I’ve been struggling to come up with February’s post on fragrance-free living. My on-going hunt for non-allergy-inducing products has had an enthusiasm lull. When it dawned on me--I was trying too hard, that my attitude is just as important as a finding a comfortable product for my skin.
Trying to live fragrance-free is like building a fortress around yourself...with a moat. It’s a constant struggle that is generally lost, resulting in unpleasant repercussions.
How to allow myself the freedom to gain a fresh perspective? And have a break from the regimented fragrance-free label I carry around in my head. I realized I wanted to feel unencumbered by the identity of “sensitive.” At least for this moment.
I don’t know how to find people who are like me, so I can’t just call up so-and-so and say let’s go to the mall and buy some shoes. Obstacles are everywhere: everybody seems to have a dog or insists on dragging their pet around with them, fragrance spews from puffers, fabrics are treated with all kinds of problematic things, people don’t seem to get “less is more” when applying scent or when dumping fabric softener into their washer. All of this stuff creates health ramifications and anxiety for the scent-sensitive and allergy-prone person like me.
So I go for a walk in nature. Then get this idea to call an old friend who I haven’t spoken with for a decade. The last thing I want to do is explain why I’m not around anymore, so I minimize that part of the conversation and just listen to his voice. Ask him some questions.
How people make us feel is what we remember and want more of. His voice reminded me of standing in his kitchen, pulling out the veggie bin and cooking up what was there; business conversations about what to invest in; LA before this or that had been built; and Costco has the lowest prices on generic antihistamines. Oops, allergies crept back in, but what mattered was hearing another person’s voice, someone I had lost touch with but haven’t anymore.
My fresh perspective is to let in old friends, which could pave the road for letting in new friends.
When life’s limitations become overwhelming, take a perspective break.
Invest in not being alone and make a daily deposit in a relationship account.