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.
It’s obvious that Jim Kramer is committed to living an Adultitis-free life, and those in his life (especially his students and fellow colleagues) are blessed by this commitment. He leads the way by example, spreading kindness, encouragement and compassion wherever he goes.
He’s a darn good storyteller too, and has had some amazingly unbelievable life experiences that are so fun to hear about. Between the famous people he has met, and weird scenarios he has found himself in, he reminds us a bit of Forrest Gump, without the southern drawl. I think we all know someone like that.
The thing is, a life filled with interesting stories doesn’t happen by luck. You need to be willing to try new things and make up your mind to look for the good in everything. Jim has both of these traits in spades, which is why he is this month’s Adultitis Fighter to learn from. He’s generous in sharing his own joy and is even more generous as he encourages others in their pursuit.
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 Jim some questions about how he fights the Big A and what advice he has for others…
What are some of your favorite ways to fight Adultitis?
Some of my favorite ways to fight Adultitis are to:
* meditate daily
* wake up with gratitude and a smile
* smile as much as possible throughout the day
* have a positive attitude…always
* try new things even when I’m tired or scared
* follow my heart
* discover my passions
* walk my dog
* play the ukulele
* get around people and organizations that are like inoculations (super vitamins) against Adultitis
* spread the word whenever I can about Escape Adulthood
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your own fight against Adultitis?
The greatest influences in my own fight against Adultitis include…well, obviously Jason and Kim for helping me “remember” how to “see” and experience the world a little bit differently and to have more fun doing it. The first teacher to greet me on my first day as a student teacher challenged me to (like her) be open to learning something new each day. Patty, a former coworker, was a natural Adultitis fighter with her enthusiastic and infectious smile & laugh and her zest for silly dress-up days. There are SO many WASC (Wisconsin Association of School Councils) friends (Bjorn, Sara, Scott, Al, Michelle, Jess, Tom, Matt, …) who daily live their dash with authenticity, honesty, & passion…and share of themselves so freely. Very inspiring! My kids, Jenner & Clariel regularly remind me to lighten up so they are constant boosters against Adultitis. Finally, my wife Betty is a big influence because she lovingly supports and encourages whatever I want to try, pursue, & undertake…even when she doesn’t fully understand it.
What is something you loved doing as a child that you still do in some form today?
As a child I recall that I enjoyed biking, reading, collecting things (like bottle caps, coins, & rocks), playing board games, watching old movies, listening to music, action figures, going to baseball games (Go Cubs Go), camping, walking in nature, and celebrating birthdays… I continue to still do these things in some form today, although I have greater affection and appreciation for these memories and experiences since getting involved with Escape Adulthood.
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
My strategy for dealing with people who are infected with Adultitis is to listen to them, be a good role model (someone to emulate), ask how I can help (in case they need an invitation), and maybe invite them to join in a fun activity. It’s like when someone is sick with a cold. You can’t just tell them to be well…you have to take care of them, bring soup, offer tissues…
What advice do you have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis?
For someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis, I would suggest that they take three deep breaths and smile (it’s SO important to BREATHE). It’s also important to take baby steps. Decide on one thing (even if it’s small) to move toward. Then celebrate the successes, be they big or small. Finally, I would remind them that if they are breathing (which they are), that there is more right with them than wrong. Hugs are nice too!
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m really grateful for people like Jason, Kim, members of the Escape Adulthood League, so many inspiring friends from the WASC, and other positive role models in the world who inspire me. I LOVE sharing in the creative energy others express by living their authentic lives with zest, awareness, daring, compassion, trust, and love.
Congrats to Jim Kramer, September 2017 Adultitis Fighter of the Month. Thank you for making the world more awesome!