A Coat-tas-tro-phy: Tiny T-Rex Arms

People in my new town are talking about how unusually warm it is this December. Temperatures in the 50s are not normal for this time of year.

And its looking more and more like there will not be any snow for Christmas.

This Tallahassee Lassie has only one word to say about that: Bummer.

(Did you hear my sarcasm?)

It feels cold here to us. The kids are learning how to dress for the chilly weather. My husband and I are remembering what it’s like to dress in layers and have an inordinate amount of static cling in our clothes.

Part of our preparations has been for me to get a real-deal winter coat. Naturally.

I went to LL Bean and chose the Winter Warmer Coat. In plum wine. Because if I’m going to live in a place that has winter, gray, gloomy, and cold, I need some color in my life.

The coat came. I loved it. Slipped it on and felt immediately cozy and warm. It went down to right below my knee and I knew I would be snug and warm.

There was one problem. The zipper was broken.

Try as I may, I could not zip that coat. I was leaning over, bending and tugging, trying to maneuver the zipper pieces to line up correctly. My husband watched me, laughed, then leaned over to help me. He zipped it on the first try.

That’s all well and good, but my husband is not around to dress me all the time.

I returned the coat, requesting a new one because this zipper was not working. Clearly the time Brian zipped it was just a fluke. Or because of his angle.

The second coat came and the same damn thing happened. I could not zip it. This time Brian put it on (he looked good in plum wine by the way) and zipped it right up.

Snap.

The coat was not the problem.

It was me! Imagine my shock and discovery to learn, at age 37, that I have tiny T-Rex arms!

I couldn’t reach the zipper properly. I was bending and contorting, trying to get the zipper at the right angle, and the whole time, it was because I literally can’t reach it. Or when I do reach it, it’s at an angle that is impossible to zip.

I sent the coat back and chose something different. A jacket that comes to just below my waist that I zip up smoothly. Every time.

Not everything is going to be a perfect fit. Sometimes we try really hard for things to work and they just don’t.

I could have kept that coat. In fact, I did keep the first one, for several months. Telling myself it wasn’t a big deal. I settled.

Which is totally agains my value system – to settle for a product that doesn’t make me feel good. Or in this case, that doesn’t keep me warm.

Sometimes the victory is in remembering that if a circumstance isn’t the right fit, there are other options.

So, I accept my two small T-Rex arms and I recommit to living a life where I surround myself with products, services, peeps, and experiences that fit. That feel good.

And the ones that don’t can be traded in. Or let go.

As my mom’s husband likes to say, given any task, the right tools are required. A coat that I can’t zip won’t keep me warm in the cold.

What about you? What have you been settling for that it’s time to change? Leave a comment in the space below so we can cheer you on.

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Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.

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