Jul 10, 2016

Before and After

So for book club a few weeks ago we discussed the book Miss Peregrines's Home For Peculiar Children. In the prologue for the book the author writes this seemingly innocent sentence,

"Then a few years later, when I was fifteen, an extraordinary and terrible thing happened, and there was only Before and After."

The reviewer of our book ended our discussion by bringing up this sentence and we discussed it for a little while. Were there before and after's in our lives? Some defining moment? A line? A change?
My mind has been thinking about this question ever since I left book club. What are the before and after events in my life?

There is definitely a before I had Reeses peanut butter cups and an after I had Reeses.
Before I had my first kiss and after my first kiss.
Before I graduated from high school and after.
Before I was friends with certain people and after.
Before I had fresh asparagus and after.
Before the divorce and after.
Before I had kids and after I had kids.
Before I was a school bus driver and after.
Before I found certain things out and after.
Before I grew my own potatoes and after.
Before I knew about M-80 firecrackers and after.
Before I rode in a BMW over 100 mph and after.
Before I had a child stay in the hospital for a week and after.
Before I got my drivers license and after.
Before I watched Star Trek and after.
Before I knew about Airbnb and after.
Before I read Middlemarch and after.
Before I worked at the circulation desk at the library and after (still sad there is an after to this)
Before I sat around a fire on the beach and after.
Before I found out that I make the same mistakes over and over again and after.

So many before's and after's. I seem to not be able to live anything but before and after. These before and after's always change my life, either for the better or the not so better. Sometimes I am not even sure when they happen which way it will go, sometimes it is up to me how they will go. I have been working for the last few months on a silly goal I have made to memorize a poem. It took awhile to find the perfect poem and trust me I did. It is Invictus by William Ernest Henley and I realized as I just told you a few sentences ago that "sometimes it is up to me how they will go" that this poem goes perfectly with that idea....

Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever God's may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced or cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
my head is bloody, but unbowed

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
and yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

I am the captain of my soul. I decide. It is a most laborious process to fight some of the circumstances that grab me and try to control what I will become. I have had many chances to be bitter and resentful and angry but I am the captain of my before and after's :) Not near as eloquent as soul huh? :) I am in the process of assimilating and evaluating several brand spanking new before and after's. I now can add to my list;

Before I was enrolled as a BYUI online student and after.
Before I filled out my own FAFSA form and after.
Before I knew I was a "know it all" and after.
Before I no longer had it all together and after.
Before I could admit I was dramatic and after.
Before I realized I was not a priority to someone and after.
Before I was married and after.
Before my kids were affected by a divorce and after.
Before I had a child who I had not talked to for 2 years and....no after yet.
Before I had three children married and after.

Can you imagine life without the words before and after? It is just not possible. I am sure you got the picture and now you are tormenting yourself with your own endless list of before and after's. You can thank me later :)

I googled before and after images to find a cute little picture to jazz up this post and UGH never google before and after.....everyone on the planet who has lost weight or had braces or some sort of surgery are all in images. I was thinking of something more rainbow and unicorns like :) Seriously, now there is before I googled images "before and after" and after :)

1 comment:

jills said...

I totally understand the not talking to you child. I do have a before and after for that one; and it didn't last two years (several months) and it is a pain only a mom can know. Love you, Jen!!