Every exit

Garden Gate, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia 2005

“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.”Tom Stoppard

Sometimes a painful change can be eased by choosing to have faith that good things may lie ahead.  Perhaps we can re-frame a forced or unwanted exit — from a job, a relationship or any phase of life — as the beginning of a new direction.  If we focus on the discovery of hidden possibilities, we will face the future with optimism instead of dread.

This post originally was published seven years ago today. To view the original post and comments, scroll down in the archives at the right hand side to January 2013, or use the search bar to search for the post by date.


  1. Carolyn miller

    Hello friend, hope all is well with you and Matt?i have some anticipation going on right now. I will let you know after the 23of this month. Glad to see you are back.love your blogs.

    • Hi Carolyn, thanks for checking in. I will look forward to hearing more about your news. I’m glad you don’t mind reading “re-runs.” 😀

  2. Carol Hoyos

    Hi Julia,
    Well, again i feel as if I’ve missed something 🙁 I didn’t receive the email that you made reference to so I’m at a loss as to what has taken place. I can only surmise that you will no longer be publishing. What a loss‼️

    • Hi Carol, sorry for the confusion. I am not sure which email reference you mean, but I didn’t send out any sort of general email, though I did answer people who wrote to me individually to ask what happened to the blog. The post that published on 11-4-19 was the last new one I published. The reasons were many but primarily it had to do with wanting to spend less time on the computer. For several weeks there were no posts at all but I decided that, since the 1116 posts I wrote over the 7 years I was actively posting were still there and could be re-blogged, I would go ahead and do that for whoever is interested in reading them. I know I have forgotten most of them myself so probably most people have, and of course there are many new readers who weren’t with us 7 years ago. So for now, it will just be “re-runs” as Raynard so memorably called them. But if television can show reruns for years on end, I decided I might as well try it. So far (based on stats alone) the verdict seems to be that it’s worth doing, a sort of compromise between continuing with new ones which takes far more time than I want to spend online, and re-posting, which takes far less time. As long as the demand is there I’ll try to keep doing that, but time will tell. Again I apologize for the confusion. I didn’t make any sort of general announcement because I didn’t really make a permanent decision, I just knew I needed to take a break and prioritize other parts of my life.

  3. Good reminder, Julia, thanks. It has been a rough move the past year and many other changes. Best to you and yours in 2020.

    • Cynthia, it is always so good to hear from you. I’m sorry that the past year has been challenging for you too. Does it ever get easier? Or do we simply hope to learn better ways of coping? It’s often said that great art comes of hardship and your most recent poem is a prime example of that. Thanks for being here, and many good wishes for an easier year this year.

      • Much appreciated, Julia. I doubt it gets that much easier for too long, and thank goodness we have peace and other positives, as well; such is the way of homo sapiens–or,perhaps, for some of us!
        Best to you and yours.

        • Best wishes to you too, Cynthia. You are an inspiration to me and so many others.

      • (And re: coping skills–yeas, often unearthing new ones or resurrecting the old!)
        What are some that work for you?

        • Books and music have been my most reliable coping strategies, especially unabridged audio books that I listen to while doing household chores, and lively 70’s-80’s rock music that I listen to while exercising. I used to joke that Mick Jagger was a better antidepressant than any pill, with his high energy and maximum attitude. “Jumping Jack Flash” is, in my mind, one of the greatest survival ballads of all time, however far fetched the picture it paints. Lately, though, I’ve added a few new coping strategies, and gone back to others. I still need to resume consistent daily walking, which is another strategy that has served me well over the years. A new one I’ve incorporated that I finally have time for, is high-quality cinema, whether in person or at home on DVD or streaming. Have you seen the new Mr. Rogers movie with Tom Hanks? Being a total Mr. Rogers fanatic, I was worried about whether I would like it, but I thought it was fabulous. I knew Hanks could never be Fred Rogers, but he did a very good job of allowing that incomparable Mr. Rogers spirit to flow through him on screen, which is a tribute to Hanks’ acting talent. Beyond that, the movie was quite well done and for me, surprising despite all that I had read, including the Esquire article by Tom Junot on which the movie was based. Disclaimer: this is NOT a movie for children, so don’t bring any young ones with you when you watch it!

          • I have not seen the movie, but I an enthusiastic am a film-watcher when they seem to be really good ones via reviews and recommendation. I do love several British series on Netflix or Amazon Prime, nature shows and PBS Smithsonian channel, etc. And books! I like the paper ones, overall, the experience of reading a book in bed propped up. Music goes without saying almost…Were/are you a musician, too? Music saves me as much as anything, especially classical and jazz but I love many other genres. I get Mick Jagger though I haven’t heard him in a long time. Love the Beatles. I think you know I am an avid walker/hiker–must for my health but I also just enjoy it daily so much!
            Goodness, I am almost writing a letter in response! (We should email or exchange real letters, perhaps.)
            So glad you are here, Julia. Hug–if I may– across the miles.

            • Cynthia, you certainly may! I love those cyber hugs. I’m happy to say that I managed to pass along my love for the Beatles to both my sons. But who could resist the Beatles, really? I was never a musician, though I did play the clarinet (badly) for a few years, and the piano, which I loved more, for many more years. When I got to the college level and had to learn Bach’s eighth invention, that was as far as it went, though I did finally get the hang of it. I realized I just wasn’t willing to put in the 2-3 hours per day that I had to put in, just to stay remotely competent and pass the juries at the end of the semester. I love to sing but my siblings were much more vocally talented that I am.

              I do still prefer the paper books, and have gotten back to reading them more often lately, though my Kindle, Mp3 player, and iPod (for audiobooks from the library) still get lots of use.

              • Love all instruments, and reed instruments very much,I understand the reluctance to continue musical training; My father was a classical musician and most of my family (plus extended family) have been professional musicians. I post about growing up in such a family from time to time. I was a cellist–still have the silent cello I studied hard and played for 10 yrs. then left music behind…

                I a, looking for a car CD player for music and audio books as my recent car purchase does not have a CD player! How could I over overlooked that!
                My replies, etc. are getting extensive–sorry about that!
                Appreciate the interactions, though. 🙂

                • Cynthia, this is fascinating information about your family. I may have read some of it on your blog at some point but I had forgotten. Yes, I too was surprised to discover that cars don’t come with CD players anymore! One more reason I’m hanging on to my 2013 Sonata. You need never worry about extensive replies. I love reading every word. Have you noticed how LONG many of mine are? 🙂 Hey — since you said you are a cellist — did you know Yo-Yo Ma and Fred Rogers were very close friends? Ma’s son Nicholas produced the recent documentary movie (not to be confused with the Tom Hanks fictionalized one) and I saw a really neat interview with him and Joann Rogers, Fred’s widow, talking about the friendship between Fred and Yo-Yo Ma. What is a silent cello?

                  • Wow, I did NOT know about Yo Yo Ma and Fred Rogers being friends or Yo Yo Ma’s son’s work! I must see both the movie and the documentary now.
                    Funny you have a Sonata since I have a 2018 Elantra…and, of course, the 2010 that was perfect before it was totaled.
                    A silent cello?..If you are asking seriously, it is one that has become “mute” as it stands in the corner of my room, sequestered in its hard protective case as it is never played, anymore. It makes me feel deeply sad…but there it is. (I lost most of my good technique due, naturally, to lack of playing regularly.)

                    • I wondered about getting an Elantra, but I’ve enjoyed my Sonata so much that I think I’ll stay with that model. I really like Hyundai and both our Sonatas (a 2010 and a 2013) gave us over 100K with pretty much NO problems at all, aside from typical maintenance. Other brands, even Toyota, have not been as reliable. Yes, I was serious asking about the silent cello. I can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes. I went back and re-read your comment and I just didn’t connect that you meant the cello is now silent…I thought maybe there was some sort of cello that had the capacity to do something volume-related or some such nonsense. I told you I was no musician! 🙂

                    • That made me smile! You can mute a stringed instrument, of course, so it becomes very, very quiet. But silenced means–of dear, heart twinge–means just that.

                    • I learn so much in the comments section. I didn’t realize stringed instruments could be muted, though of course I knew that the brass and woodwinds could. I suppose, come to think of it, that I own a silent piano myself. 🙂

                  • Oddly, I did answer and that reply is not here. I did not know about Yo Yo Ma’s/ Fred Rogers’ friendship or about the documentary! That is very interesting and that documentary must be worth seeing.
                    A silent cello in this case is one that has become mute due to my not playing it…

                    • Cynthia, the reply was there, I was just late getting to it. I get so many spam comments that I have to have them moderated and sometimes I don’t get to them as quickly as I’d like!

  4. Ann

    What a wonderful post. I’m guessing that, for most of us, much has changed in our lives in the last seven years since this was originally posted. Thanks

    • Yes Ann, when I stop to think about it, I am stunned by how much has changed in those seven years. In my case, the death of seven close family members including both my parents and my husband, and besides that, the loss of my beloved Pasha who was my constant companion for over 16 years. And I am sure that in your life and in most of our lives, a similar list of losses could be compiled. Yet there were joys, too, and I’m trying to keep focused on them…and to add new ones. May 2020 bring us all many positive changes to go along with the inevitably sad ones that accompany the blessing of a long life.

  5. PS-Have often been to Wiilliamsburg and have enjoyed it. A daughter taught at William and Mary for a few years and another one is a Chaplin at a retirement place outside of the city. Love Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, too.

    • Yes, one reason it’s so hard for me to sell my Yorktown home is that I love living in the “historic triangle” of Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg. Being able to go there for just a couple of hours is such a nice perk of living nearby. The kids at William and Mary have a warm place in my heart for all the wonderful activities they make possible for adults with disabilities in our area. Each year the Greek system hosts a carnival on campus where each adult participant is paired with a college buddy who helps them enjoy the day. They also have activities throughout the year, including sports, bingo, and other fun things. We’ve lived all over the USA but I don’t know of any college anywhere that does anything like it. The entire effort is managed by the Greek clubs. I generally don’t care much for sororities and fraternities but these kids are exceptional.

      • Wonderful to hear. And I can imagine how much you have enjoyed it there–beautiful area as well as historical. 🙂

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