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Seriously, Folks…

By Justine Dorton

OK, no kidding. Words that describe me typically do not include anything involving graveness or solemnity. I am not, by most barometers, a serious person.

I’ve been wondering lately if this is a benefit for me, or a major problem. All the really great minds throughout history have been deep thinkers — troubled, brooding, sedate. But come on, do I really have to be Immanuel Kant to have powerful thoughts?

I just don’t take myself very seriously. Is that ok with you? I have been in arguments with women who suggest I am just too happy.

TOO HAPPY???

I have sometimes worried that in order to be a true disciple of the Savior, I need to make myself more sober and sensible. But, I am so sorry, it’s just not in me. I have a powerful testimony of the Savior, but it just doesn’t come out of me as sobriety.

I would rather laugh and be silly than just about anything. I’m sure many will say I am somehow masking my inner pain and tumult.

You might be right.

But really, do I want to unearth inner pain and tumult? I don’t think so. OK, go ahead and tell me about emotional health and all that yadda, yadda, yadda. I kind of don’t want to hear it.

I’m just going to continue to smile and let my un-brooding self enjoy this crazy and insane life I’m living. There’s really no point in doing much else.

You know, some say Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were quite the comedians — Yah. Who knew. So maybe, just maybe…

Is there anyone else in the world who is a writer/poet/thinker who doesn’t always think deeply? Can I be the only shallow person around? Come on. . . fess up.

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.

7 thoughts on “Seriously, Folks…”

  1. I have been accused of being a Pollyanna. A cheerleader. A "cup-half-full" kind of gal.

    As I have gotten older, however, I am more aware of my dark and sometimes deep thoughts. I have painful stuff in my life. I no longer joke or apologize that my life is a cake walk.

    The difference is that I consciously choose–most of the time–to walk on the light side. If given a choice, I'll go to a comedy over a drama almost any day. I quit reading the editorial page and turn first to the comics section of the local newspaper. If something rotten happens and I can find a bright spot I'm going to exploit it any way I can.

    Women are that they might have joy. When it comes to the choice of whether to laugh or cry, I too will most often choose to laugh.

    And I think that's just fine.

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  2. I'm naturally the brooding type, but the older I get, the more I try to laugh instead of cry, or even ponder. Maybe I've finally learned something from all that deep thinking?

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  3. Justine–I think your "differences" as far as temperment make your writing even more interesting to those of us who tend to brood, or mope, or whine, or think so deeply that we don't understand what we're thinking about. I wish I could say, "Yes! I'm like you!" So, keep it up…you're needed.

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  4. I think it is often unrecognized that God is probably a very happy being. Not silly, but truly joyful. When I was in the MTC I determined to be a very serious minded missionary. There was one sister in our group who was the goofiest girl I had ever met. I was secretly relieved that we were the same "age" so we would probably never be in the same area. Imagine my horror when, at only 4 months into our missions, our President called us to be companions. What would I do? I could never effectively teach the gospel with Sister Crazy sabotaging all of my hard work! Luckily, I think I was inspired to make use of a whoopee cushion my previous (obviously uninspired) companion had left me. Sister Oddball exploded it at the beginnng of our first companionship meeting–and the tone was set. That was the best companionship ever. That companion taught me more about love, laughter, and acceptance than I had ever known . . . and I probably taught her something about the Bulgarian Subjunctive. We are still–12 years later–the best of friends.

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  5. […] I was amused, but not surprised, by the responses to Justine’s happiness post. So far, not one person has admitted being happy. And should we expect anything different? After all, Segullah blog is associated with a literary journal. And aren’t literary types usually depressed? […]

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