This past Sunday marked my fifth anniversary with the Echo Journal.

It seems incredibly strange to think about that fact, but it’s true. I have been at this corner desk in this office in Pequot Lakes writing stories for the Echo Journal for the past half decade.

“Time flies” is an overused cliche, but really it doesn’t seem like five years should have come and gone the way it has.

It feels like it wasn’t that long ago when I met with Pete and Nancy for an interview. I remember it going fairly well. I also remember telling them I would need to burn a week of vacation time (which I had not earned) about a month into the job for my honeymoon, so I guess I didn’t know what to think as I left the building that day.

Clearly, they decided to take a chance on yours truly. For that, I am forever grateful.

About 60 school board meetings and hundreds of sporting events later, I think it is fairly safe to say I’m a different person than I was in the summer of 2014.

Really more of that is on the personal life side of things. After all, since that time, my high school car bit the dust, I lived in a two-bedroom apartment with eight cats for two months and I now shave my head once a week. Those are experiences that change a person.

More seriously, I became a homeowner in the lakes area. I became a husband to the best wife a guy can have, and a father to the funniest 1-year-old I’ll probably ever know.

Those are the things that will change a person, and change they have.

But maybe those things are made a little bit sweeter by the fact that I have an enjoyable job. When I’m away from my son for eight or 10 hours, it is because I am working a job that can be really fun and interesting, and has me meeting fun and interesting people.

This job is also made better by the fact that I have had some great coworkers over the past five years to help me along through some of the more overwhelming times.

Also, the people I have to work with on a regular basis - coaches, school administrators, city employees, etc. - will usually answer phone calls and emails from me without complaint. That is not a given in this line of work, so that is a blessing.

So if you have ever been a part of my work day in some way, all I can say is thank you. Thank you for letting me do what I do. If you have ever shared a kind word with me about the work I do, believe me when I say that means an awful lot to me. (Tell good journalists you come across the same thing every once in a while! You will absolutely make their day.)

If you have ever complained about something I wrote, you have made me a better reporter. That is certainly something I take solace in knowing.

I have no idea what the next five years will look like for me, but if it is anything like these past five, I can’t imagine I’ll complain too much.