps I’ll share them later.  I don’t want to share them now, because I don’t want my answers to influence yours and I don’t want to reinforce your potential need to “encourage” me.  That’s not what I’m looking for here.

The truth is I’ve been feeling a little better in some respects the last few days and I realized, sometime last night or this morning, what I believe is the reason why.  It is difficult to explain.  See, depression, among many other ugly little problems, is the lack of hope – wait… No it’s not.  Depression is a sense of hopelessness… It doesn’t seem like there is much of a difference, but there must be…  I’ve lived most of my life with a sense of hopelessness, and yet, I always had hope.  I always hoped for more, for something better.  I always believed that things had to get better.  The thing is that all that hope and all that believing there is something better, has just let me down over and over again.  And now, I don’t really have any hope for things to get better.  I don’t really believe that it will get any better than this and I don’t really feel hopeless exactly.

What I realized last night or this morning is that I’ve stopped “planning” and, I suppose on some level, started “accepting”.  I’ve stopped thinking about what life is going to be like “when such and such happens”.  I suppose in a way that kind of planning is the same as comparing; comparing my life now, to this vision of what my life could be if… It seems like that is a good thing, and yet, without planning, I’m not sure what I’m aiming for.

Anyway, I decided to ask these questions of you because I wanted to get another perspective, to get out of my own head a little, and maybe get a better glimpse at reality.

And I’ll admit that there is another, ulterior motive that plays a small part, a very small part.  There are still a lot more people reading this blog than ever actually comment on it.  And that’s fine.  I don’t comment on every single blog post I read.  Sometimes I think I should, but I don’t always have anything to say, or feel like I have anything to say that really adds value to what I’ve just read.

But I’m asking, if you’re reading this post, if you’ve gotten this far, please answer the questions, even if you never have and never will again comment on my blog.  If you don’t feel comfortable answering the questions in a comment, then please, send them to me in an e-mail to Riggledo at gmail dot com.  I promise to keep it confidential.

So the questions are:

What gets you out of bed in the morning?  (Not your alarm, but your motivation.)

What do you believe is your purpose in life?  What is your reason for living?

What do you live for?  What keeps you going?

I know that many of you would answer “My kids” to at least one of those questions and I’m not suggesting that kids aren’t a valid answer, but kids are secondary.  Kids come later in life, by choice (usually) and, well…  “Kids” is just too easy an answer.  I’m asking you to dig deeper than that.  I want to know what it is about your life that makes life worthwhile for you, not for someone else.

I also know that these questions kind of point to each other so don’t feel like you have to give me a hundred word essay under each of those questions (though you’re welcome to), just tell me your story.  Tell me what makes your life worth living each and every day.  I hope you’ll all do my little interview.  I’m looking forward to your answers…

Please?  I’ll be your best friend… 😉