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Book: Sailing Down the Moonbeam by Mary Gottschalk

Book: Sailing Down the Moonbeam by Mary Gottschalk

categories: Book, Travel, Self-Discovery, Memoir, Illusion of Control, South Pacific, Caribbean, Panama, New Zealand, Sailing


Mary Gottschalk

Author Mary Gottschalkabout this book: In the sailing world, the path to your destination is not well marked, the route you take depends on the weather, and you often end up someplace very different from where you set out to go. In other words, sailing is a metaphor for life and life's mysteries. It certainly has been a metaphor for my life.

Sailing Down the Moonbeam covers my own physical as well as emotional journey when my husband and I (both of us roughly 40 years of age, professionally successful and committed New Yorkers) set out on a five-year circumnavigation that came to an end after three years, but kept me away from home for nearly a decade.

But the sailing experience, where the wind, the weather and the currents were completely out of my control, helped me to realize how much energy and emotion I'd wasted during my New York years, how caught up I'd been in the illusion that I had control over my day-to-day life. Once I let go of this illusion, I had much more energy to devote to things I really cared about. The result was a far more satisfying and financially successful career than if I'd done the safe thing and stayed on the corporate track in New York.

I suppose the single most important theme in Moonbeam is that you learn the most about yourself when you step outside of your comfort zone, when you have the opportunity/challenge of dealing with people and customs that are very different from your own. A related theme, which I emphasize in my blog, is that most of the time control over life is an illusion.

These themes are, I believe, relevant to everyone, even if they never leave their hometown.

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