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By Justine Dorton

I lost my groove. I’m not really sure where I put it, but suddenly, it was gone. I looked fervently for a few days, in all the usual places, but never was able to locate it. And so it has been, for nearly three years now, I’ve been doing without my groove.

I think I lost it somewhere in our last move. We moved from our lovely starter home into something slightly bigger to accommodate our growing numbers. In that move, we left a place where we were needed. Needed isn’t even the right word. I felt totally essential in our ward and neighborhood. We both held leadership positions in that ward from the first two weeks of our occupancy of that home. We both had good relationships with our neighbors, and hosted our annual neighborhood picnic every year. Wow, now I’m just bragging, but the truth of it is, we felt important there. I felt like we were making a difference in people’s lives.

Fast forward to our new home. Now we are surrounded by totally amazing and competent people. Here there are 5 amazing people for every calling at church. Here the neighbors “fight” to outdo each other with neighborhood get-togethers. Here, we aren’t really needed. Here, this ward and neighborhood get by quite nicely without us.

So, here’s the part where I show my true stupidity.

It has taken me three years of being here to realize that the vibrant and confident woman I was in our first house has been replaced by a whiner. I just realized it two nights ago. Yeah, two nights ago is all.

So now, how to get my groove back. I think the first step is to realize that our last ward and neighborhood has gotten along quite nicely without us, too. Oh, the arrogance of my self-perceptions. Yep, they’re staggering.

The second thing I’m starting to learn is that all the confident and vibrant people around me in our new neighborhood have just as many needs as our old neighbors. The people around me now are just better at hiding it.

I’ve also noticed that I am still the same person. I am still just as competent as I was three years ago. Or maybe just as incompetent. Who knows.

So, anyone know where I should start looking? I’d really like to have that thing back.

About Justine Dorton

Justine is a mother to five children, and has a husband lodged somewhere (probably in the den). She is not very fond of speaking of herself in third person.

9 thoughts on “Groooovy”

  1. Start inviting people over!! To eat, to chat, for whatever. maybe you could think of it as your groove taking a little rest. You didn't lose it…it's always been there. But sometimes grooves get worn out too. So go easy on yourself, and just pick up where you left off, and don't dish out any guilt lectures to your groove, or else she may never want to come back!! Have fun, and don't look back.

  2. I've lost a few grooves of my own, mostly in my grey matter. Whatever groove worked for me five or ten years ago doesn't work anymore (we moved too, family has changed, etc.). I feel grooviest now when I'm doing something I've never done before. Luckily, there are a lot of options! It's fun to meet new people whose interests are different from mine, and I always learn something new. My current groove is–get this–family history. An Ensign article a few months ago inspired me, and now I'm teamed up with a trainer in our ward. I'ts humbling to be so completely inept (PAF? What's PAF?) and to work with little old ladies who know more about computers than I do (Flash drive? What's a flash drive?) But it's surprisingly fun, and the people who know all of our cool family stories are still alive (which would not be the case if I waited until retirement).

    Of course, another option is putting a little jive in your life. I like Abba's "Dancing Queen" when I need a little groove boost. Come on over and wear clothes you can dance in!

  3. Justine, I think you just found your TRUE groove. What does this enlightened woman want to do next? Play Truth or Dare with all those all-is-well RS sisters? Do it!

  4. Justine–does it really matter how much people need us in a ward? Does that inately cater to our sense of fulfillment in serving? Should our groove be dependent on others' needs or opinions of us?

    I would have to say no! Sometimes we lose our groove because we were previously the chicken on a hot plate, dancing to the tune of someone else. Sometimes it's hard to remember how much fun it is to groove inside the opaque walls of our homes, our offices, our cubicles, whatever….

    I'm going to try it. Want to join me? What was that hip to the sky move that Johnna taught us again?

  5. I felt like that when we moved from Oregon to Idaho. For our first two years here I felt superfluous. In that time I met many other women who also said they felt disconnected and unneeded. Clearly an opportunity for some unofficial leaderhip, right? I wish I could say that I rose to the occasion and really helped to build sisterhood there, but I didn't. I just involved myself elsewhere–family, Segullah, homeschool networks, etc., and then we moved. I'd love to hear an update if you figure out. Oompah!

  6. Justine: some things form the 80s need to stay there and I'm sorry Court, but leg warmers are one . . .er two of them. All the hip chicks here in NYC are doing it, but they don't look cooler . . .er hotter. 😉 I guess I'm just not hip enough to pull them off, so I don't want anyone to be.

    You could host a beauty night. Is that too cheesy for you? Everyone could use a little more pampering in their life. I've been wanting to do it for a while, but haven't pulled it together. Just invite over some other women, get some foot scrub, nail polish, masks, whatever, have some good munchies, put on fun music and chat and pamper. My sister did one and at the end of the night they played that game where you write your name at the top of the paper and pass it around and everyone is supposed to write a compliment on it. But she said it had to be something physical, none of this personality schmulz, but really tell other sisters why they're beautiful on the outside too. I thought that was a cool idea. I'm still going to do it.

  7. Heather, perhaps you are right. I now have two pairs of leg warmers and I wear them alternatively every day. They keep my legs warm and that is all I ask of them.
    And Justine, I think Heather's idea is great. I will come to your party. Also, we could incorporate the party that Kylie's sister attended (no kids allowed.)

  8. Pamper party? What a great idea! i think I know some women in much need of a pamper party. I'll call ya Courtney.

    Heather, I wish you could come! But maybe the next pamper party could be at the Tavern on the Green so you could come. I love that place!

    And I wore leg warmers the first time around. I don't think I'm allowed to wear them twice. (something about old woman trying to look younger. . .)


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