I’ll start by introducing myself, since I have been invited to be a guest blogger at EnjoyingtheRide.com. I am Kim, wife of Mitch, mother of Amy & Zach, a middle school counselor, and caregiver for my husband of 25 years (in no particular order). These various roles definitely conflict with one another from time to time.
For example, when we moved to southern Maine 11 years ago, I started in my position as a counselor at Cape Elizabeth Middle School. My daughter was a student at the same middle school at that time. Imagine for a moment what it may have been like for me as I simultaneously fulfilled the role of the mother and school counselor of an emotional teenage daughter. Can you envision any situations over a three year span where it may have been difficult to be both people? I probably averaged one situation a day, but thankfully the memories fade over time.
Two other roles I have that compete with each other, even more than being my daughter’s middle school counselor, are being both the primary caregiver and spouse for Mitch. We have been a couple for more than 31 years, and the role of spouse has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences of my life. Being the caregiver for my husband, on the other hand, has been one of the most challenging. To be the one who has the sole responsibility of taking care of the maintenance of our home inside and out along with working a full-time job is difficult enough. Beyond this, I sometimes feel like I am on call 24 hours a day, whether it be to help dress my husband, prepare his meals, or to come when he calls my name. I worry about him falling or needing me while I am away. And I also feel guilty whenever I get angry, frustrated, or afraid with what I have to endure in my life, in our lives.
With this being said, many people have asked how I stay so positive, and continue to live life to its fullest. My list of “secrets” is short and much of it mirrors Mitch’s view of the world:
- Live in the moment as much as possible, trying not to dwell on the past or worry about the future
- Don’t get drawn into negativity that sometimes finds its way into your day
- Surround yourself with good people - those who are honest, caring, hard-working & true friends
- Find the positive in all situations, even if seems tiny & irrelevant
- Don’t just complain about things; look for solutions whenever possible
- Treat others the way you want to be treated