Birth, Babies, and Beyond

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting

I Feel Gassy Now, but I'm Happy

Finding purpose in a gas line

Last night at my daughter’s family bat-mitzvah class we, along with about five other families, discussed with a student-rabbi the importance of having a sense of purpose in life. And that surge of fulfillment you get with that sense of accomplishment.

Last Sunday, using the last drops of gas in the car, my kids and I found a community center on the Lower East Side in need of supplies to help those in the community who need some very basic items: diapers, Ensure for the elderly, blankets, etc. It was a trek, and we felt great afterwards.

Yesterday, my purpose was finishing a chapter and my day finished in that very unfulfilled sort of way. I eked ahead, learned some fun facts about hormone history circa 1890, but didn’t really feel any sense of getting done what I set out to do. I felt pointless by dinner time.

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Today—even before lunchtime, my purpose maybe not in life but in day was fulfilled. I scoured NYC for open gas stations, waited for nearly three hours and now have a full tank of gas, plenty get to see my other daughter’s school play tonight. In my case, I guess, it wasn’t so much fulfillment, but filled.

Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., is the author of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank.


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