Monday, January 28, 2013

Siddown (pause) an' Shuddup: Great Wisdom from Jean, the Bus Driver


Lately I've been running myself ragged. Doing what? No idea. I can't tell you what I've accomplished. I just know there's been a lot of hand-wringing, spoonfuls of Nutella straight from the jar, insomnia, a few tears, and an overall bad case of squirrel brain. I've got all these ideas in my head, all these SHOULDS weighing heavy on my shoulders. I've been so focused on them, I haven't been able to get anything done, which just makes everything worse.

This weekend, while armpit deep into a bag of Smartfood popcorn, I had a flashback to my 5th grade bus driver, Jean. When things would get snarly on the bus, she'd slam on the brakes, sending our faces flat into the seat in front of us. We'd quietly regain our senses and she'd look up into that 4 ft wide rear view mirror and say slowly and loudly in her born-and-raised-in-Kentucky voice, "siddown (pause) an' shuddup." 

I wiped the popcorn crumbs from my mouth and thought, "I hear you, Jean." I just needed to chill out. So I did. I slammed the brakes on all those "shoulds" running loose in my brain and I was able to re-focus and create some new pieces that were inspired by Jean's great words of wisdom. Sometimes I just need to sit down and shut both my mouth and my mind up. I need to slam the brakes on all my plans and schemes and just breathe in all the good things that are happening all around me, things I am grateful for each day.

I am calling this series "seated in love."



How about you? Do voices from the past bring you wisdom today? I'd love to hear your stories!

26 comments:

  1. Sweet seated love. I hate that squirrel brain thing.......xox

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    1. I have a sneaking feeling you can relate!

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  2. Love the new piece! And thanks for the advice, I'm eating a spoonful of Nutella as I read your blog post......

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    1. Isn't Nutella the goes-with-anything wonder food? I love it!

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  3. Great post and artwork. I had a teacher in Grade 6 who I adored. Two things I particularly remember her instilling in me were the need to work hard in life, and to also treat others kindly. As for the hard worwho she was a keen art teacher and would always remind us that to be a successful artist took 20% talent and 80% hard work. The kindness lesson was learned when a loudmouth boy said 'good riddance' to her as we were all leaving for the day. I didn't even know what that meant, but she held us all back to explain how important treating people with kindness would be in our lives.

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  4. I love that story Loulou. One thing that struck me with both our stories... the adults made us stop. Such a great lesson for life - sometimes we have to stop and kind of come to our senses! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  5. Jean sounds amazing- I wonder if she's be able to get away with slamming the brakes these days. I am constantly fighting huge case of squirrel brain- it's great to hear it described that way because that is exactly what it feels like- lots of rushing thoughts but nothing I can fix on. My "best" work happens when I either don't think at all- just put stuff on a page while on my way to do something else (this happens more often than I'd like to admit) or when I sit down and literally do the Ommmm yoga thing- not that I've ever taken a yoga class- I just do what I see people do on tv and for some freaky reason it works most of the time- when it fails it's usually because someone else walked into the room with the classic MOM/HONEY, Help me do this... ;)
    I'll be back to see what other people do- I'd really like to get more tips.

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    1. I know... I told my 10 year old daughter this story and she said, "wow, she'd get into big trouble if she said that today."

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  6. Jenny I LOVE!!! your "Seated in Love" series!They are such happy, festive pieces that all say "time for a heart party!". I have to ask about the wonderful chair design-is it a die, did you draw them, fussy cut?
    Oh, and when I get the squirrel brain thing, I stop myself and take at least 5 min.to close my eyes and meditate in total silence-even if it means putting earplugs and headphones on :)

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    1. So glad you like them, Linda! Thank you! I drew the chairs and cut them with both tiny scissors and a tiny exacto knife. Kinda tedious, but I wanted them and was determined!

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  7. Love these and the story behind them!

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  8. Wow I needed to hear this. I, too, have been having a tornado inside my head. Squirrel Brain is a great description! I know I need to change my course, slam my brakes, stop the noise....... but it is taking me longer than expected. Maybe its cabin fever. Maybe the barometric pressure. Maybe its lack of sunshine and vitamin D. I know it will eventually pass. But thanks for voicing it for me. :)

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    1. There must be something in the air! I've read two other blog posts this week talking about the same thing. Maybe it's all this weird weather. I think I just need to go to Jamaica and lay in a hammock for a week (or month!) Thank you for visiting my blog!

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  9. What a great post!! It's so reassuring to know that others suffer from the same syndrome of would-a, should-a, could-a. The story of your bus driver... well, I think I must have been sitting in the row behind you.. LOL! I can just hear that voice. No stories to share with you at the moment but if one comes to mind I will be back. And your artwork is amazing. Just love it!!

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    1. Thanks Kadee! Your compliment means a lot. I really admire your work!

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  10. How have I not been here before?!?! I have to go and thank Corrine for the link. Your work is gorgeous - love these seated pieces and the nod to sensible Jean. Look forward to seeing more of your art!

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    1. So glad you are here, Marjie. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement!

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    1. So glad you stopped by! Thank you!

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  12. Beautiful words of wisdom and beautiful art! It's been so long since I've stopped by your blog and I must say that I'm totally impressed! I wise woman once told me that I "should all over myself." It weighs you down so much. When I free myslef of those "shoulds" the world really opens up to me. And the art flows freely without any nagging guilt of laundry or the needs of children. If I only knew how to turn those "shoulds" off... I need a Jean in my head. Maybe I'll look around in there and try to find one...

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    1. so glad to see you here, Mandy! I know your life is a lot like mine, trying to juggle kids, wifeyness, working, art, etc... yes, you need a Jean too. I bet you can conjure one up in your head!

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  13. Happy to find a kindred spirit with such wisdom! I'm heading to the art room to Gelli myself crazy! Have to do it standing up, but I will try my scattered best to shuddup!

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    1. Ha Ha! Glad you can relate and find joy with your Gelli plate too!

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