An Adultitis Fighter is someone who rallies against rules that don’t exist and engages in ruthless, senseless acts of silliness that undermine Adultitis and its unadventurous version of adulthood. Once a month, we shine a light upon the most remarkable among us, holding them up as a dazzling example of what we should strive for in this epic battle against a formidable enemy.
Amy Payne is a lover of life and childhood. She has made it a priority in her life to surround herself with Sherpas (aka children) and she looks to them to guide her on her journey of joy and adventure. Whether it’s her grandchildren, nephew, or the beloved students she teaches at Kindermusik, she intentionally surrounds herself with little ones and this refuels her joy everyday. She is constantly sharing the wisdom she gains from the tiny people in her life.
Amy intentionally stays “young at heart.” She brings playfulness and creative energy to every task, like refusing to wear boring socks. Her inner child is out there for all to see and it’s a gift to all! She is a protector of play — for all ages. She defends the importance of being oneself. This is a gift she brings to the many children in her life, but what stands out wildly among the other teachers we’ve met is her ability to make these values approachable and realistic within the tight quarters of adult life. She models a spirit of silliness, often sharing her adventures, like getting the chance to “head bang” during music class. She loves her life!
In recognition of their efforts, Adultitis Fighters of the Month receive a special mini-canvas hand-painted by Jason, along with a certificate of honor, a sweet patch, and other Adultitis-Fighting tools. We asked Amy some questions about how she fights the Big A and what advice she has for others…
What are some of your favorite ways to fight Adultitis?
Finding fun in everything I do. (Music is a great help with this for me!)
Playing with and walking my favorite dog, Leo.
Singing and dancing as much as possible.
Playing with kids as much as possible
Using the awesome imagination I was given to provide exciting stories during the less exciting times. … smile.
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your own fight against Adultitis?
My grandparents were the most amazing people! And I was fortunate enough to spend a ton of time with them as a child. I had the best, most amazing, awesome adventures as a kid. Most weekends we would go out to the cabin. There wasn’t electricity and the running water was a hose that my grandfather attached to the natural springs. We spent most of our time climbing rocks, swimming in the pond, exploring and playing pretend games we invented. I wish I would have realized how lucky I was to have those experiences but I thought everyone got to do that. My great imagination and my love of nature were grown there. Every time I see a bug, a little flower or any other awesomeness of nature (leaves changing color, any animal, rainbows, water, etc.) I am taken back to those moments and I feel that overwhelming love for nature which feels very childlike.
Albert Einstein. His quotes about music and imagination are my favorites. And everyone listens to them because he is Albert Einstein.
What is something you loved doing as a child that you still do in some form today?
Singing and playing outside. I love singing. I am lucky enough to have it scheduled in most days of my life. And I love being outside, playing, walking, dancing or sitting. I do something outside EVERY day. Even if it is a very quick walk with the dog because it is 20 below zero.
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
I try to fill their love tanks. I give them a smile, a hug, or some other little present to let them know they are loved. Sometimes the present is listening to them with love.
What advice do you have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis?
The only thing you have total control over is your attitude. And having a fun attitude makes everything fun (You do not have to be irresponsible to have fun.) You are in charge of the words in your head. Make it your highest priority to have them telling you how awesome you and the world are. It is true! Do not wait for someone else to make your life better or fun or full of love. You are totally equipped to have it all without waiting for anyone to give it to you. Make the choice; have fun and ROCK ON!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes. I really do believe that FUN is the point. The reason why we are here on this adventure is to have fun. And the reason we are having such challenges now is because we have forgotten that. Fun and play are not for children they are for humans! So use the Adventure Club and any other fun resources you have on a daily basis! You are worth it!
Congrats to Amy Payne, October 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month. Thank you for making the world more awesome!