a giraffe at the zoo
Last night, my mom was telling me that she had asked LB (my little sister, approximately 5’2) to go get some paper towel. Now the paper towel is kept in the cold storage room on a high shelf. My mom assumed, LB would go ask Craig (who was already downstairs) to help her get it down.
LB returned a while later with two rolls of paper towel. When my mom asked if Craig helped her, she proudly responded that she did it all by herself. She then went on to tell my mom how she got a long poster mailer and used it as a stick to get the rolls down that she needed. She glowed with pride that she had done it by herself, my mom smiled that LB had been so resourceful as to figure it out on her own using the tools she had available.
Three days ago, I was at Smith’s doing some grocery shopping on what is, the worst day of the year to grocery shop, New Years Eve. I’d gone for yogurt, and left overwhelmed by all the people. While there, I saw a really cute basket on the top shelf, I reached up, got it down, examined it and put it back. It was the only one. The next day, I went to the Dillard’s sale, this time completely expecting all the people who would be there for this adventure. As I wandered the purses, a woman tapped me and asked if I was tall enough to reach a bag on a high shelf. I reached up and grabbed it and gave it to the woman. She thanked me and that was that.
Yesterday, I was taking down Christmas decorations and needed to hang something on the rafters in my storage room. The nail was there, but I was too short. I decided, if I held the bag in my hand just right, I could probably jump and hang it and so, it took a couple tries but I did it!
Now, why the stories about reaching for things that are out of reach? Well as a tall person, I rarely have this problem. I rarely, rarely need assistance to get something I need from a shelf at home or abroad. I put things up high all the time, because I can and because it would be wasted space not to. What I am terrible at is asking for help when something is out of my reach because it does happen. Because I am so used to “doing it myself” the rest of the time, I’m terrible at asking for help when I need it. After all, I’m the one people ask for help.
This independence that I feel is sometimes ridiculous. I need to be better about asking for help, admitting I can’t reach or that I need assistance. We weren’t sent to be an island, we were sent to be a family, a community, a collaborative to make it through together, to return together. Reaching is a simple reminder to not let my pride get in the way of my progress on my path.