I wondered when it would happen, because we all knew it would someday—Downton Abbey first season reruns are back. I just happened to be flipping through channels this past Saturday night, and there it was. Mesmerized as if I had never seen it before, I sat down to once again be caught in the world of the Ladies Mary, Edith, Sybil, that of Robert, the Earl, and Cora, the Countess of Grantham, and of course, the Grand Dowager played by Maggie Smith, but also the lives of the servants, Carson, Mrs. Hughes, and Mrs. Patmore, to name just a few. But what was shocking to me was how different everyone looked in a measly five year period. In season one, Lady Mary had a softer roundness to her face than she did in the last episode of the last season. The Grand Dowager and Cora were both visibly older. Carson revealed, in a life so far removed from that of a head butler, that he had been a performer in a circus-like act. And the conniving, despicable character of Thomas that no one really cared for when Downton Abbey began, was so miraculously transformed, that by the end of the show’s run, everyone was rooting for and loved the man he had become. What a difference five years can make.
And what a difference that can be in our own lives, too. Just think about when you see a fresh photo of yourself. We often think how awful we look, but seeing that same picture even just a few years later we think, “I didn’t look that bad. In fact, I looked pretty dog-gone gooood.” Or, on the other end of the spectrum, the growing number of laugh-lines, smile lines, and turkey neck syndrome can equally make us think, “Oh my! WHAT a difference five years can make.” Continue reading