The Pull of the Moon – Elizabeth Berg

Rating: 5 stars

Cliff Notes: I could not put it down and read it in one sitting. Then I was sad it was over. I will be keeping this book.

Full Summary: This one really touched a nerve with me as June is my birthday month, and 2019 is a milestone birthday for me – a milestone that rounds up to 50, the age Nan is in this story. The age she is lamenting in this story. Nan is wrestling with lots of the questions I have been turning over this year. What does it mean to get old? Am I supposed to age gracefully or become a truer version of myself as I age and stop putting up with bullshit?

Why is retirement feared – I often hear of employees who don’t want to retire because they don’t know how they will fill their time. What happens when we get still? They don’t know if they can stand to be with their partner all the time – what happens if we have different interests?

From Nan, The Pull of the Moon

I am not going to lie – I had a hard time between 35 and now. I thought I would be at a different point in my career. Seven years ago I chucked the career I had worked for since I was in 3rd grade straight out the window. I am not going to say that I have never looked back, but I will say several changes in my life have made room for the smaller inside voice to be heard in the stillness. The “dull nudge” that Nan talks about in this book.

“The thought was not in words, it was in the form of a dull nudge. And it was that nudge that got me to find this journal, and get going on this trip. And now, in my own stillness, I hear something. ‘Where have you been?’ my inside body whispers to my outside one. Its sense of outrage is present but dulled by the grief of abandonment. ‘I had ideas, There were things to do. Where did you go?’

Nan, The Pull of the Moon

I still do not think I have landed exactly where I am supposed to be, but I sure am closer than ever. I have a few circles of friends who help with this discovery – trying to excavate creativity, authenticity, and vulnerability. It is challenging, exciting, exhausting and invigorating all at the same time. I am extraordinarily lucky to have a partner who supports this excavation and is not threatened by it in the least (I attribute this partly to waiting until later in life to marry). However, I have had relationships change their look and feel or fall by the wayside altogether.

While I certainly have mourned these relationship changes and second guessed myself (usually in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep for thinking about it), I don’t want to continue to put everyone else ahead of me. Dulling my creative energy to take care of someone else’s needs is not what I am on the Earth for. I am sure my fellow people pleasers can relate. And where are all the pleased people anyway?

The Pull of the Moon Elizabeth Berg