16 Days In: What Do I Have to Show for It?

At the start of this experiment I was sort of hoping to find the perfect “self-love recipe” to apply to myself and swiftly achieve that blissful state of fully accepting my Self, and maybe even graduate to loving me.

Methinks there is a grave need for a check-in.

I’ll just say right off the bat that I’ve practicing NOT beating myself up for only having published 4 posts in 16 days. And for letting 9 days go by without writing.

Those first few days I was so high on the feeling of writing and publishing—not to mention the thrill of praise. And then life happened.

But part of my new mojo (or at least the one I’m aiming for) is accepting that things do not go as planned. And that doing less than your ideal is still OK.

So even though my stats (not that I care…not that I’m looking…or counting…) have been gradually getting less and less exciting, I’m still not succumbing to self-flagellation. Progress?

firstperson.blog stats, views, visitors,
Oh, those first days were glorious!

But really, what do I care about stats? What is that about? I am not doing this experiment for praise, or recognition, or to please people (ugh). The choice of a blog format was mostly about putting a fire under my arse and keeping the pressure on to write frequently and regularly. But it is clearly easy to get a little too addicted to the “likes,” “follows,” “visits” and “views” not to mention the comments.

I am recalling a sentence from an email I received from a cousin I admire and look up to, after sharing a story with her… “I also think what is so appealing about your piece is your ability to be honest. Writers who write from aloft might as well be blogging (although some blogs are quite moving)” I remember that when I read it I felt momentarily ashamed at my blogging pursuits (so many short-lived blogs over the years, so little cohesiveness).

blogging, blogger, self-love, self-acceptance, self-respect, self-loathing, valentine
thanks to Léonore Cooney Gogibu
(you wouldn’t know it but she tried to coiffe this uncoiffable head just before taking the photo) ;—)

But I trust I will figure out the right balance between writing for me and writing for others. This has *always* been a question in my mind, ever since my first diaries. I noticed early on that I was writing not just for me but in the case that someone else might read them. Note to self. This may merit its own post!

So… in these 9 quiet days, I’ve continued to ponder the big questions, occasionally feeling sparks of inspiration light up my mind, and sometimes I even remember to write things down so I can build on them later.

OK, so the check-in.

Here’s what I’ve remarked upon in the subtle plate tectonics of isabel cooney since this blog was embarrassingly born on Valentine’s day:

  • I’m less and less embarrassed by the whole self-love idea. I think that just the fact of realizing, and sharing, the embarrassment around it all has begun to unblock something. You gotta love the human mind.
  • Having written about the thwarted love affair this summer seems to have dredged up signs of deep sadness around all of the hopes I’d attached to that person, that chemistry, that relationship, that couple-to-be-that-wasn’t. I don’t know many other ways than writing to purge the salty geyser I sense is there, so I guess I know what must be done. If I were to write one sentence here now, what would it be? ……….

    For 25 years I dreamt about you…For what?
  • This may seem obvious to you, but I think at the start of this experiment I was sort of hoping to find the perfect “self-love recipe” to apply to myself and swiftly achieve that blissful state of fully accepting my Self, and maybe even graduate to loving me. But I’ve already realized that no, each one of us has different needs in this mysterious realm. So the “recipe” is necessarily different for each one of us. Holy crap—that’s 7+ billion different recipes!
  • Don’t know quite why but for 2 days straight I have woken up with a smile already on my face. Before I have time to think, or remember who I am. I’m not doing it on purpose but God! it is addictive and I’m hoping this mysterious trend continues!
  • I did something that felt amazing this past week. I was going to say it was “something crazy” but the opposite is true. What’s crazy is how long it took for me to get there. Since I started working for Allies in Recovery 5 years ago, my status has been that of an independent contractor. Thus, taking vacation means no pay. Thus, I just didn’t take any. I always had strong arguments to lean on when one of my daughters gently complained about this (because I kept traveling of course, I just brought my computer/job everywhere we went). Léonore had yet another 2-week school holiday (don’t get me started) and I had proposed that she, Stella and I get away for 4 or 5 days. Until the day before we left, the plan was, she’d provide 2.5 hours of babysitting each day for me to work. But when Léonore asked me if I had to work, everything in me was shouting, “NO!” … so, I did the unthinkable: I took 3 days off. And now I can say with certainty that there is truly something to be said for vacation.

    As my friend Damien commented to me today: “I am very happy for the 3 of you, yes it’s imperative to be able to clear one’s head, even for just a few days, from time to time. For me, it’s actually vital. It allows me to relax, to let go, to step back, to bond with family … all the essential stuff! And when you come back you’re full of energy, ideas, plans. And even for us independent workers, for whom vacation is more expensive, it’s still clearly worth it.”

    I think I’ve found one of my ingredients!! Actual vacations? Free time that’s for something other than working? Yes, please.
  • Speaking of vacations, the main focus of our 5 delightful days in Rennes was “food tourism.” Lord knows I love to eat, and sniff out the best food places. But listening to —and respecting—my own body’s needs, refusals, desires has become a complicated scene.

    Though I don’t yet really understand yet how to go about this, I am fully aware now that something profound needs to shift in my relationship to eating (how/when/what/why…). Figuring this out, or moving closer to doing so, will also be a giant ingredient in my own recipe for Self Love. To be continued… with love!

Author: isabel harris cooney

foodie/foodaholic—american in france—scorpio—mama bear—writer—photographer—nerd—planner—hitchhiker—yoga—breathing—friend—lists—vegetables—peeing outside—finding hearts everywhere—climbing trees—having a million browser tabs open—speaking in russian accent—writing letters with stamps—envelopes—needing more sleep.....

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