This year, we decided to shine a light upon some of the most remarkable Adultitis Fighters we’ve encountered, holding them up as dazzling examples of what we should strive for in this epic battle against a formidable enemy. They don’t possess any special superpowers, other than the rare ability to embrace and act on simple ways to have fun, spread joy, and not take themselves too seriously.
We’ve culled some of the best Adultitis-Fighting tips from our twelve award winners from 2016. For some everyday wisdom that can help transform your life today while making Adultitis run for the hills, read on. (And to learn more about each person and why there were chosen, click their name!)
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
“I’ve tried a lot of tactics over the years, including aggression (telling them to shut up and stop bringing everyone down) to avoidance (just trying to leave them out of my life entirely). As I’ve gotten older, I tend to lean towards patience/kindness/understanding. I realize that we all have our bad days, and most people don’t WANT to be grumpy. I also realize that nobody ever stopped being grumpy because someone pointed out to them that they were grumpy. If anything, I try to be a good example, I guess. I don’t take myself too seriously, I like to laugh and have a good time, and I generally enjoy my life a whole lot. Hopefully that spreads to people around me.”
— Kyle Scheele, July 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“I try to live by the statement, ‘kill them with kindness.’ When people are weighing me down, I try to be kind to them because they need it more than I do. Sometimes I try to do silly things to lighten the mood, and in some cases you simply have to learn to walk away. Life is too short to be anything but happy.”
— Krista Sobieski, June 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“This is a tough one because I think we all know people in this category who need to be saved. I recently saw a quote that really resonated with me “Sometimes you have to walk away. Not because you don’t care, but because they don’t.” Happiness isn’t something that you find or achieve over time “if only” or “when such-n-such.” It’s a state of mind you have to talk yourself into daily. No one should be responsible to be someone else’s happiness. That’s just not fair or realistic.”
— Tara Ingalls, January 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“Assume people like you. Whenever you meet someone new or have to go train a group of people you’ve never met – just assume they like you. It takes all the pressure off. Why stress about what others think? When you just figure, ‘Yeah – they like me,’ you can relax and just be yourself.”
And if they truly don’t like you? Then be yourself – genuine, funny, and caring – make it impossible for them not to like you in the end. This advice has served me well – if I can make someone comfortable or do something silly or strange to break their pattern of negativity (a joke, a funny sound, or just by doing something a little odd), I know I can win them over in the end. If all else fails, the simple act of listening and making sure they know that you empathize and ‘get’ what they are saying can be enough to break up the cholesterol that is Adultitis and help the ‘fun’ flow freely again.”
— Michael Leone, May 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“You know, I smile at them and I laugh. I also pray for them because life is so short to be so serious. Remember Jesus’ line “Let the little children come to me.” Jesus loved the little children because they were so free and joyful.”
— Fr. Dave Timmerman, December 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
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!”
— Amy Payne, October 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“Breathe. Stress literally takes our breathe away. I often close emails and texts with a simple….Breathe!
If that doesn’t work, I ask ‘will the sun come up tomorrow?’ Aging has taught me that. But, when you’re in Adultitis mode it doesn’t seem like it will.”
— Mary Helen Conroy, September 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“If you work full-time, use your vacation. DON’T ever roll over vacation days to the next year, unless you plan to be on a plane to a beach or vineyard by January 2. Those days are there for you to use – TAKE THEM! Mental health days are just as important as days off to see kids’ programs or do family vacations, etc. Take a page from many other cultures globally who work just as hard as we do in the States, but they also play hard…they know when to stop their day, and turn to activities of savoring life, having fun?
— Sara Gast, April 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“Be a tourist in your own backyard. Though I love travel, the most inspiring moments have not been a sold out show at House Of Blues in Las Vegas, nor a painting hanging in the Louvre. Live in the moment…in your town. Read an article about a Run Smelt Run parade in Duluth MN and go check it out. Invest in membership at the Oshkosh Paine Art Museum, because it’s in the ‘hood. Stop in at Neenah’s Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass every time your pink scooter, Pip, takes you for a ride through the park. Someone everywhere has a tune to share with you. If Lawrence University students have a performance, you can bet it will be a good one. The Refuge hosts an evening of Storytellers every month. Who knew? And if you are brave enough you can stand up and share your own story. What does YOUR town have going on?”
— Kristin Hoenhe, November 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“Give yourself little reminders…in our family we have a tradition where we leave little drawings of hearts where someone else can find them. Discovering them in my suitcase when I’m on tour, or in my car on the way to a gig, always makes me smile and pause for a moment and relish the love and the gentle reminder.”
— Geoff Akins, February 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“My advice for someone feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis is to first take a deep breath…then look for perspective. What is the very worst that could happen? The worst is likely not going to happen, but focus and realize the worst may not be as bad as we make it out to be. Then focus on the positive stuff.”
— Ron England, August 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
“Play. Let go of your high expectations to be consistently useful in some way. Do something you love doing, even if it doesn’t make sense. Watch less TV. Go for exploratory walks without a phone. Reread your favorite childhood books. Surround yourself with things and people who make you laugh. From a maker’s perspective, I believe your best creations come from when you follow what you want to do, not what you have to do.”
— Mariëlle Coppes, March 2016 Adultitis Fighter of the Month
Do you know someone who should be recognized as an Adultitis Fighter of the Month? Send us an email to tell us about them and why they deserve to be nominated!