Sep/Oct
2018

The Rule of 3: Resilience Creates Happiness

Written by Kathryn Lenn
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IT IS MY OWN SUPERSTITION THAT EVERYTHING HAPPENS IN THREES. PERHAPS I HAVE THIS SUPERSTITION BECAUSE MY BIRTHDAY IS MARCH 3, OR BECAUSE MY HUSBAND WAS MY THIRD BOYFRIEND. MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE WE LIVE IN THE THIRD HOUSE ON THE RIGHT, I’M 5 FEET 3 INCHES, MY BEST FRIEND IS THREE DAYS OLDER THAN I AM, OR BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER MADE US A FAMILY OF THREE WHEN SHE MADE HER DEBUT AT 33 WEEKS AND THREE DAYS. WHATEVER THE REASON, I BELIEVE IN THE “RULE OF THREE.”

ONE

This applies to many things in my life and it can seem inescapable at times. So, when the dishwasher was sparking and spitting smoke on a Monday evening, I got a little worried what would be next.

Our dishwasher was something my uneducated, first-time homeowner self took for granted. The first time we had it fixed, we were told to probably not fix it again because it was 15 years old. We knew it was only a matter of time, and that fateful evening we finally came to the end of the road with our beloved dishwasher.

TWO

Still mourning the loss of our dishwasher, I put a load of dirty clothes in the washer Tuesday (the next day). When it was quiet too soon for the cycle, I was suspicious. Sure enough that washing machine broke a mere 24 hours after our last loss. It was a hard 24 hours to say goodbye to the two most convenient machines in my life. And, because we are a young family with a mortgage, day care expenses, student loans and other daily living expenses, it was going to be a while before we could afford to replace either.

THREE

A month went by, and all was quiet. We hand-washed dishes and took our dirty clothes to my parents’ house on Wednesdays when we dropped off our daughter for her day with Grandma. We were able to scoot by until we could afford a reasonable washer and dryer, which was our first priority. Then, we began the dishwasher hunt. The washer and dryer were installed on a Tuesday evening, and by Wednesday I had the itch to look at dishwashers. My husband convinced me to just give it a minute—and good thing I did—because the next day we met number three.

Thursday morning was going well. We had our ducks in a row and were headed out on time (a rarity in our home). My husband and I were having our typical morning chatter about what was ahead for the day and who would be picked up in what order. All of a sudden, our truck stopped unexpectedly, and we heard a loud “bang!” I turned around to see our partially shut garage door that the truck had smashed into it, bending the door in the middle. It was a moment of shock as my husband pulled the truck forward and repeatedly said he didn’t know what happened. 

HAPPY FAMILY

On that same Thursday, we did buy a new dishwasher and a new garage door. It wasn’t our best day, and a big bowl of ice cream was consumed while considering the adjustments we will need to make to keep things moving. But, as I ate that ice cream, I heard my new washer and dryer working beautifully. It just reminded me that everything was going to be OK. We had met our three disasters, but we were still a healthy family of three, living in the third house on the right, and a new garage door or set of appliances would not put a dent in that. 

It’s good to have small mishaps that help put life in perspective sometimes. This probably won’t be the last time we will be touched by the “Rule of Three,” but it is a good reminder that we will be OK.

Katie Lenn is navigating motherhood and adulthood, and finds it therapeutic to share her life’s mis-happenings by writing about them.