I’ve been spending a lot of time sifting through eight years of blog posts and essays to include in my book, Life in General. Since many of my Facebook friends indulge in something called “Throwback Thursday”, posting photos of themselves from the past, I thought it might be fun to do something similar here, posting some of my favorite “ Pieces of the Past.” Here’s one from 2006:
Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Do you know?
Theme song from the movie Mahogany, originally recorded by Diana Ross, 1994
My husband I recently purchased new bikes to use at our home in Florida. It’s a perfect five mile ride around the perimeter of our gated community, with lots of inland waterways to admire as you’re pedaling along, and very little traffic to avoid. We try to get a ride in every morning, and Jim gets the bikes out of the garage while I lock up the house. Then it’s time for the big decision - which way to go? We can ride to the end of our street and turn right or left, making a perfect, neatly prescribed circle around the outside of the complex and returning right where we started from. There are no obstacles, no choices about turns, not even any bridges to cross. There are a couple of speed bumps, but it’s generally smooth sailing - a real no-brainer of a ride.
However, we could also ride through the interior of the community, which is a veritable maze of curving streets, glittering ponds, and arched bridges, requiring fancy gear shifting on the bridges, sharp braking on the downhills, and directional decisions all along the way in order to find your way back home.
Jim will usually say, “I don’t care which way we go. You pick.” If you know me very well, you can probably guess what my inclination is - the safe route, with no chance of getting lost, no challenges to face, just easy riding. Lately though, there’s been a nagging voice inside urging me to take the more adventurous way, the “road less traveled.” My husband, perceptive and gentle encourager, will sometimes save me from the decision and say, “Why don’t we start out toward the Town Center?,” knowing this will take us on the path into the unknown. I’m game to follow his lead, nimbly shifting into lower gears on the uphill bridges, flying down on the opposite side and whirling into a sharp turn at the bottom. We’ve gotten lost a time or two, requiring us to stop, take stock, and then venture bravely toward the way we thing we should be going. So far, we’ve always landed safe and sound at our original destination.
Generally I like “knowing where I’m going to.” I’ve traveled though life on well traveled routes that have taken me toward safe destinations with a minimum of challenge or risk. But I have to admit that sometimes I don’t like the “things that life is showing me.” My choice of destinations, while safe and secure, can be - dare I say - BORING. Maybe the destinations for the next part of life’s journey should be a little less predictable, a little more out of the way.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be quite so afraid to head down the opposite side of the road, where adventure might await.
After all, I have become quite fond of flying down those bridges, full speed ahead.