Friday May 29, 2009

I Am an Adolescent :)

My husband has claimed (on more than one occasion) that he married an adolescent. The first time he mentioned that, I was begging him for a dollar so I could buy one of the L-O-N-G Pixie Stix that I hadn't seen since I was about twleve. And then there was the time that I stomped in the rain puddles with our two year old. Let's not forget about making snow angels this past winter. And be honest, Captain Crunch makes a mean cereal! Most recently, I heard the comment when I wanted to get in line at a fair so I could participate in the trampoline jump where you're connected to a safety belt and are tossed about 25 feet in the air (how cool is that!) - the only problem was the huge line of under-12 in which I'd have to wait.

Yes, I am a forty-year-old adolescent. Which, really, isn't a bad thing...

I actually started feeling a bit guilty about my skill at being a kid...until I read "The Escape Adulthood Manifesto" by Jason Kotecki. Jason identified a disease that too many people suffer from - ADULTITIS (it even sounds bad, doesn't it?):

ADULTITIS: A common condition occurring in people between the ages of 21–121,
marked by chronic dullness, mild depression, moderate to extremely
high stress levels, a general fear of change, and, in some extreme
cases, the inability to smile. Patients can appear aimless, discontent,
and anxious about many things. Onset can be accelerated by an excess
burden of bills, overwhelming responsibilities, or a boring work life.
Generally, individuals in this condition are not fun to be around.


Geez, who wants to suffer from that??? Fortunately, Jason outlines 8 little traits you can employ to escape from ADULTITIS. I'll give you a quick run-down here, but you may want to check out the manifesto for yourself.

  1. Delight in the Little Things. Most people see a weed; my daughter points out each dandelion that has morphed into a "wishing flower."

  2. Dream Big. My daughter told me that she doesn't want to be a mommy; she wants to be an astronaut. I told her maybe she could be an astronaut and then a mommy. She decided that maybe her kids could just ride in the spaceship in their car-seats like she and her brother do now. Who am I to say it isn't possible?

  3. Get Curious. I have two kids. The most common questions I get are "Why?" and "What dat?" Give it a try. Ask yourself "Why?" or "Why not?” or "What if?” and see what the possibilities are.

  4. Live Passionately. A couple of weeks ago, we were at an outdoor fair and bought cotton candy. My daughter loves cotton candy. She smiled when I handed it to her and then, as she was eating it, she closed her eyes, and I watched her whole face say "mmmmm." When was the last time you experienced that feeling about something you were doing?

  5. Play. He was scrunched down very low to the floor, carefully stepping over things that I couldn't see.  “What are you doing?” I asked. I'm pretending I'm in The Matrix."  His look said “what else could I possibly be doing?"  I belly laughed because this was a conversation with my boss!  Okay, playing like you're a kid (or with your kids) relieves a lot of stress.  Having a boss (or co-workers) who can play makes work a lot more enjoyable.

  6. Be Honest. We've told our kids (and practice it, too) to tell us if they mess up. They won't get in trouble for messing up; but they'll get in a lot of trouble if they lie about it. As Mark Twain said "Always tell the truth. That way you don't have to remember what you said."

  7. Have Faith. The first time my son got an owie, I asked him if he needed a kiss. He nodded his little head and then kissed his hand. (Yes, I was laughing because he kissed his own hand). The next time he whacked his head with a toy, he kissed his hand and put it on his head. Both times, he quit crying. He's not too worried about getting hurt; he has faith that a little kiss can make things better.

  8. Maintain Perspective. We have two kids, a mortgage, and my husband and I are both concerned about whether or not we'll have a job when/if the Oracle acquisition goes through. We have friends whose three year old is fighting an invasive form of cancer and is finishing 40 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Our kids are healthy; everything else is immaterial. Perspective.

Adultitis. Ugh - what a horrible thing to suffer! Sure, you can be responsible, but try wiping the rust from one or two of these traits and incorporate them into your daily life.

Admittedly, acting like a child may not be a good thing; approaching life with with the "bring it on" attitude that children tend to have, however, can make the difference between having a really crappy day at the office that negatively impacts everyone around you or having the ability to marvel at what a great day you've had the opportunity to experience.

About

Sandy's ideas about learning, organizational & personal improvement and other stuff.

I work on Oracle's Leadership Development team, but all thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely my own!

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