Before and After
There are events in our lives that are so life changing that we measure everything that follows as either being before or after that happened. They are known as watershed moments:
A watershed moment is a turning point, the exact moment that changes the direction of an activity or situation. A watershed moment is a dividing point, from which things will never be the same. It is considered momentous, though a watershed moment is often recognized in hindsight.
The English noun derives from the verb to shed. It’s an old word for a division, split or separation — a shed could be a hair parting, for example, and could also be used for a ridge of land separating two areas of lower country, a divide.
For me, the line is fading between life before I had a stroke in 1999, and after. I have had a disability for nearly 21 years. My memories of walking normally, running, dancing and skiing are dimming in the harsh glare of the present moment reality where I can do none of those things. It’s one of life’s painful, permanent changes. Adapting, accepting and adjusting to it have made the demarcation of before and after less clear.
Watershed moments often overlap as sometimes changes happen in snowball fashion. You get married. Maybe buy a house. You have kids.
In my story, I had my second child 8 weeks after I had the stroke. My husband moved out 16 years later.
Now life is divided into so many sections of before and after. What are your watershed moments? The times when you literally had to shed what was?