Adultitis | n. A common condition occurring in people between the ages of 21–121, marked by chronic dullness, mild depression, moderate to extremely high stress levels, a general fear of change, and, in some extreme cases, the inability to smile. Patients can appear aimless, discontent, and anxious about many things. Onset can be accelerated by an excess burden of bills, overwhelming responsibilities, or a boring work life. Generally, individuals in this condition are not fun to be around.
[See also: The Cure Adultitis Institute]
Adultitis Booby Trap | n. A simple item or routine you incorporate into your life for the purpose of serindipitously reminding yourself to smile, laugh, or take yourself lightly, particularly when Adultitis levels are at their highest. It’s one of the most effective ways to defeat Adultitis.
[See also: Marty the Penguin]
Cracker Jack Prizes | n. Similar to the tiny treasures hidden in the well-known peanut and caramel corn treat, a special surprise created by God and hidden just below the surface of our hurried consciousness. Examples include the smell of a newborn baby, the watercolor sunset of a summer day, the feeling of walking barefoot on a beach, and the sound of rain on the rooftop on a day you get to sleep in. In short, they are the little joys in life that you miss when racing through life like a chicken with its head cut off.
[See also: Trading the Cracker Jack Prizes for the Peanuts]
Meekend | n. A span of days (usually Saturday and Sunday), in which the entirety of time is reserved for an individual or his or her immediate family, regardless of what other obligatory events may also be scheduled within that same time frame. It is advised that meekends be blocked off on a personal calendar weeks or months in advance, in order to assure that they actually happen and to provide a convenient excuse when some asks you to come to their event, namely, “I already have plans.”
[See also: Meekends: EA Show #26]
Princess Dress | n. Our “princess dress” is the carefully-curated version of ourself that we show off to others. It’s the way we look, speak, and act. It’s our degree and our job title, our home and hairstyle, our cars, clothes, and 401ks, all wrapped into one pretty package and tied with a bow that signifies that we are responsible, sophisticated, and successful. In order to keep this princess dress looking good, one usually is required to live a life of restraint.
[See also: Thou Shalt Not Let Thine Princess Dress Get Wet]
Rules That Don’t Exist | n. A series of authoritative statements of what may or may not be done that seem to be real but which actually are not. Originated by mostly well-intentioned parents, grandparents, teachers, government officials, and board game manufacturers, these rules appear to carry an substantial and undesirable consequence if not adhered to. But they really don’t.
[See also: Rules That Don’t Exist: A Complete Repository]
Sherpas | n. Children, usually under the age of eight, who are able serve as useful and wise guides for living life. But only if the person seeking guidance is not an Adultitis-ridden nincompoop with his (or her) head up his (or her) butt.
Small Rebellion | n. A seemingly insignificant activity that directly opposes any rule that doesn’t exist and undermines the slavery of Adultitis and its unadventurous version of adulthood. Examples include smiling at a stranger, coloring outside the lines, and daring to eat dessert first.
[See also: Real-life examples of small rebellions]
Tinker | v. The dictionary says that to tinker is “to repair, adjust, or work with something in an unskilled or experimental manner.” We like to emphasize the words “unskilled” and “experimental.” For some reason, we grown-ups think we have to master something on our first attempt, or know exactly how something is going to turn out before we begin. Naturally, that’s impossible, so we don’t even try. Kids are under no such illusions. They tinker all day long. And when you were a kid, so did you. Tinkering is about experimenting with little ways to make your story better without regard to outcome. It’s about trying small things and seeing what happens.
[See also: Tinkering]