Those images from the past signal to my heart that time really marches on. For some reason, two nights ago, I decided to look through the pictures stored on my computer. Many of my memories of the last five years have my daughter in them.This is one of my favorite pictures of her. The picture was taken in 2007 on the Kemah Boardwalk in Houston, TX.

As I look at her picture, I started thinking about the number five. I remember in high school, people asking me, “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” I thought it was a neat question at the time, youth and beginnings my constant companion. As I’ve climbed the age ladder, I look backwards at my life.  I am asking these questions, “What has happened in the last five years? What have I accomplished in the last five years?”

In my quest to analyze my last five years, I found some neat facts about others, well-known people and what they accomplished in five years. In just under five years, Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. In five years, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and ten other plays. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, in five years increased his net worth to $10 billion.

I realized that those are some monumental, history breaking accomplishments. I’m not out to compare myself to them, but to really analyze what I’ve accomplished. For me, it is easier to envision what I’ve witnessed instead of what I’ve accomplished. I’ve witnessed the following: the first walk and run of my daughter, the first time she went to school, the first time she picked up a pencil, and the first time she read an entire sentences. I’ve witnessed the loss of my father and my aunt. I’ve witnessed the forming of new friendships and the letting go of others.I’ve witnessed my husband graduating from fellowship and my sister graduating from physical therapy school.

I’ve accomplished the following: I quit my job as an attorney to pursue a career in writing. I ran my first half-marathon. I started my blog. I am a first time home owner. The best accomplishment I’ve achieved in the last five years is a new found appreciation for the ordinary. Coffee in the morning, browsing the internet, walking in the neighborhood, a great lunch with a good friend, a kiss from my daughter’s cheek, holding hands with my husband, hugging my mom, and talking with my sister. Because of what I’ve witnessed, I believe it has helped me really appreciate what happens everyday.

As I continued perusing through the albums, I found this picture. This photo was taken in 2011.

Looking at the two pictures, I couldn’t help but look at time. And think about her life and my own. I believe it is one of those ways of realizing that we are all strapped to time. There is no doubt that it moves, faster and faster, even when we are not noticing. It also makes me wonder what I will witness in the next five years and what I will accomplish. I do know this, that, in large part we have some control on the direction we choose to embrace. For me, what I’ve witnessed has a direct influence on what I’ve accomplished.

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What have you witnessed in the last five years? Has it shaped what you have accomplished? Do you believe in five or ten year plans?

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