When it comes to perfume I’m a floral girl, and for many years ‘Paris’ by Yves St Laurent or ‘Beautiful’ by Estee Lauder have been my go to fragrances. I didn’t realise how significant fragrance was until I smelled ‘Devon Violets’ one day and was instantly drawn to memories of my late grandmother. When one of my daughters was away from home for a while, she took with her something she had sprayed with my fragrance to give her comfort during the separation. To her, my fragrance meant warmth and love. What’s your ‘fragrance’?
When I go to funerals I’m always interested in how people are described by those they have left behind. I have often wondered, maybe selfishly, how will people talk about me when my life is done? What will linger when I’m gone?
I’m hoping people don’t remember the times I was grumpy or ungracious, selfish or rude. I hope my children don’t remember only the times I got cross with them, stomped up the stairs in frustration, or got annoyed with my husband over something trivial. I want them to remember the good things. I guess I want them to remember me with fondness and admiration like they would my fragrance.
Choose your fragrance
I guess that means that while I’m alive, doing life, connecting with people, raising my family and contributing to the world around me, I need to choose what ‘fragrance’ I wear. Not just literally, but metaphorically speaking too. When people leave an encounter with me, do they take with them a sense of acceptance and compassion, or irritation and imposition? Do people feel they have intruded on my busy schedule, or do they feel they were heard and cared for?
Is my fragrance ‘Me, Myself & I’ by Karen, or something more inviting? It might sound cheesy but I’d like my fragrance to be ‘Love Beyond’. When you think about it, it’s love for those beyond ourselves that makes us sacrifice everything for our kids, that compels us to be generous with our time and resources, and it’s love for those beyond ourselves that reminds us why life is worth living. Love helps us to persevere and it stirs passion in us. Love for those beyond ourselves is the reason we choose to forgive.
You and I both know that ‘love’ doesn’t flow easily some days. It’s not a feeling that can be relied upon to be ever present. It’s a choice and it’s often a tough one.
What kind of ‘fragrance’ do you want to linger after you? We won’t always get it right. We can apply it and then find it fades. It will likely need reapplication and maybe a change over time. We can’t control the world around us but we can choose how we engage with it.
We can choose our ‘fragrance’… what will be yours?
MOPS Australia Board Chair