Now, granted, the photo was from five years ago, which is a fairly long time for any of us. But my kids' observation made me wonder about how the "me" now is different from the "me" then. I might argue that those were simpler times, when I knew where to go and at what time each day, and when I was surrounded by friends and co-workers who had shared a lifetime with me. I might argue that I gave more thought to makeup and appearance back then. I might argue that those days were stress-free in a way that these days rarely are. But all of those arguments would be sugar-coated. Despite the relative security those days provided, they also held the stresses that any workplace inevitably does--the questioning of one's abilities, the competition for promotion, the exhaustion from long days and challenging people.
So, maybe the changes in me are simply the result of time passage and bigger children (with bigger children challenges). Perhaps they are a reflection of a "me" too busy with the business of life to focus too much on appearance. Perhaps they are the changes that happen in all of us as we make assorted choices along the way.
I will never know what the "me" in that photo would have looked like in the same photo five years later. Even if OLTL had continued, no one can really say whether I or any of the others in the photo would still have been there, or if the years would have done their work anyway.
So, for now, I look back on that picture with nostalgia, and I look forward to now with hope. Because a picture may be worth a thousand words, but continuing to write the thousand words doesn't hurt either.