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.
Donna Ciolek is a Professional Shenanigator. Legit. If she’s not creatively planning a fundraising event for one of her passion projects, she can be found playing with the favorite little ones in her life, or planning her next trip to Mickey Mouse’s House.
Donna started coming to the Escape Adulthood Summits a few years ago and she always comes bearing gifts. You see, Donna is a giver. Even though her hands are always full with thoughtful treasures she lovingly picked just for you, her heart is also filled to the brim with love and joy aplenty to share just as generously. Heck, she even shared her husband Bill with us last year! Donna’s spirit shines bright, and if you are blessed to be in her presence, you will walk away a better person for having spent even a minute basking in her light. We are blessed to know her and be encouraged by her gifts of encouragement and thoughtfulness, and of course, her epic shenanigans.
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 Donna 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?
Crafting, playing dress-up in costumes, watching the original Star Wars movies and Harry Potter movies, car-dancing, going to Disney World, wearing silly t-shirts, surprising others with presents, and decorating my car (the Mickey Mobile).
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your own fight against Adultitis?
My friends Barb, Vicki and Denice. Denice tells me when I’m planning an event, “Don’t Go Crazy,” upon which I have permission to go over the top. Vicki reminds me not to take myself too seriously and to put the fun in learning and doing. And Barb makes every day a party or event. Whenever we get together we do our yarn crafts, create something crazy, drink wine, laugh a lot, do Goodwill tours (visiting multiple Goodwill stores in one day), and then we laugh some more. It keeps me sane and silly!
What is something you loved doing as a child that you still do in some form today?
As a child I read a lot, played make believe with horses and little green army men, colored with those cool sparkle wand thingamabobs, and I loved Colorforms and Play-doh. I’m a nanny, so I get to play with Play-Doh, stickers, Legos and all kinds of make believe figures almost every day. I wear mismatched socks – because it’s #notarule they have to match – and I make cards, collages, and paint to this day!
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
For people affected with Adultitis I try to make them laugh, whether I dress up, or tell jokes, or act silly.
What advice do you have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis?
You have to enjoy life and make as much of every day as special as you can by not taking things so seriously. Don’t save the china and silver “for good” because today is the day and you are special. Use it, love it, enjoy it…whatever your “it” is! Wear a fancy dress, silly socks, crazy tees, dance, sing, play! Make every “event” you have fun with games, crafts, Play-doh, bead stringing, coloring and GLITTER! If you are overwhelmed by the “adultness” of the world, walk away and attend to you. Watch a favorite movie, turn up the music and sing and dance, throw confetti, pick flowers, take pictures, call somebody to talk or listen.
Anything else you’d like to share?
If “play” is the work of children, and they learn from playing, what does that tell us? There is the permission to play because that way we keep learning to seek joy, fun, laughter, simplicity, silliness, and love of life.
Congrats to Donna Ciolek, November 2018 Adultitis Fighter of the Month. Thank you for making the world more awesome!