what are your befores and afters?

in celebration of july 31, the anniversary of the day my husband and i got married, this week’s blog posts will be about the ways we mark the passage of time.

lately, i am thinking about the eras in our lives, the ways we measure our "befores" and our "afters."

global standards dictate that the timeline of human history is measured in b.c. and a.d.--or sometimes b.c.e. and c.e.  but i'm more interested in how each of personally marks time.

my memories tend to get automatically passed through the "before daddy died" and  "after daddy died" filter.  i reckon that could sound morbid, but i'm guessing i'm not the only one who has discovered that one of those "before-and-after-death-of-loved-one" filters got installed in my brain without my realizing it.  

i also have the "before baby was born" and "after baby was born" measure, "when i was in chicago" marker, a "when i could still eat gluten" and "gluten-free era" label, and a "when i was in the green/blue/yellow bedroom" filter from the musical bedrooms me and my siblings played growing up.

when i'm writing or performing a character, i often try to identify a moment in which things change for that character.  now i'm curious to think about characters in terms of their "befores" and "afters," the filters through which they catalogue their lives, the ways in which they mark time.

so, you can help me write stronger characters.  let me know:  what are the "befores" and "afters" that mark time in your life?