The Three “P’s”

Remember the Three R’s?  Reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic?  I have learned some other triple letter acronyms.  There are the Three A’s I heard an art educator mention the other day: ARTS, Academics, and Athletics for a whole-child perspective on the necessary components of education.  I learned some other Three A’s today when I couldn’t remember one of the ones mentioned above and googled it.  Aside from AAA car club, I came across the Three A’s of Relationships: Attitude, Attention, and Appreciation; the Three A’s of Assertiveness: Acknowledge feelings, Address the situation and Ask for what you want.  This reminded me of the Three C’s I used to teach kids I worked with in counseling whose parent/s had problems with alcohol/drugs: you didn’t Cause it, you can’t Control it, and you can’t Change someone else, only yourself.  Well, today I created the Three P’s: Puke, Poop, and Peanut Butter. 

I should’ve known how the day would evolve when Pedro alerted me to the cat Puke in the den this morning.  Our sweet calico is bulimic and often leaves us puddled surprises when she can’t stop eating and later throws up.  At least, today, it hit the hardwood floor.  I have tried intervention with this problem cat by putting the food out of reach and only letting her have it available at certain times of the day.  But, it sends her into such a state of panic that her food isn’t available to her 24/7 that I cave in and put it back to restore her sanity and ours.  I cleaned it up and went on to work.  At lunchtime I came home to let the three dogs out and discovered Poop puddles in the den, on the rug!  Our son’s puppy had diarrhea – again!  And this time I had to clean it up.  Considering I only get a thirty minute lunch, I had about 5 minutes to cram down a Peanut butter sandwich and hurry back to work.  Unfortunately, my appetite was sufficiently suppressed and I had to eat the sandwich later.

Really, in the scheme of things I know what minutiae this is and I can’t let such frustrations get the best of me.  Just yesterday I read a quote from St. Francis de Sales that should have prepared me for the day’s unpleasantries: “Nothing so hinders us in what we are doing as to be longing after something else; in so doing, we leave off tilling our own field, to drive the plough through our neighbor’s land, where we must not look to reap a harvest; and this is mere waste of time.  If our thoughts and hopes are elsewhere, it is impossible for us to set our faces steadily towards the work required of us.”  I confess that last weekend when I was weeding flower beds I was coveting the manicured lawns of the neighbors across the street. And, I have to admit even after reading that wisdom again today, I find myself wishing for a new Three P’s: Peace, Painting, and a Pina Colada!  A fun challenge I may consider in my spare time is coming up with an alphabet of the triple letter acronyms.  Hmmm…

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