Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm Soooo Mature

I turned 30 yesterday. Yup, the big 3-0.

I'm thinking that having three decades under my belt (not to mention 4 kids, a dog, and a mortgage) ought to mean that I am finally mature.

But, I don't think that's the case. In fact, I fear my maturity might be declining.

I had pretty sophisticated tastes in high school. I read Dickens and Austen and I appreciated good food and nice clothes. In college I still liked those things, but I started reading some YA too and eating whatever I could afford and dressing in whatever was still wearable from my high school years.

Now, at 30, I pretty much wear whatever has an elastic waistband. I eat whatever the kids are eating--mostly peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, and chicken nuggets. And I read more kids books than anything else. I laugh at vomit jokes. I don't make my bed. And when my husband gets home I giggle as the kids tell poop stories from the day.

I am not mature, which is probably why I love writing middle grade stories. I'm working on revisions for my current MG novel right now and as I read through the manuscript I realized just how juvenile I've become.

When I first started writing I planned to write a serious novel for adults about one man's influence in life and death. It was going to be deep. Instead I'm writing about eleven-year-old boys who play on kickball teams called "The Ugly Butts" and "The Smelly Armpits." Nice.

I blame it on my kids.

How about you? Have you gained or lost maturity as you've aged?

36 comments:

Diane said...

Much more fun being a kid at heart. I totally agree! :O)

L.T. Elliot said...

Happy Birthday!! And you're really ever as old as you feel, right? So it's a great thing that you're "less mature!" It just means you'll look fab for even longer! =D

Matt said...

I'm quite certain I grow less mature every day. Should help when I have my own kids, right?

Stephanie said...

LOL! My how things change over the years!!! Welcome to the 30 Club!

Terri Tiffany said...

You are too funny, Thirty is so very young but wow with four kids by then I would have been pulling my hair out and doing everything you are. I didn't even have one child fully born by then!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Growing older disgracefully - it is the only way to go.

jdcoughlin said...

I am so glad I read your post. I have been fighting with my wip for a month. I want something deeper, more meaningful. It's there but not. No magic. But maybe that's because that not me, right? Maybe I thrive in the fart butt lane, too. Maybe I don't need to change my writing style. Maybe I can write what I know, too.
Thanks.
PS You rock 30!

Renee Collins said...

haha, great post. I've also noticed my humor digressing. Suddenly I find myself laughing at slapstick humor. And yet, I see nothing wrong with this. :)

Indigo said...

Definitely lost maturity. I'm 45 and still wear converse and ripped jeans. I'd rather go outside and play in the woods instead of housework and laundry. I live with someone who loves giving me updates on his bowel movements (such as taking a massive dump) and thinks it's cute to fart loud (what is wrong with guys). I'm more carefree now than I ever was. (Hugs)Indigo

Nicole Zoltack said...

I'm still a Toys R Us kid, so I know exactly where you're coming from. Staying young at heart is the key to being happy.

Janna Qualman said...

Happy Birthday, Natalie!

I can relate to a lot of what you've said here--and I think that's good! But I also feel the good things about growing up, like confidence and understanding. All that jazz. :)

Adam Heine said...

Happy birthday! I feel the same way. I think this strip is for you.

Heagar said...

I think I attempt at being the mature one in the family, but then realize...what's the point? As long as the bills are paid and my son has everything he needs, in the words of the Joker, why so serious? If you can't laugh at the stupid things that happen every day then what good is life? Keep at those Middle grade books! Adult books are SO over-rated.

Emy (Sandy) Shin said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

My maturity has definitely declined as I age. But as a YA writer, I'm quite glad it's that way!

Tracy Loewer said...

I sing silly songs, run around dancing like the ballerina I'm not, and I've been known to bark at my kids like a dog. For no reason. They love it, but I'm not sure what this says about me...I'm also not sure any of this is required to write middle grade, but let's just say it is and leave it at that! :)


P.S. Happy Birthday!

coffeelvnmom said...

I think both. Being a mother and wife for so long now, I've matured a lot. But now that the kids are older, I feel as though I've gone backwards a bit. We mess around and act like goofs all of the time, which actually makes me feel younger!

Happy late Birthday!

Sara B. Larson said...

Happy birthday! Yay for 30! Yeah, I totally relate to this post! :D I did the same thing, tried to write a "grown-up" book that was "deep." Now I write YA. Yep. I totally relate. Ha ha!

Jessie Oliveros said...

I love this post. Especially the poop stories...I do tell my son to stop making poop jokes but well, they're funny.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

lol. I still love those team names and giggle when I read them.

I think I'm pretty mature, but I swear I'm getting stupider with age.

WindyA said...

Happy birthday! I turned 30 this year too and had a very similar time of reflection. And have come to the resolution that I will never actually "be" older than, say, 17 or 18. That's what I read. That's what I write. That's what I AM! So I totally get you.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Natalie, this is great. Keep that energy going. There is an audience for every age waiting for well-told stories. I have a feeling yours are going to be spectacular, even as you become less mature. :)

Patti said...

Maturity is over rated, at least that's what I tell myself as I approach 40.

Jamie Grey said...

Happy Birthday! Isn't October a spectacular month for birthdays??? (I might be partial since I have an oct. b-day myself, LOL!)

I like to think I get younger the older I get. At least that's what I tell myself. I

Erica M. Chapman said...

Happy Birthday!! Oh maturity, yeah... um, losing it every day, not that I ever had it, not really. My sense of humor is getting better I think though. So that helps ;o)

So funny. Your books sounds hilarious!!

Elle Strauss said...

Happy Birthday! I had 4 kids (can't remember about the dog) by the time I was 30, too. No mortgage, so you're ahead of me on that one.
Hope you had a great day!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Welcome to the thirties!! I'm happy to have you here. :)

Christopher said...

I turned 43 on Sat. and I can say with little doubt my maturity is going backwards. You can't stop aging but immaturity is forever.

Christopher said...

Happy Birthday by the way :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Happy Birthday! I'm an October baby too. But a DECADE older!!
I'm definitely losing maturity--and sanity. :)

Carolyn V. said...

I am still immature. It's sad, but true. Happy 30th!!! =D

Jill Kemerer said...

I seem to be stagnant--at age thirteen. I should be way more mature than I am!

Anita Saxena said...

Happy belated birthday. You're outlook on turning thirty is way better than mine was.

I think when I was younger I was in a hurry to grow up, and now that I'm older I cherish things that are young- like YA books.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it!!! I'm definitely regressing and loving every minute of it :)

Happy belated birthday - hope it was a blast!

Joanne Fritz said...

Great post, Natalie. And I hope you had a very happy birthday.

Glad to hear you're still giggling and reading and wearing whatever you want.

I'm 55 and I haven't grown up yet!

Pk Hrezo said...

LOL! That's funny. I guess we do kind of regress when we have kids of ou own. I find myself preferring our Friday night family slumber parties in the living room with movies and popcorn to fancy dinners and nights out.

Welcome to the thirties, BTW. I love the thirty-something years!!! :)

Jen Daiker said...

I definitely keep a hold of that kid spirit, it isn't worth losing!

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!