I am 4 ft 11 (almost). Being this short has its challenges. From having to ask for help at stores so I can get something off the top shelf to trying to reach the bottom of my washing machine for that lone sock without falling in. Nothing is made for me. Not cars, amusement park rides, weight rooms.

I don’t get to go to the thrift shop for inexpensive clothes. I have to go to the petite section of the few stores in my area inhabited by tall, blond, Dutch people. I have to travel long distances to get certain size 5 shoes.

I hate when I drop something between the couch and the end table because I can rarely reach down far enough to get something.

I can’t help with our tent or help carry large things – my arms are too short. And they never see me at the deli counter.

Seeing at concerts and events is almost impossible. As soon as people stand I can’t see a thing. And sitting is rarely comfortable because my feet don’t reach the ground most of the time.

I have always been in the front row for pictures or singing in choir.

The lovely nicknames like Shrimp, Stump, Midget Girl got tiresome. And the jokes I’ve heard a million times.

So I’ve had to learn to cope.

Even as a kid, I knew that everyone is teased about something. Since I couldn’t grow taller, I’ve accepted it. I’ve even learned to look at the benefits. My friend grew up tall in middle school and hated it. She said she always wanted to be petite.

I’ve learned to ask for help for things like putting bags in the overhead on airplanes. I’ve become more assertive so I am seen and heard.

I have a stool by my bed and a stool in the kitchen.

I can squeeze further up in concerts.

I always check out vehicles before I buy to make sure I can see out the back window so I back up.

I enjoy having a smaller wardrobe and shoe collection because of shopping with a much smaller selection.

Being short is just one challenge. People have to deal with health issues, being too tall, things like dyslexia and ADHD, relationship issues, feeling too old, addictions, overspending. Everyone on earth has challenges.

You can complain about them (and sure venting in a journal is great. Telling your friends and family over and over probably will be annoying them.) And you can come up with workarounds, solutions and mindsets.

Think of a current challenge for you. What are 15 things you can do to work through this challenge?

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12 comments

  • Sophie

    Well you may be 4.11- but look at you! All those fabulous suggestions and ideas you came up with? I guess you have to be more inventive than taller people.

  • Meline

    Beth,
    I feel your “pain”… because I am also 4’11” (& 1/2″) lol! But I so agree with all the positives you listed here!
    God bless,
    Meline

  • LuAnne

    I’m a shorty, too. Never fails, top shelf at grocery store, item pushed all the way back. I look around to see if anyone watching, step up on bottom shelf & quickly grab item. One of these days the shelf is gonna be weak/wobbly & collapse on me. When that happens, you’ll see a short, plump, 58+ yr old move faster than you’d ever think possible. 😉

  • jonnie

    Beth,

    I have a very handsome 18 y/o son, Jacob. He is 6’5 1/2″ tall and a lean 205 pounds. (not much for someone so tall). He’s been off the charts since birth. He feels your pain. the comments he always gets when people meet him or see him after a growth spurt: YOU ARE HUGE! Dude, how did you get so big? do you play basketball? how tall is your dad and mom? your feet! what size shoe do you wear?! he can’t buy shoes off most shelves and when he buys a shirt (xl), it is too large for his lean waist and most of the time, not long enough. he can reach everything and is very smart, in college and a wonderful artist. He does take it all in stride because he is kind and has a great sense of humor.
    Thank you for sharing your story, Beth. You know… i always wanted to be petite like you. you didn’t mention that the guys are always taller than you (sweet!) and petite women make the best dancers for waltzing, etc. 🙂 thank you for being you, Beth. you are inspiring!

  • Cherie

    I was 4’11” untill I had my forth child then 5′ after my 6th child and I went up to 5’1″ after my 8th child…doctor said it was impossiable but it happened! Even at 5’1″ I still have the same issues as I had at 4’11”!!! But I work around them as everyone who is short does! A 5 1/2 extra wide shoe is hard to come by that is my one complaint! the rest can be worked around! I have duck feet they are so wide! LOL…I know exactly how you feel being closer to the ground than most people!!!
    I tell myself I’m just closer to the ground than the average women! Works for me means I’m more grounded!!! LOL!
    Thank-you for your wonderful knowledge and for sharing it!
    Oh and PS if the store manager tells you that you can’t use the step stool you brought into the store with you…tell him Thank-you for volenteering to stay and help you threw the whole store so you can finish your shopping!I never can reach anything on the top shelves! Yes I take a small step stool!

  • Dianne

    What a wonderful post! I can identify with every “challenge” you mentioned! At 5’1″ I am a lot taller than you, 😉 but being short has never bothered me. I was always tiny and learned early to appreciate my uniqueness. I don’t hesitate a minute to ask for help reaching some high thing, and at work I had my own little stool tucked under my chair in the conference room. I admit it is a little awkward at times when I hug someone and find I am looking at their bet buckle! Here’s to short people!

  • Ruth

    I honestly not sure of my height. I thought I was 4′ 10″ but when they measured my height, I forget where, they said I was 4’8″ anyways. I know that feeling. I’ve overcome a lot of things that bothered me. Do you have a tall husband? My hubby is 6’2″. Not exactly sure what I am trying to say here, but I know what it is like. Thank you for your posts.

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