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.

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.

Most Recent Posts from Birth, Babies, and Beyond

When I Couldn't Say Goodbye

My father's last hours

What I Can Learn from My Students

A lesson for my students was really a lesson for me

Killers Plead Guilty: Did Their Hormones Make Them Do It?

A 1920s Murder Trial Reveals the Science & Art of Medicine