Opening a New Chapter in Life


This morning my youngest daughter, Susan, left on the first leg of her move to California, where she will open a new chapter in her life. A new job, a new unknown-as-yet-to-her state to live in, some long-time friends, as well as new friends await her. She has been visiting with us here in Virginia since she left Florida two weeks ago and it’s been a wonderful visit.


My daughters, Polly, left, and Susan, last evening

Transitions this large are not always easy, are often bittersweet, require much courage, and yet from my own experience, bring new opportunities as well as abundant new growth. Sue has been planning this for many months and she is ready. Readier than I, as a matter of fact, yet I know her decision is solid and good.

So, as she starts her travels on these  new roads of her journey, my heart feels so close to her. She doesn’t know it right now, but I travel in the truck cab with her, watching the miles pass by and my mind engaged in conversation with her.

I miss you already, sweet daughter. Be safe, be well, get rested, and be open to what resonates within your heart as you encounter opportunities that will enrich your life. Shalom, and so much love, Mom


Susan, last evening, with Merle, Polly’s foster dog


About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me to a splendid, if unforeseen place, almost as if I were a traveler on Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. I was single again, my three children were grown and building their lives, I'd experienced a health issue and was working on an improved lifestyle. I also ached to do two other things: (1) change my long human services career in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, where winter seemed to be at least seven months out of every year, and (2) move to a warmer place in the universe. My decision: did I want to continue on the path I'd been following pretty much all my life, or could I gather my then-fragile courage and start life brand new somewhere else? These were scary thoughts for a single woman in her late 50s. Five hundred miles away, though, I fell in love with a new mountain range, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where I knew not a soul except my daughter who was attending college in the Shenandoah Valley, and I moved. I rented a tiny cabin on a mountain in the woods and lived there in solitude for two years, working in a new career by day and, when home, communing with the incredible natural beauty that surrounded me. There I also began to write my life stories, which were aching for release. I joined the Story Circle Network in early 2001, a rich place in cyberspace for women life writers, where I strengthened my written voice and began sharing my stories. I found so many opportunities to grow: 10 year facilitator for an online writing circle of women writers across the country; thirteen year editor of the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal; a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site; program chair for two Stories from the Heart national conferences in Austin, T. Presently I'm teaching Women's Life-Writing and Older Women's Legacy workshops in my part of the world in Central Virginia and facilitating the ongoing Circle of Memories Writing Circle (formerly an OWL workshop that continued on) at the Crozet Public Library. I am blessed with three wonderful children, a son and two daughters; a small, huge-hearted family; dear friends; my beagle Addie and cat Button. My hobbies include reading, writing, editing, cooking, gardening, quilting, knitting, biking, and simply being with the profound beauty of the mountains that embrace my small two acres in the Blue Ridge. The life stories I began writing in 2001 have grown deeper with time, re-writes, and personal growth. All these years later, I'm scheduled to publish my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life, in 2018.
This entry was posted in Change, Courage, Family, Gifts, Mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Opening a New Chapter in Life

  1. Keep writing, and I will keep reading….love to hear about your life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Jo Doig says:

      Thanks, Donna. It so nice to connect with you again. Susan just left Buttonwillow, CA this morning for her final 500 miles to Eureka. I’ll be so happy when she arrives. Her traveling alone has been a constant concern… Hugs, Mary Jo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s