I have been short all my life.
When I was born to my four-foot-ten-inch mother, I was an average size baby. But then genetics kicked in and I only grew to my predetermined four-foot-eleven-inch height (but I’m taller than my mom!). I have to delve deeply into the family gene pool to find a tall person, so this was really not a surprise to me or anyone else. And, quite honestly, I’ve never viewed myself as a short person. I’m just me.
Part of the reason for my height perspective comes from one of those mom sayings, you those things you hate as a child but help for who you are as an adult. She would say, “I can do anything a tall person can do I just have to drag a stool with me.” Growing up with that kind of can do attitude had a profound impact on me and all the foot stools in my life. The only thing I really dislike about being short is that weight is a much harder issue to manage than for taller folks. I suppose if I actually took steps to do something about it – like, ummmm, exercise and make better food choices – I would be more successful in this area. Years ago I just accepted that I am built like my Irish/Scottish grandmother and, well, it’s genetics. I know this is a cop out but it is mine and I’m keeping it!
Fast forward to last week when we were house sitting for our daughter. Once I conquered the technology of the house and had a lovely afternoon and dinner with HG (my Hunter-Gatherer husband) it was my favorite time of the day: bed time. Let the dogs out. Wash my face and brush my teeth. Plug in the phone. Adjust the temperature. Ritual complete and time for a snuggly night’s sleep. There’s just one problem. The bed is tall, really, really, tall. I took a step back and evaluated the situation. I could give it a good running start and launch myself in the general direction of the mattress. Does anybody see a problem with this? I’m short. I’m not skinny. And, I’m old and unathletic. Nothing. I repeat nothing about this story is going to have a happy ending. So, I hitch up my jammy bottoms and try to hike my leg up onto the edge of the bed. I got my good knee on the edge but there was no way I had enough leverage to hoist the rest of my body up to the top. The entire time I am clawing and scratching the sheets to get traction HG is laying in bed reading a book! He rolls his head over and says, “Need some help?” I wanted to be snarky but I wanted a good night’s sleep more, so I just grunted, “Yes, please.” Being the gentleman he is, he flung an arm over to me like he was extending a tree branch to a drowning person. I latched on and pulled with all my might and finally landed in bed beside him, and that is exactly where I found myself eight hours later.
I had a situation. I did not want to repeat this scene the next night so in the morning I went in search of an alternative. I found this.
This stool has been around since my daughter was a small child and my youngest granddaughter now uses it. I love all the scratches and marks; reminders that life is meant to be lived and nothing stays pristine unless it remains untouched. Truth be told I worried that my round, adult sized body might be too much for this little stool to bear, but I was wrong. It creaked a little, but it did the job. I was able to get into bed all by myself. I felt proud.
I also used it when I had to get towels out of the washer. Oh, my that is one deep washing machine!
I suppose I could view my height challenged body as a limitation. There are lots of things I am not good at because of my height and physique. I’ve chosen to not pursue those things in an effort to overcome, but that is a choice. As I said, I don’t really think about it often, but when I do I see my shortness as an opportunity to be creative, ask for help, and be relatable to many folks who would otherwise be intimidated by a tall person. I’m going through a huge life transition right now. Closing a business. Trying to decide what to do next and how that fits into God’s purpose for my life. Worrying too much. Overthinking everything. But when push comes to shove, this time is an opportunity to stretch, grow and discover new things about myself and this crazy, wonderful life I have been given.
Don’t we all have limitations? That is just life, get used to it. It isn’t the limitation, it is whether it is allowed to control or propel us forward…or just onto the bed.
Live, Laugh, Love, ~Sheryl