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.
If you’re looking for a “Professional Adultitis Fighter,” look no further. You’ve found her – Tami Schroeder. Tami makes people happy for a living…talk about Adultitis-fighting! Yes, a summer job sculpting balloons turned into enrolling in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and then eventually touring the country with this world-famous circus. When the circus adventure came to an end, she decided to start her own award-winning family entertainment business called Funny Faces Children’s Entertainment, where she specializes in delighting people of all ages, giving them fun and creative ways to celebrate all occasions. What a gift of self, bringing so many smiles and silly moments to people. Keep reading and enjoy learning her perspective on what inspires this life of shenanigating.
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 Tami 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?
For me, it’s less about doing specific things, it’s more of a way of being in the world. I like to be the light wherever I go. Be kind; be silly; share a smile with someone most people wouldn’t smile at; give the benefit of the doubt; look for the good in troubling situations; leave a space and people better than they were before you entered. While I’m not perfect all the time, over the years of practicing this, I find this way of life has become my default way of thinking. I believe my life satisfaction has increased and for me, that helps keep away Adultitis too. It’s a win/win.
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your own fight against Adultitis?
Reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin helped me think of how I moved through life and gave me a practical, tangible framework to improve and hone my skills. Note: I’ve always gone through life in a unique way. I’m the youngest in my family (by a significant amount) and I’ve always felt the pull to be the jovial one amongst my serious older siblings. I make my living by entertaining people, so I’ve always seen “having fun” as a serious way of living life.
What is something you loved doing as a child that you still do in some form today?
Love everyone. That may sound silly and unattainable. I remember sitting on the back deck with my dad as a six-year-old child and I said, “I love everyone.” He stifled a laugh and replied, “Well, you really can’t love everyone.” Growing up (and even now), I generally thought of my Dad as very wise. However, at that moment, I just knew he wasn’t right with this one.
I must note, currently, I’m in the middle of a big transition. Ten days ago, my beloved mom died. This is strange to be writing this now because since I found out I was going to be highlighted as an Adultitis fighter, my mom had a stoke, died, and we planned and had her funeral. I’m discovering my new role a “real adult.” My fabulous dad died four years ago in December, so now I’m an unfortunate member of The Dead Parents club. I apologize if that last sentence sounds harsh, but this new reality feels so raw. This new membership has the potential to come with a significant amount of Adultitis. I will be resilient.
While my siblings, husband, kids, friends and other family members were sharing stories of my mom, the theme of her loving everyone no-matter-what kept coming up. My brother remarked, “The more unloveable someone was, the more she loved them.” What a gift to see such a wonderful example practiced our whole lives. Reflecting on my answer, I realize this “loving everyone concept” most likely came from her. I’m so grateful.
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
Be a good example of living without Adultitis but don’t preach. Preaching rarely helps. ;D
What advice do you have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis?
Watch sitcoms every day. Search out and look for humorous things wherever you can. Seriously, develop a love of laughing. After our third baby was born, I had postpartum depression. Coincidentally, that is the same time reality TV became popular and seemed to take the place of sitcoms. I jokingly wonder if that lack of laughing replaced by watching people argue and be mean to each other for sport negatively influenced my ability to recover. Regardless, as a general practice, I’m very careful to keep all my TV, Youtube and movie experiences positive. I’m a big fan of the fictional Parks and Rec character, Leslie Knope, she is a fabulous example of an Adultitis fighter.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Practicing an attitude of gratitude has been life-changing for me. I started training myself by writing five things (big or small) that I was grateful for every day. Now gratitude is a way of life for me.
Be gentle with yourself and others. Life can be messy, complicated, imperfect and glorious all at the same time. Enjoy the process.
Congrats to Tami Schroeder, January 2019 Adultitis Fighter of the Month. Thank you for making the world more awesome!