Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity” as Want to Read:
This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  83 reviews
In this intimate and funny collection of essays on the sometimes confusing, sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious condition of being a woman over sixty, Susan Moon keeps her sense of humor and she keeps her reader fully engaged. Among the pieces she has included  here are an essay on the gratitude she feels for her weakening bones; observations on finding herself both an ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Shambhala (first published 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  394 ratings  ·  83 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity
Peter Landau
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the only things I do right is get old. Not that there’s a right way to get old, just that no matter what I do I keep aging. It’s one of the few things I’d prefer to fail at, but I guess this is the exception that proves the rule.

When I was young I liked to think of myself as old. I loved the way the elderly dressed and copied their style. I enjoyed the company of those in dementia over the sharpies of youth. Of course, it’s easy to love what you’re not. Once I hit a certain age and my me
...more
Michele
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a Christmas gift from my Wish List on Amazon. Having reached my middle 50's I really enjoy this look at getting old and ways to adjust the attitude on getting old.
Teresa
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. As some reviews already said, being a collection of essays, some spoke to me more than others. I particularly enjoyed her frankness about it all. Her pieces on becoming an orphan (when her mother died) and coping with depression REALLY spoke to me. As well as the aches and pains, and the worries over it all. If the reader is not a Zen Buddhist, they may find the Zen references too much. But I didn't. The book stands alone, without those bits.

I particularly liked this
...more
diana leigh
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
It started out good, but got a little boring in the end.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Moon is just a little bit farther down the road of life than I am, so it helps me a lot to see what’s ahead for me. It’s not a pretty world, the sixties. Falls, for example, are already a problem for me. I’ve already taken several spills in my fifties, all of them embarrassing but, so far, not life-altering. Moon has a whole chapter on falls which might seem tedious to a twenty-something, but is amazing insight to me at fifty-three. Moon also talks about her difficulties with depression and lone ...more
Trish
Looked this over to see if it would be a good book for a relative and was disappointed it had so many words. They are only short essays but I sort of was hoping for pithy on-page insights and I found several page essays on really depressing aspects of getting old...falling down, not begin able to open jars, etc. We don't even like to think about those things, let alone read about them. Another reminder, if we ever needed one, to read the book first before you give it as a gift. Not a favorite.
GraceAnne
Sep 30, 2010 rated it liked it
I had a lot of trouble with this. Perhaps because it was too true and real, perhaps because its California Zen author was too different from me although so much was the same. There are two quotes that I took to heart, however.

"There are times in life when nothing helps, when you just have to feel terrible for a while." p130

"Longing is its own satisfaction. It's already complete." p143
Mizloo
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enlightening, amusing, engaging. Very well-written. Lots of quotable sentences. A smart woman who has both spent too much time wondering why she is single, and lots of time on the reasons her life is full and rich. I found it more agreeable in small doses.
Devorah
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I need a zen approach to aging. This had humor, felt familiar, and gave me perspective.
Gail
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This. Is. Wonderful.

I found this book via an offer from Amazon deals and as I was approaching my 70th birthday, decided to buy it. I’m glad I did.

Ms. Moon has written a book that covers the gamut of experiences, thoughts, and feelings about being an aging woman. It’s constructed as a series of essays, every one of which had a nugget of meaning in it. She is a terrific writer, able to provide vivid descriptions of people, places and events that pull you right into her essay.

She and I are very
...more
Haoyan Do
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another book on sale and another book one could regret one bought it. Even the picture on the cover, which looks just as sanguine as another nice outfit for a nice book, is deceptively depressing. So many candles crowd the cake that the oversized flaming top seems on the point of toppling over. However once started, I found myself enjoying it more than I had expected. I particularly enjoy the part, in which the author bought a big house, with the help from her parents, and made her home a commun ...more
Elf
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I would rate higher if it wasn’t for “Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity” which is quite misleading. The book starts off humorous indeed but as soon as the second essay things get depressing. And this is with one of the most challenging things to read about; losing loved ones. Parents to be exact. And there is just nothing about finding the experience more peaceful in an inspirational way nor much–if any–humor. I have found the editing order bizarre about the same reason. The author’s ...more
Jerry Wall
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Zen practitioner of 4 decades tells us of insights on aging.
Wabi-sabi" is a Japanese expression for the beauty of impermanence. p. xii
The thief let it behind. / the moon / at my window. p. 137
Why was there only one small self inside my head, serving a life sentence in the solitary confinement of my skull, looking out of my eye sockets? It didn't make sense. p. 140
"Hello, longing. I know you." p. 143
"FOMS Syndrome" fear of missing something. p. 155
I can't be in more than one place at a time, but
...more
Debbie Lisman
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charming, tender, and very real.

Wonderful book! I laughed, and I cried as I read this. My 65th birthday is in just a few short weeks. I just received my ‘acceptance’ letter for Medicare...

This book is tender, compassionate, and at the same time quite funny, as it tells the story of a woman moving into her last third of her life. Everyday life continues, but from a different perspective now. I highly recommend this to others just moving into their ‘Medicare’ years...
Barbara P
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a joy to read this book, a first hand glimpse from someone aging like me. Her writing is light and times humorous without the gloom of getting older. She doesn't skirt around aging reality but shares her very personal experiences with humor and dignity. Was a delight reading her writing and
made me grateful aging is natural, even if I would prefer that time not go by so quickly.
Beverly Hollandbeck
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
A gentle memoir of a former hippie about my age. Some characteristics of aging we share: arthritis, memory loss, becoming the matriarch of the family. But her lifestyle - solitary - and her religion - Buddhist - keep this from becoming the book I thought it would be, a shared vision of aging as a woman.
Judi Easley
May 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 60s and up...
Recommended to Judi by: Book Bub
First thoughts: A Zen Buddhist writing essays about getting old and what she's done to handle it is definitely a niche book. So why did I read it? Being about the same age as the author, I felt she might have some insights into the process. Not really, she was just sharing her trip and a lot of meditation.
Casey
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf
This is actually on my DNF (did not finish) shelf but not due to the writing. I felt like the author was someone I might want to meet, to talk with about aging, to ask questions ((except for the eye procedure!)).

But the narration just droned (in audio) and I just began not to care. At some point I may find this in print or ebook but there is much left to read in the world.
Janet
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me a while to read this book as I kept putting it down. I expected to relate more than I did to her tales on aging but for the most part it seemed she was adopting a physical age far older than her 65 years.
Janet Ankiel
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a hard book for me to read because I have never been as self absorbed as the author. What a remarkable waste of energy this woman has engaged in. I kept reading hoping she would turn a corner and find that life , while difficult at timed, can be beautiful. Sad!
Beverly
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I connected with some of this book, and loved those parts and the rest was OK. I expected a little more humor, and maybe a little less black clouds. Perhaps, I am not in the same head space as the author.
Peggy Thomson
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Liked it a lot at the beginning, not as much near the end. Part of this was probably my issues, but I think it may have fizzled, as well.
Nola
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This definitely spoke to me at many levels. Well worth it on many levels. Of course, I am older, single, and female but it is nice to know that I am not the only one.
Ken
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: aging
slow but somewhat interesting
Noreen
Collection of essays on aging by a practicing Zen Buddhist in Berkeley CA. Zen thoughts on aging with humor and dignity. Satisfying bedtime reading....
Marguerite
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I got 2/3 of the way through and just couldn’t go further. I found it boring, to be honest. I give it 2 stars instead of one because I did like some of her references to eastern thought.
Susie
Apr 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
Book left me feeling bad for Susan Moon. Other than really relating to the essay on her mother’s hospitalization and death, I just found her to be a tortured soul.
Jackie Morales
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me too

I saw myself in your thoughts . Growing older has been difficult for me, but now I must learn to think of the process in more positive terms.
Rebecca Thomas
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Susan put thoughts running through my mind into words.
Alahab
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Funny and really thought-provoking. I loved it!
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation
  • The Second Sleep
  • Bibliostyle: How We Live at Home with Books
  • The French Sultana (The Veil and the Crown, #2)
  • Edinburgh Dusk (Ian Hamilton Mysteries #2)
  • Don't Say a Word
  • Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon's Relentless Madre de Dios
  • Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
  • The Siberian Dilemma (Arkady Renko #9)
  • The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free
  • Thrive in Retirement: Simple Secrets for Being Happy for the Rest of Your Life
  • Copper River (Cork O'Connor, #6)
  • Why We're Polarized
  • Dracula the Undead
  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)
  • The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them
  • Ven
  • Murder in Provence (Maggie Newberry Mysteries, #3)
See similar books…

Related Articles

You might know comedian Colin Jost from his work as the co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or perhaps you know him as Scarlett...
118 likes · 46 comments
“parents dead. Can’t backpack, can’t do hip hop. Who am I, really? Now I get to find out.” 1 likes
“Hiding inside this well-meaning phrase is a deep cultural assumption that old is bad and young is good.” 0 likes
More quotes…