5 Years Ago Today


Oh, how the world has changed in the last five years. Oh, how it has changed this year alone! Five years ago today: I’d recently seen Pixar’s Inside Out and cried like a baby; President Obama was normalizing relations with Cuba; and Donald Trump had begun campaigning for the presidency (“That Trump?” I replied). And five years ago today on Facebook, I wrote:

“My hearing has been getting worse since my early 30s (from playing in those evil rock bands, no doubt ;>). Still, today was a miserable milestone: It was the first time I’ve ever had to walk out on a movie–because I couldn’t hear the dialogue! Depressing? Oh, yeah. But then I remembered all the things I still have–God, family, friends, health, my writing, my wonderful wife Trudy–and, well, I suddenly realized that today was a very good day.”

Some things have indeed gotten worse: The health and financial well-being of so many people I care about. My hearing. And I’ll keep mum on the presidency, but in many ways the world seems far suckier. And yet…

Some things have actually gotten better: I still have my family and friends, even if we can’t always be together–and I think we value each other even more because of that. Plus, I’ve made many more friends online, especially during the lock-down. I still have my writing, and in fact have grown as a writer. I still have my wonderful partner-in-life Trudy–and value her even more (35th anniversary coming up). Best of all, I still have God, and always will. And in fact, while my physical hearing has gotten worse, my ability to hear Him has gotten steadily stronger.

What has changed in your last five years? What has gotten better?

What can be made better still?

“For this light and momentary affliction is producing an eternal weight of glory that is far beyond comparison. And so we look not to what is seen, but to what is unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

~2 Corinthians 4:17-18

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to 5 Years Ago Today

  1. Robin LeeAnn says:

    Five years ago today, I had graduated high school with honors about a month before. I also had college orientation soon. I was 17 years old.

    A lot has gotten better. I got away from someone who was hurting me. I got my BA now and am continuing my education.

    A lot could still be made better, but I’m working on that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Five and a half years ago I lost my husband. To fill the silence, I wrote 60 books ~ fiction, non-fiction, and for children.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Sheree says:

    It’s important to focus on what we have, not what we don’t. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pamallnuttg says:

    I love this, Mitch and find it true in my own life, as well. Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mitch,
    Boy do I resonate (sardonic pun intended). Eleven years ago I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease and Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease. My hearing has been steadily decreasing ever since. I’m now almost entirely deaf in my left ear–I’ll be getting a cochlear implant soon–and my right ear needs considerable amplification. Thank God for hearing aids and other tech. A little over a year ago I had to quit playing guitar and singing. Years ago before I became a pastor that was how I made a good part of my living. Even in my ministry, music was an important part of my toolkit. I composed a good deal of liturgical and worship music and led music. Serving as a parish music director was my pathway to seminary. This past year, however, I haven’t even been able to listen to music. What I am able to hear just sounds too discordant and, well, awful. It’s especially frustrating because I know how it’s supposed to sound.

    Here’s an irony. Back in the ’80s I composed and produced the theme music for a number of television shows for a production company called Silent Network. They produced programs for deaf and hearing-impaired people and their families.

    Like you, though, I have come to appreciate even more the things I do have–my family, my friends, the presence of God. I’ve come to understand, love, and appreciate silence, too.

    Thank you for your intelligence, wit, and good humor. Your light shines, my friend, and we all need a little help banishing the shadows.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Aw, thanks for sharing a bit of your story, Steve. I can relate. I play guitar and compose too, and sometimes wonder how long I have before I won’t be able to do so anymore either (I didn’t mention it, but I wear hearing aids, as well). Bless you, and thanks for your silver-lining story, my friend!


  6. Very cool, Mitch. I’ll never forget this 90 year old woman. We were having coffee while kids ran about all crazy and I turned to her and said, “don’t you wish you had their energy?” She looked at me in horror and said, “Good heavens, No! Can you imagine anything worse then feeling compelled to run about aimlessly crashing into walls?” It was really quite funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Five years. Wow when I think back in those terms – so much. Five years ago I was unhealthy. In so many ways and still grieving. Now, I am a different person internally and externally. This is amazing Mitch, this post us me looking at an entirely different person. Revelations. Revelations indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joyroses13 says:

    Always always something to be thankul for!! 🙂
    Sorry about the hearing! Understand! 5 years ago I gave in to hearing aids and they have made a huge difference! Still far from perfect but it sure beats missing out on movies, asking what a 100x and ending up just shaking your head hoping its OK to agree when you still don’t know what the person said!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Better: peace of mind that God is in control. Taking more time to do less things better. More time to focus.



    Liked by 1 person

  10. I lost my little brother and my mother within the last three years. I found writing tanka helps with the grieving process.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Msdedeng says:

    I appreciate how you don’t forget the good news either. Very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ruthsoaper says:

    5 years ago we were grieving the loss of our first grandson who was due to be born in June of that year. Instead he was born premature and at just 21 weeks he was two young to survive. This past Saturday we enjoyed a visit from our two grand children Jackson who is 4 and Addie who will be 3 in November. They are siblings to the one we lost. Jackson was born at just 26 weeks and spent the first 3 months of his life in a NICU. His development has been slow but he is healthy and progressing well. When my daughter became pregnant with Addy she received even more specialized prenatal care and was able to carry Addy to nearly full term. We have much to be thankful for. GOD IS GOOD!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Miss Sue says:

    Nice post. Sorry about your hearing. I love your positive outlook though! I saw that movie in the theater! It was so good! I haven’t watched it again since but I would like to see it again. I feel it was well done and really geared towards adults more than kids!
    Wow 5 years sure have flown by.
    A lot has changed for me these last 5 years. Biggest thing is I have lost a little weight! I could stand to loose some more yet but I’m still happy I’ve lost some. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Salem Andero says:

    Mr Mitch.
    This post really challenged me.
    Though the world gets worse than it is now.
    I still have GOD as foremost, then others whom He has kept beside me to stand.
    Thanks Sir for this awesome post.
    God bless you sir.
    And everything thing imperfect with you, I speak perfection In the Name of Jesus.
    Thanks once again Mr Mitch…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. mitchteemley says:

    Thanks and blessings, Salem.


  16. Hearing is such a precious gift. Hearing aidless, almost ten years ago, I tried to hear my brother’s talk about his daughter at her wedding reception. I only got the gist. Three years later I bought my first hearing aid and needed a pair about four years ago. I thank God, though not perfect by any stretch, the electronic devices are so effective. As you infer writing helps to fill one of the holes in our soul. To me while I lose hearing I still enhance my connections with others by “talking,” to the reader. Thank God for huge favors.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pam Webb says:

    I’m still reeling in the changes that have occurred in the last five months!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ann Coleman says:

    In the past five years, our family has gained a wonderful son-in-law, and terrific daughter-in-law, a grandson and a granddaughter. My mother has moved to a retirement community that makes her happy. My husband and I were able to travel to Europe twice. Yes, there have been some bad things we had to endure, and are still enduring, but overall, I am so very blessed and grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Three and a half years ago I started a gratitude journal, jotting each day at least one special gift from God. Even during the self-isolation of this pandemic, there are many blessings to choose from. Three years ago today we were on our way to North Carolina to visit friends and the view of the Smoky Mountains was spectacular. Two years ago today, the 15th landed on a Sunday. I was thankful for the luxury of a nap–just because I felt like it! And last year on this date I laughed while watching two hummingbirds fight over the feeder even though there are five portholes for sipping. Alexander MacLaren said: “Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.” He didn’t mention what fun it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 5 years ago was a good time..

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great piece of scripture. I’d be lost in life if I didn’t have an eternal perspective to keep me going.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful reminder of all we have to be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. boromax says:

    I do this a lot, actually; look back five years to see how much has “happened” in those ‘short’ five years. Sometimes I take a little further and look back at my whole life five years at a time. Every five year span is always chock full of life and activity. Amazing. I think this habit started many years ago when I was being asked regularly at work to prepare a “Five-Year Plan.” I always thought, “Good grief! So much can happen in five years! How can we seriously and realistically make such a plan?” It took me a while to realize making those plans was simply an exercise in helping us decide what to do NOW to move in the direction we HOPE to be in five years; and there will always, always be adjustments based on developments. Thank you, Mitch!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Raymond Bernardo says:

    I remember five years ago when I had my job interview and that cliche question got asked. “How can I see myself five years from now?”, i still remember my answer, candidly, and I’m proud to say that the things that I am planning for myself five years ago, was very miniscule compared to what life has given me. I realized that our direction can vary and go beyond what we have planned but it is always going to a better path. Love the progress! Thanks Mitch!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s