We asked her,and three others, to tell us what it means to grow older. Here’s what she had to say.
My name is Alita. You don’t have to call me Ms. Urban. Alita is just fine.
I consider myself a volunteer. I don’t think it matters if you’re young or old. As long as you’re doing the job.
I like the term “seasoned saints.” To me, that means somebody who’s been around the block a few times. I guess I call myself a “seasoned senior.” Say that three times fast.
Being a senior is freedom to slow down or freedom to enjoy life. I’ve read lots of books about people becoming poets and artists at age 90. You get to do something you’ve always wanted to do.
As a young child, I thought an old lady had a cane; gray hair; a short, curly hairdo and a hat … They almost had a uniform to show their age. But we don’t do that now.
I don’t need to be in the office. I don’t need to earn a paycheck. I don’t need to be traveling all over the world. I mean, that would be nice, if I had an escort.
I get to tell people what it was like back in my day and what conveniences you have as life progresses. It’s fun to grow old because you see all the changes taking place in the job force and in the computer industry. My goodness.
I remember when I was 8 years old, I was talking to my mother in the kitchen about someone’s sister who lived down the street. She was 20, and I said, “Oh, she’s old.”
My mother, who was in her 50s, told me, “Oh, Alita. To me, she’s not old.”
I couldn’t wrap my head around that. As a young child, I thought an old lady had a cane; gray hair; a short, curly hairdo and a hat. And a dress. Most of them wore dresses in those days.
They almost had a uniform to show their age. But we don’t do that now.
I was surprised the first time I saw an old lady wearing blue jeans. She was thin, and I thought, “Maybe it doesn’t matter.” Now they wear anything they want.
And to see an old lady in a bathing suit – I used to think that was awful. Now, I think they should enjoy themselves. They’re not trying to show off. They just want to enjoy the beach.
I’m going to take advantage of opportunities. There’s a trip that some people I know are going on – to Alaska. That may be on my bucket list. I want to do some more things and go to more places.
Lately, I’ve been doing things with my church. I also feed the homeless on Saturdays. I’m still doing a lot of the things I was doing. It’s nice to be connected to Heart2Heart and things like that so you meet more people and just share stories.
If you eat well and take all the precautions to stay well, you can have a good time in life.
To volunteer with Alita, check out Heart2Heart’s outreach opportunities.