Born Monster or Insane?

It is an age-old question, one that has occupied our minds since the beginning of time: 

What makes us tick?

For a very long time now, I too have been wondering about this.  What makes people do or say the things they do?  What makes us handle situations different?  What makes one person look at a situation, learn from it and let it go, while another brood over it for years to come, allowing it to fester and grow a black cancerous hole in their soul?

Before I carry on, I do not mean to step on any toes.  I do not say that these things are only done by men, and I am well aware that women are also in the wrong.  Men, however, are more prone to violent crimes and have thus become the target of my study.  Apologies to any male reader offended by this post.

In searching for this answer I have, sort of, turned the people I encounter into “test subjects”, looking for inconsistencies, looking at reactions, expressions and words.  I find it fascinating how two people can react so very differently when presented with the same situation.

“We are all born into genius” says Robin Sharma.  We are all born with a clean conscious, a mind to be filled, a personality to be shaped.  Where does it go wrong?

(Disclaimer: The following are all still on trial, thus the actions are “alleged”)

In the small town of Bredasdorp, Anene Booysen goes out for an evening of fun with her friends.  The next morning she is found raped and brutalized, left for dead at the side of the road.  Despite all efforts to save her, she dies in hospital, but not before identifying one of her attackers. It was done by young men known to her and her family.  How do you dismember a girl you know, rape her and beat her senseless?  Was it drugs, alcohol, insanity?

A 16 year old boy shows up at the police station, panic stricken.  He had just escaped a horrible attack on his family: his mother, father and sister murdered.  Forensics shows that the sister had been raped too.  Forensics also indicates that he did it.  How do you kill your parents, rape and twice shoot your sister?  Was it for the R23 million inheritance or insanity?     

A hero to millions around the globe, Paralympian, Olympian, Oscar Pistorius fatally shoots his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day.  The world recoils in shock; surely it must be true that he mistook her for a burglar!  But as the bail hearing proceeds, seedy details about his past emerge, the picture and the story just does not add up.  Was it jealous rage; was it insecurity stemming from his disability or insanity?

The Boston Marathon ends in a manhunt, bombers have targeted the race.  Again America is under siege.  Days later two brothers are identified.  Their families are devastated, “they must have been framed” they say.  The wife of the older brother says she never had any idea that he was involved with extremists.  The younger brother is described as a gentle “walking angel” by all who knew him.  How does one person influence another that much?  How does one person turn from an angel to a murderer?  Insanity?

Johan Kotze sees his ex-wife with another man and looses the plot completely.  He arranges for 3 men to rape her, he tortures her for hours, turn screws into her breasts before cutting them off, murders her son, because he loved her and can’t stand the thought of losing her to another man.  He loves her!?!?  It makes me sick!  Is it psychosis, jealous rage or insanity?

Some more stories from people I spoke to:

A girl is forced to eat an entire pot of green beans (and nothing else), simply because she did not cut the pieces small enough.  It may seem a small thing to you, but the abuse that went with it will stay with her forever.  A lesson in cooking or insanity?

A man goes into a rage because his wife forgot to buy something, smashes the house and beats her senseless.  The next morning he wakes up in utter shock: what happened here? He cries like a baby, stunned in disbelief: he would never have done that?  An excuse or insanity?

A paedophile befriends children or families with children, he is the friendly uncle next door who always has a kind word and sweeties in his pocket.  Behind curtains he drools over child porn, waiting for the right moment to make his move, lure them into his trap and destroy their future.  A treatable disease or insanity?

A man goes out to find a girl then rapes her.

An alcoholic or drug addict goes on a binge and spends his entire month’s earnings over a weekend.  He goes home and mentally, physically and emotionally abuses his wife and children.  The next morning he laughs it off, saying that they should know by now that he never means of the things he says or does when he is drunk.  A chemical imbalance created by substance or insanity?

You will not have to search very far to find more stories like this.  This I can guarantee you!

I have always wished that I can sit down with a serial murderer or rapist and have a good heart to heart over a cup of tea and some biscuits, maybe ad some truth serum in there.  No nonsense, no lies, no mind games – just the truth.  To truly understand another person’s mind, what an accomplishment that will be.

Seeing that I am not able to do that, I settled for reading Insanity – My Mad Life by Mickey Peterson aka Charles Bronson.  Fair advance warning:  this book is not suitable if you are under 18, squeamish, faint hearted or anything like that.  I enjoy a good horror movie and I love reading. In all honesty I can tell you that I have never struggled this much to finish a book.  It is so filled with anger, hate and violence that it leaves you sick to the core.  This is after all a biography by the most feared and notorious convict in the prison system.

Bronson describes himself as the King of Roofs (he made it to the roof of prisons 8 times during incarceration, causing £1,5 million in damages), Master of Sieges (during several sieges on the inside he took 11 hostages), Supreme Lord of Cuttings and Stabbings, Stylist of attempted Murder and Governor of Isolation (at the time of going of print, he had spent 24 of his 30 years inside in solitary confinement).

I pushed through and finished the book, simply because I hoped that it would give me the answer.  What made him do all these things?

At one point he, and all the others mentioned, were someone’s beautiful baby, a child with dreams, a teenager in love.  Where did it go wrong?

I am in two minds about this issue.

1. Can someone really be born bad? 

Is it possible for a chemical imbalance or misplaced gene to take away your ability to distinguish between right and wrong?  If this is the case it can be remedied with medication.  Or can it?  Is that not merely a temporary delay of the insanity that drives them mad in the end, as Bronson puts it?  Can psychological disorders be picked up by DNA scanning after birth and corrected with treatment?  Can it ever truly be corrected or is the inevitable simply delayed?  When questioning a person about a crime or anything, for that matter, how do we really know the truth unless we saw it with our own eyes?  Even then, how I perceive something and you perceive it will hardly ever be the same.  Our views and opinions are formed by past experiences.  The very convenient “I can’t remember that, therefore it could not have happened” or “he suffers for psychosis and therefore cannot be held accountable” – it is all just a very convenient excuse to me.

2. Is it simply a choice? 

No one is perfect.  We all have had our share of misfortune, some more than others.  I, for one, have had a pretty rough deal.  Does that give me the right to think the world owes me?  Does that give me the right to go about my life like a lioness caught in a bear trap?  NO!!!  I made a choice to learn from it, to grow, to be a better person.  I made the choice to forgive and not carry the hate with me.  If you do, it will consume you and slowly eat away at your existence until you snap.  Forget?  No, I will never forget, but I choose to think about the good and not be reminded of the bad.  What would happen if psychological treatment for traumatic events and life coaching were more readily available?  What would happen if we raised men with true emotion, rather than men with ego?

Bronson makes a compelling case for the idea of insanity and how the insane are created by the penal system.  This will be covered in another post.

Why is it happening more often?  Or have we just been blind?

What are the signs?

What do we look for?

What can be done?

What is the cause?

What makes these people lose the ability to stop a second before the act an ask themselves: what am I doing?

We live in a society where violence is at the order of the day.  Maybe it’s in the water!

I simply don’t understand it.

The search must continue.

Afkaq Terrorists on Vokov Air – I Love South Africa!!!

Thanks to eTV and O Shucks I’m Gatvol, I have a very tired and cranky almost-11 year old this morning!

Luke’s bedtime is at 9 PM.  Last night we started watching the movie and when it got to bed time he begged and pleaded to watch just a little more.  And then just a little more and then some.

Eventually I caved (bad parenting I know) and by the end of the movie we were both crying.  After I managed to calm Luke down, he said that he wanted to write Mr Schuster a letter:

Dear Mr Schuster

 Thank you so so very much for your wonderful movie.  I wish we could see more movies like this one.  Even if it made me very sad, I really enjoyed it.  It made me cry but I laughed more, the farting guy in the plane was the best prank ever!  I also wanted to move to Australia and even support their rugby just because our country is sometimes a very ugly place with a lot of hate and fighting.  But you made me remember me that this is still the most perfect place in the whole world.  Because of your movie I remember why I love South Africa.  I love your movie and will buy the next one you make. 


There you have it folks, through the eyes of a child.  South Africa is not so bad after all, just stop and smell the roses from time to time!

Daily Prompt – Second Time Around

I found today’s Daily Prompt an easy one:  Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

I first read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino as compulsory reading during sales training.  Although the story is based on a salesman, I have found the principles applicable to all walks of life.

It works on the basis that you read each one of the scrolls for a period of 30 days, 3 times per day, before moving on to the next.  This way the scroll becomes a part of your subconscious mind and habits.  Only by performing good habits continually can we move forward and grow.  I am yet to find someone who did not find this book useful and there is at the very least one scroll which will be applicable to your life.

The Scroll which most spoke to me was Number 4.  Here it is:

“I am nature’s greatest miracle

Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart,
my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that
live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think
exactly like me. All men are my brothers yet I am different from each. I am a unique

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

Although I am of the animal kingdom, animal rewards alone will not satisfy me.
Within me burns a flame, which has been passed from generations uncounted, and its
heat is a constant irritation to my spirit to become better than I am, and I will. I will
fan this flame of dissatisfaction and proclaim my uniqueness to the world.

None can duplicate my brush strokes, none can duplicate my chisel marks, none can
duplicate my handwriting, none can produce my child, and, in truth, none has the
ability to sell exactly as I. Henceforth, I will capitalize on this difference for it is an
asset to be promoted to the fullest.

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

Vain attempts to imitate others no longer will I make. Instead I will place my
uniqueness on display in the market place. I will proclaim it, yea, I will sell it. I will
begin now to accent my differences; hide my similarities. So too will I apply this
principle to the goods I sell. Salesman and goods, different from all others, and proud
of the differences.

I am a unique creature of nature.

I am rare, and there is value in all rarity; therefore, I am valuable. I am the end product of thousands of years of evolution; therefore, I am better equipped in both mind and body than all the emperors and wise men who preceded me. But my skills, my mind, my heart, and my body will stagnate, rot, and die lest I put them to good use. I have unlimited potential. Only a small portion of my brain do I employ; only a paltry amount of muscles do I flex. A hundredfold or more can I increase my accomplishments of yesterday and this I will do, beginning today. 

Nevermore will I be satisfied with yesterday’s accomplishments nor will I indulge,
anymore, in self-praise for deeds which in reality are too small to even acknowledge.
I can accomplish far more than I have, and I will, for why should the miracle which
produced me end with my birth? Why can I not extend that miracle to my deeds of

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow
into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my
efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it
cries for mercy.

I will increase my knowledge of mankind, myself, and the goods I sell, thus my sales
will multiply. I will practice, and improve, and polish the words I utter to sell my
goods, for this is the formulation on which I will build my career and never will I
forget that many have attained great wealth and success with only one sales talk,
delivered with excellence. Also will I seek constantly to improve my manners and
graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted.

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

I will concentrate my energy on the challenge of the moment and my actions will
help me forget all else. The problems of my home will be left in my home. I will
think naught of my family when I am in the market place for this will cloud my
thoughts. So too will the problems of the market place be left in the market place and
I will think naught of my profession when I am in my home for this will dampen my

There is no room in the market place for my family, nor is there room in my home
for the market. Each I will divorce from the other and thus will I remain wedded to
both. Separate must they remain or my career will die. This is the paradox of the

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

I have been given eyes to see and a mind to think and now I know a great secret of
life for I perceive, at last, that all my problems, discouragements, and heartaches are,
in truth, great opportunities in disguise. I will no longer be fooled by the garments
they wear for mine eyes are open. I will look beyond the cloth and I will not be

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

No beast, no plant, no wind, no rain, no rock, no lake had the same beginning as I,
for I was conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose. In the past I have not
considered this fact but it will henceforth shape and guide my life.

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

And nature knows not defeat. Eventually, she emerges victorious and so will I, and
with each victory the next struggle becomes less difficult.

I will win, and I will become a great salesman, for I am unique.

I am nature’s greatest miracle.”

Beautiful is it not?  Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of this book.  It is guaranteed to have an impact on your life!

More facts on me – Q & A With Louisa

Thanks Louisa for taking part in the Liebster Awards!

Since I’ve already done my post on this, I will just do a short Q & A to answer your questions:

What is your biggest fear? Water, without a shadow of a doubt! I have this unreasonable fear of water. So many people have tried to get me over it, but it’s just useless.
What is your biggest dream/wish? My biggest dream is definitely to publish my novel. My biggest wish is for financial security for me and my family (all of them!)
If your closest friend/s had to describe you starting with “Most likely to…” what would they say? Difficult one! I would have to say “..surprise you”. As donkey said in Shrek: I am an onion and I don’t think anyone has every managed to get through all the layers.
This is not a Question per se…draw something and show me? Anything – but you must use your favourite colour!
What is the one thing you wish you had? (can be a characteristic, body part, material object – anything) A decent camera DSLR Nikon / Canon
What time do you get up, and how do you spend the first hour of each day? 5AM – Robin Sharma’s 5 AM Club was initially very difficult, but it’s proven to be very effective in creating a good start to the day!
You know how sometimes a smell can remind you of a person? (I’m talking about good smells here, like oranges, or vanilla or something). Name three people you are close to, and what smell reminds you of them and why? Varnish and wood glue and Old Spice reminds me of my dad – he is always tinkering away in the garage on some or other wood project. I don’t know when last he wore Old Spice, but somehow I think of him every time I smell it. Baby powder will always remind me of Luke when he was just born. There is a certain perfume, the name of which I can never remember, but whenever I smell it, I think of my mom. Somewhere in the distant past she used to wear it and to me, that will always be mom’s smell.
Have you ever stalked someone (yes, even online), has anyone ever stalked you? Explain… Can’t say I have nor do I know of anyone who has ever stalked me. For that matter, I’ve never even had a secret admirer (that I know of at least!)
What does comfort food mean to you? YUM!!!! Chocolate brownies covered in First Choice Vanilla Desert. Seriously, is there anything else?!?!
Does absolute silence get to you? With no stimulation whatsoever…nothing to read, nothing to listen to, nothing to look at, how long can you be comfortable in silence and where does your mind go? Definitely not! We need to more silence. I wish I could retreat once a month to a monastery somewhere in the mountains where you do nothing but meditate.
When last did you have a proper belly laugh, and why? Too long ago

Clone Wars!

Our time, most will agree, have become a most precious commodity. There are so much to juggle, it seems a near impossible task and everything is done on the run. Just take a look at people in restaurants, for instance. How often do you see a few people having a meal together without someone checking their phone for email or messages? It just does not happen anymore.

I have been thinking a lot about time management lately and how to juggle the endless list of things to do. The Daily Prompt forced me to spend a couple of minutes to think about how I would have done it, so here goes. The only downside: I realized I need a lot more clones than initially anticipated!

1. My first clone will have to be the one which is full-time mom to my sunshine, Luke. At 10 (going on 16) he is a handful and deserves my undivided attention to help develop his (already) brilliant mind.
2. We need to pay the rent, right, so clone 2 will have to sort that bit.
3. This clone will do nothing but read! A little villa somewhere near the coast of Spain with a library second to none. There are simply too many good books and too little time
4. Number 4 will have to finish writing the novel I’m working on – oh, imagine: all the time in the world to write, write, write – heavenly!
5. This one will have the challenging task of preparing for the Cape Argus and the Two Oceans half-marathon
6. L’amour – one clone will have to spend time to indulge in love! I am in love with love and would want to soak it up every minute of the day
7. An untrained mind is like a wild elephant running loose in it’s pen. One would have to spend some serious time on personal development and habits.
8. This one would do nothing but spend time with family, catch up on all those times when we were to busy to sit down and chat!

For now, that seems to be it. Now for the task of deciding the order in which to clone them.

One last thing, if we are able to clone, which one will be the real you?

Short Left, driver!

The mountains surrounding the basin are covered in clouds. Deep hues of grey and purple are broken to soft pink where the rays of sun are struggling to break through. The earthy scent of last night’s rain still lingers in the air and it’s time to get to work. I am pulled out of my mesmerized state by Michael pulling up next to the side of the road. “Morning Ma”, his standard greeting, is echoed by all in the taxi.

The trip is a funny one this morning. Michael is joking about all the ladies and their different perfumes that make his taxi smell like a proper harem, and everyone adds their bit to the conversation in a jovial way.

“Ses pad, or have you forgotten about me” says Jenny on the way to school with her son. “Sorry Ma, my head is at the football!” Michael asks where the next stop will be and 3 or 4 voices speak up, all with different stops. He memorizes them all and duly gets all passengers to their desired stop. Aunt Mary is full of stories about the kids and grandchildren that had her running all weekend. At my stop I had gotten lost in thought again and forgot to tell him, but he knows by now and automatically pulls up at the sidewalk at my office. “Lekker dag, Ma”, “Lekker dag, Michael”.

Its 4:30, time to go home. The rank is a beehive of activity with dark clouds threatening to explode at any second. Gary, the larger than live rank master, sees me coming and immediately start looking around, “Wie van mense vir die Baai?”. This is the tricky bit, in the afternoon, no-one wants to do the trip to the Bay, and they’ll get back to late.

Teddy volunteers and shows us to where he is parked. He is called Teddy simply because he looks like a real life-size teddy bear. Seated next to me is Oom Paul. His dark brown skin is a map of deep boroughs. He is slowly eating his packet of Lays Lightly Salted while sipping at his 500ml Coke. He’ll only eat and drink half, as he does every day. When he gets off, his wife will be waiting at the side of the road, loving kisses his cheek and take her half of the chips and Coke. Once the taxi is loaded, Teddy turns around and individually checks with all passengers where they want to get off. Bus stop, stasie, 4-stop (the stop sign at 4th Street, 5-hoek (the corner of 5th and Gustrow), 11-pad (11th Street), 85 Daisy, 35 Anneke and so it carries on. Satisfied that he knows which route to take, he switches on his radio. RSG (Radio Sonder Grense) will be our en-route entertainment today. With Teddy, it’s only RSG, Coleske Brothers or Kurt Darren). Quite an informative show and I pick up the most fantastic recipe for a warm winter indulgence: Double thick hot chocolate! It sounds absolutely divine and I’ll be sure to try it pretty soon!

I don’t know how they do it, but without enquiring again, he gets each passenger to their required destination. “Dankie Niggie, lekker aand” he says goodbye as I get off.
For the past two months I have found myself without transport. After considering the options (lift club – couldn’t find one, walking – did this for 3 days, but two hours of walking before and after work is a bit much, taxi – mmm) I went with taxi. Was I pleasantly surprised!

There are no funny smells, blaring music, dangerous driving, threats of any kind. It’s actually just people like you and me that need to get to work and back home, making use of a service by more ordinary people who need to make a living.

I’ll be taking a taxi for a long time to come and love the community that I have become a part off!

Liebster Awards – Take 2

So, it turns out I answered the wrong set of questions! O well, I stick to my answers and the questions posted to my nominees also remain the same. For what it’s worth however, herewith my answers to the right questions:

1. A memorable experience you had in another country – if you haven’t been abroad yet, you can tell about a memorable experience with a member of another nation
Well, I’ve dated a German and worked for a Jew. Of the two, my time with Joel (the Jew) had to be the most memorable. We spoke a lot and I learned a great deal from him about human nature. Also through him I got to meet Ursula Duba, a woman I have a great deal of respect for.

2. A meal you really enjoyed recently
Since the recent meat debacle, I’ve turned Vegetarian and have really been enjoying everything I’ve made so far. Turns out the diet really agrees with my body.

3. Describe a setting in which you would definitely find peace
A cottage somewhere near the Spanish coastline with a fireplace, a cat and my very own library.

4. An event that changed your life drastically
I have had quite a few life changing (WOW) moments, but it started when I was 5

5. Your favorite way of travel
For now, walking! I’d love to fly one day, but equally so, I would love to be able to backpack Africa.

6.Imagine I had the powers to arrange a meeting with the person of your choice. Who would that be? Convince me why I should let you meet with them.
Only one? Nelson Mandela. There is so much to be learned from this icon. I would love to ask him how he found the courage to forgive and forget, how he found the courage to hold on to his dreams and pursue them, despite all the odds being against him.

7. Since the point of this Award thing is to connect with bloggers, please share a link to a blog post of yours you think came out quite good – maybe even your favorite one. Let us get to know you!

8.Blogging – is it easier when one stays anonymous?
I guess it is easier, but is it necessarily true to yourself. I think it is easier for people to say what they think when no-one knows the other. When you write and people actually know you, you have to be able to stick to your guns.

9. A movie that impressed you lately
What the Bleep do we know? A docu-movie that I watch again and again.

10. Scenes that let you stop zapping on your TV and make you watch?
Anything that touches my heart, that provokes emotion. I live in touch with my feelings and when something makes me feel very strong emotions, I always stop to find the why.

11. Something you would love reading about more.
Ha-ha! In line with question 2 above, I’ve been reading a lot about GMO’s etc this past week, and will for he foreseeable future.

There goes!

My BlackBerry service is about to expire in about an hour. I will be back in touch in a week’s time. In the meantime have fun, love, laugh and make the most of every day!

Liebster Awards 2013

I am extremely excited! Thank You so much Chris van Heerden for my first ever Liebster Award nomination! It is fantastic! I have never heard of this award and think it is a fantastic idea.

Go have a look at She is a dynamic, inspiring, well-traveled mom, author, therapist and teacher.

As per the instructions, I have copied the rules and pasted them below. The Liebster Award is exciting and different because it brings recognition to the smaller blogs, that being blogs with less than 200 followers.

OK, here are the rules:
1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
5. No tag backs.

So here goes!

Eleven Facts about me:
1. I love writing and would love to turn this passion into a career at some point. In school I did very well with writing, but didn’t pay enough attention to it and it has now taken me close to 15 years to realize that it is actually what I want to do with my life.. I really wish I had discovered this earlier.
2. I am the proud mother of a 10 year old boy. Luke is a gentle soul and the centre of my universe.
3. I love to sing, but couldn’t do it to save my life!
4. I hate injustice and negativity.
5. Coffee is my food! I can go for days without eating, but not 2 hours without a good cup of Java!
6. I want to run a half marathon, ride the Cape Argus, sky-dive and bungee.
7. In 2010 I went barefoot for 30 days as a pledge to the Barefoot against Poverty Campaign and was interviewed on radio about this.
8. I have never flown and it is probably the No 1 thing on my all time Bucket List.
9. I must have some Spanish blood in me. I simply love everything and anything Spanish and would one day love to live in a remote village somewhere in Spain, writing my days away.
10. I am a HUGE Sharks rugby fan!
11. I firmly believe in The Secret. The Law of Attraction simply makes sense and I try to make it work for me as far as possible.

The 11 questions I was asked:
1. If things had gone differently, where would you be?
I don’t know. Every decision, every action brings us to where we are today. I don’t spend time thinking about what could have been. It is a waste of energy. I rather focus on what I want and what I need to do to get there.
2. Do you recall one defining moment in your childhood and what was it?
My parents divorce when I was 5. I had to grow up fast. I don’t regret this though, it has all helped to make me who I am today.
3. What did you want to be when you grew up and what are you now?
I wanted to be a lawyer, Human Rights to be specific. Today I am a wine merchant and part time writer.
4. What was that one promise you made to yourself that you still strive to achieve?
I will never again compromise my integrity or moral values to satisfy the needs of another, even if I love them.
5. Are you happy?
A loaded question. I am miles from where I want to be, but every day is a step closer. I make a point of finding happiness in every day.
6. What’s on top of your bucket list this year?
I will have something published in print this year.
7. Who is your bestest family member?
Apart from the son, who my life revolves around, my mother. She is simply my best friend and I can’t think what my life would be without her.
8. What sport are you into?
Walking, running, cycling.
9. What time do you go to bed?
Whenever I feel like it. Sometimes it’s as early as 8PM, sometimes as late as 2AM.
10. What is the last thing you do before going to bed?
Pray to say thanks for all the blessings I have.
11. When last did you take a leap of faith in something or someone?
In 2011 when I decided that it was time to start looking at what is important to me.

I would like to nominate the following blogs, and post the same questions to them:

Have fun and thanks to all of you for making me laugh, cry and think!