I haven’t been on a bike ride in over a week because life keeps getting in the way of “me time”. Even though it is my day off, I don’t usually sleep in. I was out of bed by 7:00 and on the road by 7:15.

I didn’t have a destination in mind. I just wanted to get out, get some exercise and clear my mind. I decided to take a different route today. As I headed out of the subdivision and across Rt. 59, I got stuck behind a large tractor. I followed him for a block hoping he would turn. When he didn’t, I had to speed up and pass him. Unfortunately, he was headed in the same direction I was, so I had to keep up my faster pace to stay ahead. I was going a lot faster than I planned so I turned down another street and eventually lost him.

When I worked my way out of that subdivision, I crossed another main street. There was a bike path close by that I had never taken, so at the last second I decided to try it out. The rest of my 11 1/2 mile bike ride went just like that. I tried different paths, streets and trails as I worked myself back home. Some of the paths were smooth and had a pleasant view. Other paths were full of glass and unpaved trails. I had some unexpected hills and some great long coasts.

One of the reasons for my bike ride was to clear the “what’s next?” question from my mind. At forty, I am very happy with my life, but that doesn’t mean I plan to coast the rest of my life. Within the next 10 years, all my kids will have left for college and started their own lives. I won’t be needed to drive them everywhere. There won’t be any more ball games to watch. The house will be quiet – just the two of us and the dogs.

So my question is, what path should I be on? I am proud of my children, my successful business and flexible lifestyle but I am always looking ahead to what is next. Like my bike ride, every path I take leads me to another path; sometimes easier and sometimes harder. When you add them all together, these paths have lead me to a life that makes me happy. They are the roads of my journey through life.

Life is like a bike ride. There is comfort in the well worn and familiar paths, but adventure lies in the paths unknown.