Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Is Getting Old by Susan Moon

I have a confession to make. I am getting old(er). And I haven’t been taking it well. I’m usually not much of a self-help book reader but when Susan Moon’s, This Is Getting Old came across the circulation desk, it was the subtitle that spoke to me: Zen thoughts on aging with humor and dignity. I thought to myself, “yeah, that’s how I want to do it, with humor and dignity.” I checked out the book and took it home.

The author divides her two dozen essays into three sections. The first, “Cracks In The Mind And Body”, gently introduced me to all the physical frailties I have to look forward to. One of the more hopeful is a reflection on forgetfulness entitled “Senior Moment, Wonderful Moment,” a wry play on words taken from a poem by the Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

The second section explores changing relationships among friends, family and the realization that, as an older adult, the author’s previous intimate relationship may well have been her last. The final section deals with matters of the spirit and coming to terms with death.

Moon’s essays are wise and funny and often irreverant, something you’d expect from an ex-hippie Buddhist from Berkeley. Although I haven’t quite come to terms with the gray hairs, creaking joints and near-constant desire for a nap after lunch, reading Susan Moon’s This Is Getting Old has given me the useful perspective of that cool grandmother I never had.

Never mind that she’s not much older than I am.

You can reserve This Is Getting Old here.


  1. This is a topic that needs more air time - America seems to exalt youth to such a degree that old age comes upon us as a great shock; we are completely unprepared for it, which leads to isolation and depression. Maybe this book will inspire some conversation - thanks for the review.

  2. I agree. The death of the extended family for the most part in America isolates the young and old from learning from each other.
    You're welcome.

  3. I didn't even finish this. I thought the author whined too much.