The Top Shelf

If you ask me how tall I am, I will always answer, “I’m 5’2 ½.” I can guarantee you that I will not forget to add that ½ inch. Being short comes with its challenges. My sister-in-law likes to pick on me because along with my short stature, I also have short arms. (I call them T. Rex arms.) She is always willing to offer her assistance when I need to get something that is out of my reach. It is an ongoing joke between the two of us. I have a stool that I use at home when I need to reach something on the top shelf. Now, when I am away from home things can get tricky.

Let’s take a walk down the grocery store aisle. The produce and meat departments are generally not a problem for me. Most of those items are lower than the average eye level; which is closer to my eye level and within my reach. As I move through the store I notice that the refrigerated foods are all at my height range. Of course, my eye level is about midway up the shelves. Now, the spices that I enjoy are usually on the top shelf. Side note:  I do not like for my food to be bland.

For a long time, when I would reach that shelf I would just hope that there was someone taller than me (most people are) who would be willing to get the item that I needed. I’ve never had anyone tell me “No” or seem annoyed by my request, but what happens when nobody is around to help me? Do I stand there hoping someone will go down that aisle soon so I can ask for support? I could go look for the nearest sales associate.

I don’t take either of those options. I will often go to the appliance and cookware section of the store and borrow a ladle. You may be wondering why I choose a ladle. Well, it’s actually a simple explanation: 1. The ladle has a long handle and 2. The bowl of the spoon is curved so it works well for grabbing my desired objects. (Unlike a stirring spoon that is straight, with little curve or depth.) Yes, I really did think about this strategically. It’s ok to imagine me using this process to gain access to the product that I desire to take off of the top shelf.

I know that my little scenario is quite humorous and I hope that you were able to chuckle a little at my expense (it’s ok, really).

Have you been going through life as just an “eye-level” experience? You go through picking up items that are easiest to put in your life cart. You don’t reach for anything on the top shelf because you are worried that if you step out of your comfort zone someone may laugh at you. I agree it’s uncomfortable to step out of the ordinary way of doing things.

If you want to enhance your life, you must first determine what you want. Do you want a new job? Maybe you love your job but would like a raise. Do you want to see more of the world? There are so many “Top Shelf” experiences that can “spice up” your life.

If it’s a new job you are wanting to reach, you may need to further your education or take specialty training. If you want a raise, you may need to take on more responsibilities at work- show up earlier and/or stay later. If you want to travel the world, you may need to create a rigid budget and stick to it. I assure you it is worth every effort if it means you won’t have to live a “bland” or mundane life.

What if someone laughs at you? Let them. Sometimes people need the laugh. Let that be your gift to them.

Don’t sit back and accept a life of dissatisfaction because you don’t think you have what it takes to reach greater heights. Grab a “ladle” of determination and do what you need to do in order to reach the Top Shelf.

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