Before & After: Directions in Time that Mark Change

Cover of the 1898 edition

Cover of the 1898 edition

‘It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’ — Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

How poignant is that one line of dialogue? In that one statement, Alice acknowledges that she herself has changed significantly since her fall down the rabbit hole.

Her insight highlights the point of no return we have all encountered: the moment of change. This is when events, some outside of our control, change us to the point that we can’t relate to the person we used to be before we lived them. Where time divides into two parts — the before and the after.

When change occurs to us, we often look upon the before as the Golden Age. We mentally dwell on what once was, what’s missing, how life is lacking and what could have been if only.

But it doesn’t help to try to hold on to the past. That image is worn, dated, sepia. You are a different person now than you were before you fell down the rabbit hole, lost your job, got a divorce, had kids or declared bankruptcy.

Socrates is credited with saying, loosely translated, that to survive change one must not dwell on the before but focus one’s energy on rebuilding the after.

We may not be able to control what happens to us in life, but we can control our actions and our reactions. We can control the after. Take the reins on our new path, new adventure and on the new person we were meant to be.

You and only you have the ability, the power to shape your happily ever after.

Patience With Inner Musician

What’s On Your “Get Pumped” Playlist?

Patience With Inner MusicianWhat gets you pumped? What do you listen to?

I started thinking about my “go to” music playlist after reading an article on One of the newer members of the team, running back Freddy Jackson, offered up the five songs that get him pumped up for game time.

Jackson, who will wear no. 22, likes a bit of variety with his pregame routine, incorporating a healthy mix of hip-hop and rock-and-roll. What it takes to get the blood flowing.

Here’s a look at five songs that help get Jackson going on gameday (warning: explicit lyrics):

1. Can’t be Touched – Body Head Bangerz
2. Pledge Allegiance – T.I. feat. Rick Ross
3. My Name – Xzhibit feat. Eminem & Nate Dogg
4. Centuries – Fall Out Boy
5. Same Damn Time (Remix) – Future feat. Diddy, Ludacris

I started thinking about the music I listen too. What inspires me for game time? True, I don’t have to hit the field running and face off against opponents looking to wipe me out. However, my muse can dodge tackles or run down the clock like the best of them.

I think my playlist is really about establishing the start time for unleashing my creative juices. It is a signal that says, “Here we go. It’s go time.” A few songs, some air drumming and my muse decides to slip into the driver seat. It’s my writing ritual.

So, in honor of Jackson’s list and the start of NFL, here five songs from my my “get pumped, get writing” list (links to YouTube songs/videos):

  1. More Than a Feeling – Boston
  2. She Said – Unwritten Law
  3. Diddley Daddy – Chris Issac
  4. Ain’t Waitin – Justin Townes Earl
  5. Rolling All Night – Terminal Station

It’s a friendly mix of rock, country, blues and classics. It’s mostly about the stories told in the songs.

What gets you pumped? Ready to tackle your day? Do you have a playlist? Should you?

— Weegee