new year and not making a plan

work in progress collage titled “What Pain, My Beloved”


Today I put away my planner.

I put away my editorial calendar for the blog and the sketchbook that contained drawings for a monthly stitch-a-long. I closed the word document containing my fiction short stories.

Instead I pulled out a stack of materials for collage. Why? Am I disappearing?

No. Not in the least.

But yesterday on my Facebook page I mentioned that I feel stuck. Like a failure. Like I’m in some strange limbo that I cannot have any affection for. My friends there reminded me that it’s not been long since I left cancer behind. In fact, I counted – it’s only been five months since my last chemo treatment. 

And yet in my mind, I should be 1000% normal and full energy and just ready to conquer the world.

It’s so not the case. And I hate it. It feels like a nightmare that won’t end and I find myself doing what I did during treatment – surrendering to the process and letting my body be the boss of me.

So what are my plans?

Creative Strength Training (CST) with Jane Dunnewold. **  It starts on March 1 and I can’t wait. I need it. I need her. I need a group to let me be completely raw that won’t look away. Because I don’t expect self exploration right now to be the gentlest thing. But I want it. To learn about myself and what my artist has become after being torn down with chemicals and disease. I’ve been fighting sitting with how I feel I now and it’s not working. It’s time to simply be as wretched as needed and change the mindset that I need to leave it behind but rather how will I incorporate it all into who I am now.

No easy task. (I’m considering writing about my cancer experience here but I’m not sure yet. Separate blog? Mixed in with a warning in the title for those who aren’t interested? I don’t know.)

I have set three small goals for myself. One is to make a 9″x12″ collage each month. I will keep that. Because that’s the art I want to make most right now. (And crochet. And some stitching. And…guess Art Brain isn’t completely out of commission.) And I will fully participate in CST. And I want to blog at least once a week. 

This all seems doable. But also feels as if it’s all I can take on. It’s hard to close the door in the face of other wants because I’m used to letting them all waltz in and I stand in the middle of the chaos taking in each shout and instruction with complete contentment. They are mad at me for shunning them. But I’m okay with it.

There will be time for them to thrive. Now I choose to turn inward and share with you all and see what will rise from the ashes of the old me.

** Jane is generously offering a discount code for anyone who wants to take CST. You can get $20 off when you use the code CSTGROUP at registration. I hope to see you there. Love you.

13 thoughts on “new year and not making a plan

  1. Barbara says:

    You are SO doing the right thing for yourself. Chemotherapy may be over but your body has not had time to recover and completely heal. It takes time and the kindest thing you can do for your body and spirit is to let the healing process take as long as it takes. You will start to feel better and more like your “old self” over time but you might find your focus and energies have changed and that’s not all bad. Take care!

  2. Jane Dunnewold says:

    Wrenchingly honest to read, Lynn. Brava. You can’t know how many lives you’ll touch or people you’ll help by sharing yourself so candidly. I am honored you are joining the CST community and I KNOW it to be supportive and ALL IN when someone needs it. We’ll envelop you with creative energy and sit tight while your healing continues.

  3. Gisela Towner says:

    Time is the greatest healer. I think you’re doing the best thing possible for yourself.
    I’ve been toying with taking CST, but worried that I won’t follow through, as that seems to be a huge problem for me these days. Knock on wood, my health is okay, but Tjay is having heart problems and my Mom is fighting blood cancer at 85.
    Maybe I’ll see you in CST.

    Much love and healing light to you, my friend.

    • Lynn Krawczyk says:

      Much love to you and your loves that are fighting illness. I’m hoping nothing but good things for you all.

  4. Sandy says:

    Be kind to yourself and listen to your body. Cancer is a horrible thing and takes time to come back from.

  5. Roberta Whitmore says:

    All the best Lynn. You are doing the right thing. Be kind to yourself
    I look forward to your journey.

  6. Lynn says:

    I have a friend who had cancer and finished his last chemo treatment about the same time you did. He is not back to 100% either. He gets stronger each day; his coloring is good. His hair is growing back nicely; the sparkle is back in his eyes. He is starting to taste things again. Try to be patient with yourself. Your body has been through a tremendous ordeal. Remember: you ARE getting better each day. Do whatever you need to do to have a good day. Art? Reading? A walk outside? A hot fudge sundae? A phone call to a friend? A nap? A good cry? A cuddle with a pet? A visit to a local art gallery, museum, exhibit? Go for it. It’s still all about you, and that’s okay. This, too, shall pass, and one of these days you will walk out into the sunshine with a lighter heart. You are loved, and you are worthy.

  7. Gail Davenport says:

    I can’t afford to sign up for CST, but I did get the book from the library last week and already find it helpful. Thanks for shining a light on it. Lynn, your work has inspired multitudes, but most importantly, the work you choose to do now will inspire YOU!

  8. Barbara Fox says:

    I love that you are listening to your inner being. Keep up this very good work. Creative Strength Training. Jane Dunnewold. All good. Have courage in your moving forward with what feels right.

  9. Robbie Payne says:

    Your body and art brain are both telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. Take this time to reflect on all you have done and you deserve to take it one day at a time. Jane’s workshop will be a great motivator!!! It’s a new year…a new you!!! Embrace it all!!!!

  10. Gisela Towner says:

    Thank you Lynn.
    This was the gentle push I needed to move and sign up for CST.
    My Mom is on chemo for MDS for over a year now, TJay is having heart problems, my BIL has liver cancer and it’s all got me stalled in my creative life. I can’t remember the last time I finished something…also in limbo here.
    Your strength has given me the nudge I needed to find my own.

    hugs, Gisela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.