NIAW: My Story

This is National Infertility Awareness Week and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my story.

When my husband and I got married, I was about to turn 36; we knew we wanted to have kids and couldn’t waste any time. 5 months of trying passed and I thought I should see a specialist, just as a preventative measure. I found a Reproductive Endocrinologist and made an appointment; she recommended I do a full workup just to see where things stood. But then we got lucky: just one week after that initial consultation, I got pregnant naturally. When I gave birth to my daughter, I was just a couple of months shy of 37 years old. Maybe I was naïve but I didn’t feel like it was older than the norm. I guess because we live in NYC, where a lot of people don’t get married and have kids until they’re older.

We always knew we wanted to have more than one kid and had decided that 2 years was our ideal age gap. When we realized that meant getting pregnant when our daughter was just 15 months old, I started to panic. We were just getting past the terror and mind-numbing exhaustion stage of new parenthood and settling into our life as a family of three. So we put it off for a couple of months and started trying shortly before she turned 2. Well, months passed. And even more months passed. And then…yup, more months passed. I was starting to get worried. My husband, ever the optimist, was not. Still, I decided the time had come to go back the fertility specialist I had seen before I got pregnant the first time. In my mind, I foolishly believed the same scenario would happen: I would see the doctor and then that would somehow spur the universe into knocking me up naturally. (Yes, I am aware that’s not how babies are made; I’m familiar enough with the “birds and the bees” to know a woman doesn’t get pregnant from the universe simply bestowing a baby upon her.) Guess what? Didn’t happen.

The doctor recommended we do an IUI. So we did. Big Fat Negative.

At this point, I constantly ran the numbers in my head: if we got pregnant now, our daughter would be 2.5 years old when the new baby came. If we got pregnant now, our daughter would be 3 years old when the new baby came. Ok, ok, if we got pregnant now, our daughter would be 4 years old when the new baby came. It just never stopped…the age differences whirled around in my brain like a tornado. Why was I so focused on it? To this day, I still don’t know. I had a certain number in mind and I couldn’t seem to let go of what I thought was the “perfect” age gap and the further we got from that number, the more depressed and panicked I became.

And then, we moved from NYC to Florida. And guess what Florida doesn’t have? Mandated infertility coverage. It was then that we learned the true price of Infertility – beyond the emotional toll. Because what we discovered is that it is really friggin’ expensive to try to have a baby when your body won’t cooperate. We did one IUI out-of-pocket and were surprised and delighted to get that Big Fat Positive pregnancy test. “Yes!” we thought. We dodged the infertility bankruptcy bullet. Sure, IUI wasn’t cheap but hey, it’s a lot cheaper than IVF. And we didn’t have to do any more. We were pregnant! That is, until the 7 week ultrasound in which we discovered that I had miscarried. I was devastated. I kicked myself for being so smug, for getting ahead of myself, for believing that it could somehow be so easy (and this is the kind of mental game that infertility plays – that one can actually believe that almost 3 years of trying and 1 IUI is “getting off easy”) .

The worst part was how alone I felt through all this. I felt sad and angry but I also felt guilty. Shouldn’t I just be happy with what I had? I had an amazing daughter who was the best thing that ever happened to me. Wasn’t I being greedy for wanting more? There were so many people out there who were struggling to have their first, what was I complaining about? Even my mother, who has been incredibly supportive and loves her granddaughter beyond measure, told me she didn’t understand why I would go through fertility treatments to have another. She said I should be happy with what I’ve got. So, of course, I thought that not only was there something wrong with my body because I couldn’t have another baby but now I figured there was something wrong with my personality because I couldn’t be satisfied with my one awesome kid. When I went on infertility forums, I felt alone and as if I had no right to be there because not only did I already have one child but really, wasn’t it my own fault that I couldn’t have another? Didn’t I realize that waiting so long to have kids would be a problem? How stupid and selfish could I be? I felt very much alone.

So, we took some time off. I had to heal both physically and emotionally. Well, the physical healing was a lot easier than the emotional healing. It took me a long time before I felt ready to try again. We went to a new RE and even though I was ready to move on to IVF by this point, our budget was not. We did another IUI and I was not the least bit surprised when it didn’t work.

I was about to turn 40. Our daughter had begun to ask for a little sister on an almost daily basis. I didn’t know what to do. All I knew was that there was no way we could afford IVF if we had to pay for everything ourselves but I also knew that at 40, doing another IUI was probably a waste of time and money. So we waited for an answer to reveal itself. Perhaps the answer was that we needed to come to terms that we would never have another. I was almost starting to accept this. And then we moved back to NYC.

This is when the story changes. Because when insurance picks up the tab for a large majority of treatment, all of a sudden your options open up. And there is something incredibly freeing about finally having options. We found an RE that I will praise until the day I die. He is probably the best doctor I ever worked with and he never once gave me the “your eggs are too old and you are probably a lost cause” talk. He was realistic yet optimistic. Simply put, I credit him with changing our lives.

We did two retrievals and got 6 embryos which we then had PGS tested. Only one came back normal. I have to admit that when I thought about the statistics and odds, I was feeling pretty hopeless. We did the transfer of our one lonely normal embryo right after I turned 41 and I knew there was no way it would work.

It worked.

I am now 2 weeks away from having a baby…my daughter is beyond excited and can’t wait to be a big sister. But infertility has taken a toll. The shame, the stigma, the secrecy. I will never forget all that I went through to have this baby. I will never forget how alone I felt and how hopeless it all seemed at times. So, I’m writing this post for National Infertility Awareness Week because someday maybe somebody will stumble across my blog and feel just a little less alone.


A Letter To My Daughter

In just over 3 weeks, you will go from being my only to my oldest. You’re excited but I worry you have no idea what you’re in for. Still, I know you can’t wait to be a big sister, especially since you’ve been begging us for a little sister for almost as long as you could speak.

Maddie, here’s what I want you to know: no matter what changes happen in our lives and no matter how big our family becomes, you are the one that will forever have made me a mother. You are the one that taught me I actually can believe in unconditional love. You are the one that made me believe that I’m capable of loving in a way I never dreamed possible. You are the one.

When you were born, I didn’t know how I would feel. I didn’t know if I would bond with you right away. I didn’t know if I had it in me to be a mother. Frankly, I didn’t know anything about love. And then you were born. And I looked at you. And I knew you. Somehow, I just knew you. I know that doesn’t make any sense and probably won’t make any sense until you have children of your own. But I looked into your eyes and it was as if, all of a sudden, I was given a crash course in how to love somebody with all my heart.

For the last 5 years, you’ve been the center of our world. We’ve taken more pictures of you than we know what to do with. In fact, we’ve taken so many pictures of you that you’ve turned into quite the ham – you see the camera pointed at you and you immediately strike a pose and smile. Now the camera won’t always be pointed at you; many times it will be pointed at your little sister instead. And I worry about how this will make you feel. Really, all I’ve been doing lately is worrying about how all of this will affect you. Because you? You are my heart. Truly.

Everybody says that when you have another child, somehow your capacity for love grows. That even though you wonder how you can possibly love another the way you love the child you already have, it somehow just happens. I hope this is true. I have no reason not to believe it especially since every single person who has ever had more than one child has said it. So, I have to believe it although it’s hard for me to imagine right now.

Yes, you’ve spent your first 5 years as an only child. But now you’ll get to be a part of something even better: you’ll get to be a team with someone else. You’ll be able to band against your boring, annoying, sometimes infuriating parents with someone by your side. You’ll get what I always wanted – a sister. I hope you two grow up to be friends and lean on each other during the hard times. I hope you’ll gossip together, support each other and no matter what, love each other. Because no matter how many times you may fight or get jealous of one another or compete for the attention of your parents, a sister is an enviable and wonderful thing to have.

So, my dear Maddie…as we get ever closer to that day in May in which you’ll become a Big Sister, I need you to know that while you may no longer be my Only, you will always be my First. You will always have a special place in my heart. You will always be my heart.

I love you madly.

“Will You Play With Me?”

Peanut turned 3 in May and for some reason, the moniker “Peanut” doesn’t seem to fit her anymore; I’m not sure why. So, for now I’ll just call her ‘M’. Bossy, demanding, moody M. To say three has been difficult so far would be an understatement. In fact, after talking to other parents, I’m pretty sure the “terrible twos” is a complete lie while the “atrocious threes” is vastly underestimated. Living with a three-year-old is like walking on eggshells at all times. We never know what’s going to set her off or why. We have to carefully watch our words and be ready to act on a second’s notice. What doesn’t faze her one second will throw her into a tailspin the next. The tantrums are out of control and occur on a daily -sometimes even hourly- basis and just when you think everything is fine, the most ridiculous thing will make her start crying uncontrollably. The opposite is also true, though: sometimes when things seem hopelessly awful, she’ll turn it around and be the funniest, goofiest, most loving kid ever. It’s like living with somebody with a split personality.

The biggest problem for me though is…well, me. This is really hard for me to admit but I don’t know how to play with my child. No, that’s not true. I often don’t want to play with my child. I don’t want to play with the dollhouse or the hedgehogs or the fabric sandwiches or the little people farm animals. I don’t want to pretend I’m a baby or a monster or a dog. I don’t want to have to build a lego tower or erect the Marbulous set (only to put in marble after marble and watch it slide down and then do it all over again) or pretend I’m in a swimming pool on our hardwood floor. You know what I do want? I want to read a book again. I want to go to the bathroom by myself again. I want to be able to go into another room without my daughter having a fit. I want to not feel dread at the words, “Mommy, will you play with me?” Most of all, I want to stop feeling like a horrible parent.

I thought that by the time M turned 3, she would be doing more independent play. She goes to a Montessori school -which puts a big emphasis on fostering independence- and they often tell me how independent she is, how she does everything by herself. Then I always wonder to myself, “who is this kid they’re talking about and what happens to her the second I pick her up from school?” Because my kid? My kid is not independent. My kid is wholly dependent on me for entertainment and company. My kid screams for me the second I dare leave her in the living room to go to the kitchen and start her dinner. When we go to the playground, instead of taking off and running towards the fun stuff like all the other kids seem to do, my kid takes my hand the second we get there and says, “what do you want to do?” as if we’re at the playground for my enjoyment and not hers. My kid doesn’t let me just be Mommy and instead insists that I “be a baby” or “be a monster…but a nice monster, not a mean monster” or “pretend you’re Gaga (her grandmother)” all. the. time. 

I want to enjoy it all. Really, I do. I have read countless articles and blog posts lately about how we need to put down our electronic devices, stop diverting our attention and just enjoy the moment because it all goes by so fast and before you know it, the kids are grown and they won’t want you anymore. I know this is true and yet it doesn’t offer any comfort. It doesn’t make me want to play dress-up princesses or never have a minute to myself. All it does is make me feel guilty. What is wrong with me as a mother? Am I missing that nurturing gene? I lose my patience and my temper far too often and then I feel even worse. I confess that M now watches more TV than I’m comfortable with because it’s the only way I can get a minute to myself.

Is this a phase? This non-stop clinginess? Or is this just her personality? She’s definitely an introvert, which has its own challenges, and she is extremely cautious but these aren’t necessarily bad traits. For some reason though, I find it exasperating many times. I want her to experience things, even scary things. I want her to take risks and get all the rewards that come along with those risks. I want her to be happy.

The guilt, though. The guilt is never-ending. Why can other mothers spend days on end with their kids, creating crafts and new games to play, while I feel like I don’t even know how to pass an hour? Why do I so desperately want another child when I can’t even seem to handle the one that I’ve got? And why am I such a failure that I can’t give her the one thing I know she wants most of all: a baby brother or sister? (She talks about it constantly. Always giving us updates on schoolmates that have siblings; telling us the stuffed frog is her brother and the doll is her sister; asking if she can be a big sister.) At least if she had a sibling, she would have somebody else to play with and wouldn’t have to rely on me and my husband to be her playmates.

I love her. I love her more than I thought it was possible to love anybody. I want to be the Mother she deserves.  I want to be able to look into her beautiful eyes when she asks, “Mommy, will you play with me?” and tell her that there’s nothing I would like more and mean it.



The last year has been a tough one. We lost a dog and a cat, whom we loved very much, only a few weeks apart; shortly after that, I gave up my job (and what felt like most of my identity) and we packed up our lives and moved from NYC to Orlando. The transition was difficult -to say the least- and honestly, I only started to feel like I was getting my footing back a couple of months ago. On January 1st, I eagerly said good riddance to 2012 and thought 2013 would bring us much better luck.

In January, after trying to have another baby for about 1 1/2 years, we decided to seek out fertility treatment. We would have done it earlier but after finding out that our insurance doesn’t have any fertility coverage at all, we just couldn’t swing it. Finally, we decided that time was of the essence so we sucked it up and paid out-of-pocket for treatment. I did a lot of research on fertility doctors in the area and we settled on one who has a really good reputation. Although he said that IVF would give us our best shot at conceiving, especially given my age, we just couldn’t afford the $15,000 price tag so we decided to give IUI another try.

I wasn’t feeling particularly hopeful so imagine my surprise when it worked! Two weeks after the procedure, I took a home pregnancy test and couldn’t believe when I saw the word ‘pregnant’ on the stick. I was really happy but frankly, I was also relieved that we wouldn’t have to go broke trying to get pregnant.

My husband was so excited and while I tried to share his excitement, I couldn’t let myself. Maybe it was all the statistics I read about women my age and the increased likelihood of miscarriage. Maybe it was because I tend to be a bit of pessimist anyway. Maybe I didn’t want to jinx anything. Maybe I just had a gut feeling. Maybe it was all of those things, but I didn’t want to talk about the pregnancy at all and I certainly didn’t want to read the emails my husband now got on a daily basis telling him that the embryo was now the size of a lima bean and was in the process of growing kidneys. And the more time that passed and I didn’t feel anything, I got more worried. When the mild nausea I had in the beginning began to subside to nothing, my anxiety grew. I bought a box of home pregnancy tests and would take one every 3 days, relieved when I saw the positive sign yet still having a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right.

The day of our first ultrasound, when I was 7 weeks along, I was nervous all day. My husband almost convinced me that it would all be good with his infectious enthusiasm and positivity. Almost. The doctor entered the room and asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was nervous and all I wanted to see was a heartbeat; I think I let myself hope for a second that everything was going to be fine. Still, I wasn’t surprised when he told me that the embryo stopped growing at about 5 weeks and I would soon miscarry. He then said a few more things I have trouble remembering, asked me if we had any questions and left the room. All of this happened and I still didn’t have any pants on.

I think I felt numb and sad beyond belief. For some reason, I thought that because I had prepared myself for this that it wouldn’t hurt. Of course, I expected to be disappointed but I didn’t expect to feel such a deep sense of loss. I was growing a life inside of me that was no longer growing. We were going to be a family of 4 and we could already picture our daughter as a big sister. Whether I let myself be excited about it or not didn’t change the fact that I wanted this so badly and there were times I actually believed it was going to happen.

I was left with about a million questions but most of them I only came up with once the shock wore off and I had some time to let it sink in. By that time, the doctor was long gone – off to see somebody else who I imagine he was relieved to give good news to. I’m angry about a lot of things right now but most of all, I’m angry at the fact that the doctor didn’t let me put my damn clothes back on, sit with my husband for a few minutes while we absorbed the news and then invite us into his office to talk and ask questions. I realize that fertility treatments are big business now but I expected more than a quick brush-off.

So, it’s been 5 days now and I’m still trying to figure out how to process the loss. Here’s a little TMI alert (sorry): as I sit here writing this, I think I’m going through the miscarriage right now and I have pretty much never felt so alone. And the future feels so uncertain; do we keep trying? How much do we want to spend on the dream of having another baby? Do we go into debt doing more fertility treatments? Should we just count our blessings that we have a healthy and amazing daughter? Did we get greedy wanting more? I know some people feel that we were given a gift once and maybe leave well enough alone. I’m not sure how to respond to that. Yes, I love my daughter more than anything and feel thankful for her every day but does that mean I’m not allowed to want more? If it doesn’t happen naturally, is that supposed to be a sign from somewhere that we’re not supposed to have another?

I wish I had answers but right now all I have is grief.

Starting Something New

After pushing aside my apprehension and anxiety, I finally decided to pursue something I’ve been interested in forever…I’m starting real estate school on Monday! I LOVE real estate; every time there’s an open house somewhere, I want to go. Not just because I’m nosy (though I am) but because there is something about a home that really intrigues me. I think it’s interesting to see what appeals to different people and what can be done to a space that makes it not just a house (or apartment) but a home. Whenever my husband and I are in a different area, I always want to drive around and look at neighborhoods, check out the real estate and try to gauge the market. I pick up the real estate section of the newspaper wherever we go and I’m always checking out listings online.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, actually. A few years ago, while we were still in NYC, I took one real estate class but couldn’t continue because my work schedule made it impossible. Though if I’m being honest with myself, I think I was just scared. The market had  just hit rock bottom and all I kept hearing was that one would have to be crazy to go into real estate at that time. I couldn’t picture voluntarily leaving my comfortable, well-paying job for the gamble that was real estate. So I dropped it and pretended it didn’t exist.

When I was trying to figure out what to do here, my husband brought up the idea of trying again. I sort of considered it but pushed it aside; the idea made me nervous. What if I tried it but failed? What if I took something that is a passion for me and turned it into a terrible experience? What if I’m just not cut out for it?

It’s time to forget about my fears and at least give it the fair shot it deserves. I thought about not telling anybody because that way if I failed, nobody had to know but my husband but that seems like a cop-out. So, hopefully the class goes well!

On Trying Again

Sometimes I wonder how much I want to share with the world. I like to write and this blog has been a great way for me to express my feelings and experiences with those who care enough to read it but I have to admit that I struggle with how honest I want to get. I guess I always felt like there was some stuff that should stay private and while I still believe that to be true, I realized how much I appreciate it when other bloggers write about their lives in an open and unfiltered way.

So. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year now. Yeah, that’s a little tough for me to put out there though I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the stigma of infertility or the fear that writing it down somehow makes it more real or even the concern that people will judge me for wanting to have another baby when it seems as if all I do is complain about how hard parenthood is. Still, I feel like it’s time to share this particular part of my life with you.

My husband and I had agreed a while ago that for us, the ideal spacing between kids was 2 years. Not too close together to be completely overwhelming but not too far apart so the kids wouldn’t form a tight bond. I know everybody has different opinions on what the best age gap is but we both felt that 2 years would be perfect. In order for that to happen, I would had to have gotten pregnant when Peanut was 15 months old. Well, here we are – our daughter is now 26 months old and not only am I not pregnant but I’m wondering whether I ever will be again.

They call this secondary infertility, I think. I’ve tried not to over-Google it or anything but I believe that’s the phrase I came upon a few times when referring to somebody who can’t get pregnant after successfully conceiving the first child. (Or something like that. Hey, I’m no doctor, you know.) The funny thing is that I was always nervous I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant at all. From the time I was pretty young -a teenager, I think- I had a feeling there would be struggles with fertility. I was diagnosed with PCOS about 15 years ago, had really irregular cycles and just had a sense that it wouldn’t be easy. I would read blog after blog of women and couples dealing with infertility and for some reason, I could always relate. Even though I had never been through it myself, I just felt a kinship with those women.

When my husband and I got married, we decided we’d start trying immediately because we’re not exactly young. I was 36 at the time and he was…let’s just say he was older than that. (If he wants to tell his age, that’s up to him. Old people get pretty sensitive about that sort of thing.) At around the 5 month mark, I actually did consult with a fertility specialist because at that age, it’s recommended you do it sooner rather than later. I left the consultation and figured I’d talk it over with my husband and we’d decide what treatments we would want to pursue. Luckily, we never had to because I got pregnant just one week later without any treatment at all.

My husband tried to use this as proof that all of my fears were unfounded. See? He’d say. You worried for nothing. But even then I don’t think I ever let go of my fears. I thought to myself: well, this all happened too easily. Surely something will go wrong down the road. And so, here we are. I’m turning 39 (!) in less than a month and we can’t get pregnant. We’ve done one round of IUI which didn’t work. We probably would’ve done more except for the fact that I found out the IUI was unsuccessful 3 days after we moved to Florida. Welcome to Florida! You’re not pregnant!

This morning I called my husband’s insurance carrier to find out what our infertility coverage is. Before I tell you about that, let me just say that my benefits with the job I just left in NYC were awesome. Like, seriously awesome. Besides the amazing 401(k) with the 150% company match and the various discounts to certain retailers (which I actually never took advantage of but I liked to know they existed) and the classes the company offered and the adoption benefits (again, never used but nice to know they were there), the health insurance was great. We had $25,000 worth of lifetime infertility coverage. IUI, IVF, the whole gamut. Covered. Obviously, there were deductibles and co-pays but it was still great.

Here’s something I learned only over the last month: did you know that in some states, insurance companies are required by law to provide coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment and others have no such obligation? I didn’t but I certainly do now. New York is one of those great states that requires infertility coverage. Guess where Florida stands? Yup, Florida has no regulations concerning infertility coverage. So what I learned today is that the health insurance we have now with my husband’s new job will not cover anything they call “advanced reproductive technology.” Which basically means that unless your problem is easily treated with a pill, you’re shit outta luck. No IUI, no IVF, no nothin’.

I’m kind of angry, kind of sad and mostly just confused. What do we do? Do we just stop and consider ourselves lucky that we’ve got one amazing daughter who fills our lives with joy? How far do we want to go? I’ve never wanted to have an only child and neither has my husband (in fact, we both always wanted to have 3 kids though I think at our age, we realized that’s probably not very likely). Peanut has started asking about brothers and sisters and often points to pictures of families in books and says, “Mommy, Daddy, Peanut, Sister, Brother.” I don’t know if she has any concept of what a sister or a brother really is but I do think she’d be the best big sister ever. To make matters worse, it seems as if every couple with a child our daughter’s age has already had or is pregnant with their second child. It’s hard not to compare myself with other people and find myself constantly coming up short.

I often wonder if I brought this about myself. Did all my years of thinking I would have trouble having kids lead us to this? Did all my reading and relating to infertility blogs somehow take me in this direction? I know that sounds ridiculous but I guess that’s the thing about infertility – it finds a way to insert doubt into everything.

At some point, I’ll write about all my fears of not having another kid and I’ll also write about all my fears of having another kid. (Oy, it’s just never easy, is it?) For now, I just wanted to put this out there before I lost my nerve.



What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Long before we moved to Florida and I had to leave my job, I had been thinking about the next stage of my career. Truthfully, as much as I may miss it now and lament the loss of it, the bloom had started to come off the rose when it came to my job. I had been in TV for a long time and it takes a toll; the hours are irregular, the pressure can be immense and there was always a sense that there may be a shelf life for my particular line of work. I had started to feel the expiration date coming quickly upon me a few years ago and while I contemplated what else I could possibly do, I came up empty. I’ve been working in news my whole adult life and I’m not particularly qualified to do anything else. I’ve got no skills other than working in television and though I have to believe that my many years of dealing with immovable deadlines, stressful environments, crazy people and high-tech equipment certainly gave me some kind of an edge over other people, realistically nobody wants to hire somebody for a job that they have no experience in at all. So, I stayed in my job that I didn’t necessarily love (or sometimes even like) any more because really, who was I to complain? The pay was good, the company benefits were great, I never had to dress up for work and I was damn good at it. But the whole time in the back of my head was the thought: what next?

This move was supposed to be my opportunity – the chance to break away from something just because it’s comfortable and figure out what it is that I really want to be when I grow up. You know what I’ve come up with? Nothing. It’s pretty disheartening, really. In fact, I met with a recruiter the other day and he asked me a series of questions to get to the heart of what I wanted to do and my answers were pathetic. If money was no object, what is your dream job? Hmm [pause for far too long while I try to come up with an answer]…dunno. If something were to happen to you right now, what would you regret? Um…not losing the baby weight earlier? (Yes, I realize this is not at all the answer he was looking for.) What do you love to do in your free time? Free time? What free time?

I walked into that meeting hoping for some guidance, leads and maybe even answers. I left feeling more lost, confused and in despair than ever. I started to wonder if I had any passion at all. You know what’s worse than not having your dream job? Not having a dream at all. My birthday is quickly approaching so I have to confront the fact that I’m soon about to enter my very last year of my 30’s (which FREAKS me out, by the way) and I can’t believe that I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I never imagined that I’d be this age and not have it all figured out.

Do most people really just work to earn a paycheck and nothing more? I want to work because I think it makes me a happier and more fulfilled person as well as a better mother but the reality is that there are family sacrifices that have to be made when both parents work and if I’m going to take time away from my daughter and husband, then it has to be something that I truly love. If only I could figure out what that is.

Tell me: do you love your job? If not, do you know what you would want to do if money wasn’t an issue?