Jason and I often get asked the question, “How does a person contract Adultitis?” Well, there are the obvious ways we all dread: the major u-turns in life that you can’t avoid, like when someone hits your car or when you’re up all night with a sick kid.
Adultitis is also severely contagious, so if you’re around others who are living with the disease, you might want to run for the hills — seriously.
But most of the time, the way you come down with a case of Adultitis is a direct result of the teeny tiny annoying moments that pop up in your day. The dirty little secret is that most of these things are avoidable. And, trust me, these little things can really add up — like unwelcome ants on a picnic blanket. It starts with one or two (ah, aren’t they kind of cute), then before you know it the whole picnic is ruined and you’re eating in the car. Yikes.
So what do you do about it? Well, in an effort to proactively avoid some of these daily hassles (combating Adultitis head-on), I have come up with a strategy in my own life that I encourage you to try.
Make a list of your daily annoyances.
You know what I’m referring to; those things, that when they happen, leave you cursing, banging your fist on something hard, or even throwing a grown-up mental tantrum. (Don’t tell me you’ve never had one of these – they are quite glamorous, after all.) Once you have your list, take each pesky problem one by one and uncover a way to zap it from existence.
Here’s my list — it’s surprisingly simple stuff. Maybe this will help inspire you to get your own list going, bringing you one step closer to taming Adultitis.
1. Invest in a quality stapler.
Currently, I am knee-deep in details for our upcoming speaking programs for the spring. Lots of paper shuffling and file management in an effort to make sure nothing gets missed. I go to grab the stapler and BOOM — jammed. Aye Yay Yay! A friend of mine on FB suggested Red Springline all the way. (Thanks Jeff G!)
2. Create a TP system.
Life is busy. Sometime (honestly, most times) little details like toilet paper stock management are not making the top of the to-do list. You know what happens when this is overlooked, though — lavatory SOS. One lonely square of Charmin left on the roll + no rolls in the closet = panic mode. Initiate a system in which you have to replenish the stash when you take the last roll from the closet, NOT when you take the last square from the roll.
3. Manage birthday reminders.
Nothing says “Happy Birthday” to a friend like actually saying Happy Birthday to a friend. It’s obvious when you forget. But, honestly, I don’t even know what day it is myself most of the time. Subscribe to one of those free online birthday reminders. They send you an email with reminders. Tip: schedule the reminder for a few days before so you have time to mail a card.
4. Buy a milking cow.
No, you don’t have to move to a dairy farm to make sure you don’t run out of milk. But, I know Jerry Seinfeld would agree that there’s nothing worse than picking up the milk in the morning to pour into your cereal and the carton is too light. Either buy two cartons at a time or make a mid-week milk stop part of your weekly routine. There is nothing sadder than a lonely — and dry — Oreo.
5. Reset your clocks.
As much as I try to be on time for things, I seem to be the “5 minutes late” gal. It’s always exactly five minutes. So, why not time warp reality? Set the clocks a few minutes fast so that you can be on time. The trick is to convince yourself that your clocks are correct, and not rely on the fact that you actually have a few free minutes to play with because your clocks are fast. Head games…aren’t they fun?
6. Plan your meals ahead.
Nothing screams take-out like a hungry family and a clueless cook. Ordering out can really add up. Plan your meals the week before, right before you go grocery shopping for the week to ensure you don’t find yourself an egg short. This takes a great deal of stress out of the day-to-day, especially when you’re already grumpy because your tummy is growling.
7. Invite VM to be your friend.
Voicemail was created for good reason. You don’t have to answer every call. In fact, you shouldn’t. Set boundaries on your phone habits so that you can have a relaxing evening with your family without being interrupted by a caller who could’ve easily waited until the next day.
8. Get some Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Looking for a quiet night of sleep? Does having a teething one-year-old keep you up at night? (or is it just ME!) Just kidding… ;) Sometimes you have to suck it up. This too shall pass.
So, what annoys YOU? Traffic? Noisy neighbors? Holes in your socks? Trying to remember your millions of passwords? ATM fees? A dead cell phone battery? Inaccurate weather forecasts? Slow internet service? Running out of ink in your printer? Negative news? Waiting for repair people? Spam? Empty gas tanks?
Share one thing that you’ll do to tame Adultitis this week by tackling your daily annoyance head-on.
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