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.
This month’s worthy recipient of this prestigious honor is Ashley Adkins!
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 Ashley 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?
Anything fun and not expected. I’ve never considered myself very creative and I don’t think I’ve ever been good at pretend play so any activity that taps into creativity or play.
My kids also know that I love anything little. One night I came home with mini lemonades to put in their lunches for the week. They are so cute and make me smile every time.
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your own fight against Adultitis?
Joining Escape Adulthood! I was first introduced to Jason many years ago when he came to speak at a work conference for MSU Extension. Right away I was drawn to his energy and message. I joined the online group and followed EA on Facebook. From there my husband and I attended the Escape Adulthood Summit a year or so later. It really changed me. The people in this group are positive and supportive people that help me be grateful and see the good around me. They give me ideas, big and small, of how to fight the Adultitis in my life and I will forever be grateful.
What is something you loved doing as a child that you still do in some form today?
Spend time thinking of others. It is important for me that the people around me know they are important and that they are taken care of. I am the second oldest of five siblings and I am known as the mother figure. In the same respect, I used to put everyone first but the older I’ve gotten, the better I have managed my own needs as well as others.
Nowadays, almost every Saturday morning I drive to downtown Lansing and serve food and provide personal care products to those in need. The smiles I witness and ‘thank yous’ I receive build me up!
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
This has always been difficult for me because I always want to respect others and their views. However, if their views are so filled with Adultitis that it is negatively affecting me, I now consciously distance myself from them – sometimes literally, sometimes mentally, sometimes both. I do feel like I have a responsibility to help these individuals try to see the fun and excitement in life and sometimes my effort in this arena is successful. Some of my efforts in the past have been to suggest a funny show to watch, extend an invitation to help me serve on Saturday mornings, or simply ask them more about their feelings and listen to them – sometimes that all people need/want to help get them out of their funk.
What advice do you have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis?
To do something that makes you smile. I am a firm believer in laughter is the best medicine. Watching a good sitcom is my ultimate therapy.
I have also been working on slowing down and taking some time for myself. Many years ago doing this would have made me feel so guilty. Now, I understand that taking time for me – taking a nap or sitting in bed playing a word game on my phone – truly helps me be a better and more fun friend, mom, and wife.
One other lesson I’ve learned from EA is that the world is not going to end because of Adultitis. For me, stressful Adultitis situations always seem like the world is going to end. I’m working on realizing and believing that this is not the case. I remember I missed a huge exam in college once. Once I realized that I missed it I had a mental breakdown. I remember my father-in-law comforting me and saying “It’s just a test.” That has really stuck with me and helped me realize the truly important things in life.
Congrats to Ashley, March 2022 Adultitis Fighter of the Month. Thank you for making the world more awesome!