I'm getting the opportunity to learn lots about myself lately. [s]Whee! Fun![/sarcasm]
Seriously though, while not fun, it is absolutely necessary.
One of the more palatable (to me) things I'm learning is that I get a lot of comfort out of helping other people. Whether it validates my existence or something else (insert therapy psychobabble here), I don't know. I just know that it makes me feel good to help. And I really could care less if they know it was me. Anonymous helping or not, I enjoy it.
One of the ways I figured this out (there have been many "hello? Are you observing yourself right now?" moments lately, this is just one) is that I started volunteering more with an organization called Women in Design. At first it was in self-interest, to widen my network of contacts in my field, but I found that taking on tasks to help those who are volunteering in addition to working full time really made me feel good and useful and worth Something to Someone. Working towards a goal with a group feels different from working towards personal goals.
And I obviously miss working.