We had eaten rather late, so it was already dark outside. Our neighborhood was uncharacteristically quiet and the only sounds were that of the crickets chirping and the faint whoosh of cars passing by on Main Street. It was a perfect summer evening, the sort that you dream about in the middle of February.
I asked my husband what he thought we might have been doing at that exact moment one year ago. Had we been sitting in the same place enjoying similarly beautiful weather? Had I made the same meal for dinner? What about five years ago? How about 10, 15, and 20 years ago?
I know I've taken a walk down memory lane more than once in recent posts, but looking at your life and the world in five year increments fascinated me. Have you ever thought about it that way before? Some things change so gradually that you hardly notice the difference from one year to the next, but when you look at five year intervals things can be dramatically different.
My timeline, starting with yesterday, then one year ago and then jumping five years at a time, looks something like this:
August 12, 2009 - Our children are 9 and 16. My husband and I have been married for 20 years. We've been living in our current home for 13 years. My husband has been working for a major communication company for 15 years.
August 12, 2008 - Our children are 8 and 15. Our son has begun counting the days until he turns 16 and gets his drivers license. In two short months, my brother in law, Gordy, will lose his life in a house fire. You can't turn on the television without seeing a dozen political advertisements.
August 12, 2004 - Our children are 4 and 11. Our daughter will be starting preschool in a month and our son will be starting his second year in middle school. This is our dog Molly's last summer, but of course, we don't know that. The top grossing movie is Shrek 2.
August 12, 1999 - Our son is 6 and I'm pregnant with our daughter, but we don't know it yet. My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We're in the planning stage of some major renovations to our house. The number one song in the US is Genie In A Bottle by Christina Aguilera.
August 12, 1994 - Our son is 19 months old. My husband has just started working for a national communication company. We're living in a beautiful house in Detroit, but the neighborhood is so bad that I can't take our son outside unless my husband is home. We're considering getting a dog as a family pet. This is my maternal grandmother's last summer, but we don't know that. The number one television show is Friends.
August 12, 1989 - We've been married for four months, still newlyweds. We're living in an apartment in the suburbs about a mile from the house I grew up in. I'm working as a tax specialist for a major retailer, where I will also work as a legal assistant in the near future. My husband is working at the corporate offices of a lumber company. My paternal grandmother has recently passed away. Tomorrow, the Sega Genesis will be released in North America.
How does your timeline look? Looking at mine makes me appreciate today and the people I love all that much more.
Special note to Joanna - You're so thoughtful! I've sent you an email with my address. Thank you for thinking of me!