Retirement Transition and Change

“Books and Websites That Help” by Patricia Cavanaugh

By September 14, 2010 2 Comments

Susan Moon has written a short, 176 pages, and deceptively simple book called “This is Getting Old” about the challenges and the gifts of aging from a Zen prospective.

At first, I found myself under-whelmed by her writing but I stayed with her and found myself drawn in by her simple and honest sharing of the ordinary daily events that confront us as we age. 

Susan writes poignantly about her relationship with her mother. We see how her point of view changes as she begins to enter her own aging process.  She also speaks about the challenges of living alone as we age.  I am in that stage along with several of my friends.  We talk about “aging in place” as the folks at Ashby Village have opted to do.  You can find out more about them at

My single friends and I also talk about finding a companion and how challenging it can be in the age of on line dating.  A new Oakland based business has just opened it’s doors is a resource to meet this very need. It is a high touch matchmaking business based on meeting with others, who are 40+, over a period of several weeks while engaged in non-profit service activities.  You can find them at   

Susan addresses the difficulties she encounters such as no longer being able to meditate on the floor for long periods of time.  She found new ways to find that quiet contemplative place where she feels at last alone and connected at the same time. Trusting herself enough to take a break from her devotional practice for several weeks, she thrusts herself deep into the woods alone with only her sister’s dog as a companion and there faces her demons of depression and loneliness.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of her book in our 3rd Act bookstore.  

Let us know what you think.


  • Meredith Stout says:

    Dear Patricia, thank you for your review of Susan Moon’s book and applying it to 3rd Act concerns. I think “This is Getting Old” is a must-read for everyone in the 3rd Act, as well as the 2nd Act and even the First. Thank you for your work, Meredith

  • Ruth C. says:

    I’ve enjoyed your past blog posts and finally wanted to add a few thoughts…
    The idea of “Aging In Place” has really been on my mind as we navigate next steps with our 85 and 91 year old mothers this fall. The time between my age (nearing 60)and the 80 somethings suddenly seem so short. We all know how quickly 10 years can pass, so taking time now to prepare and re-direct seem so crucial. Thanks for the Ashbyvillage resource.
    Also, Matches that Matter is a wonderful idea!
    Looking forward to reading Susan’s book & others you are recommending. Happy to see one of my favorites, Composing a Life (Mary Catherine Bateson–she was recently interviewed in the NY Times
    thanks for your inspiring work, 3rd Act!
    Ruth C.

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