We all have 24 hours in a day. Some of those hours are spent fulfilling to-do lists and responsibilities. Some are spent simply passing the time. How each day is spent, however, has an effect on the quality of your life — especially as you age.

Time and meaning go hand-in-hand. The more time you invest in things that are important to you, the happier and more fulfilled you are likely to be. Having a meaningful life with a clear purpose is proven to improve your mental health, self-worth, and confidence. It also satisfies the human desire to be valued and contribute to the world.

Meaning does not come from a single source. Investing in relationships, focusing on lifelong learning, pursuing spirituality, and helping others are just a few ways to cultivate it. Sometimes, meaning even comes from the sum of life’s intangible lessons and perspectives like:

  • Having time to focus and just be (especially with loved ones)
  • Learning to say “no” and not feeling guilty for it
  • Developing a deeper sense of appreciation and gratefulness
  • Reflecting on memories and connecting the dots of life’s journey
  • Developing coping skills to become more resilient
  • Exploring things outside your comfort zone and considering different perspectives

What Gives You Meaning?

What fills your tank or makes you feel fulfilled on a regular basis? These questions can help uncover what gives you meaning:

  • What did you like to do as a child that you no longer do?
  • Who or what brings you joy?
  • What do you enjoy doing that makes you lose track of time?
  • What is something you care about?
  • How would you like to make a difference?
  • If you had to leave the house every day, where would you go and what would you do?
  • What is something different you’d like to try or something you’ve always wanted to do?


Embrace your reason: The things that used to give you purpose may not be the same things that do today. Now is the time to learn, discover, and explore what gives you meaning on a daily basis.  


York County Resources Available to You

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI Penn State-York). Lifelong learning improves your intellectual ability and boosts your memory. Open to people age 50 and older, OLLI’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for mature adults who love to learn. OLLI offers educational courses, tours, and events to help improve your quality of life. This is a low-cost opportunity to learn about hundreds of topics, develop new friendships, and fill a gap in your life.

York County Libraries. Access a wide variety of online programs, book clubs, and discussion groups, as well as other resources on thousands of subjects.

York County Senior Centers offer adults age 60+ a wide variety of free or low-cost, in-person and virtual opportunities to learn new things. (Note: meals are available for a donation; rabbittransit provides free transportation to/from the centers for adults age 65+)

TroveStreet is Here to Help

If you haven’t already, create an online profile with TroveStreet where you can jot down things you want to keep handy based on what you read or save this article for easy access. TroveStreet offers a Quick-Start Planning Tool with four questions to facilitate your planning. If you have questions or want to connect with a Planning Navigator, call TroveStreet at 717-363-1129.

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