Updated: Aug 13, 2021
I used to be a tomboy when I was a little girl. I loved to play with my brother and my cousin's cars, robots, marbles, and everything boy-related. I owned dolls and tea sets and of course the iconic Barbies, but I wounded up destroying them all. I did have girlfriends, but I never wanted to play girl games, I just wanted to run with the boys and play soccer with them. If the girls wanted to play with me, they had to play with the boys too, which wasn't always the case. I used to think girls were annoying.
As I grew up I started to understand the women in my life. For starters, my Mother. I no longer saw her as just my Mom, but also as my friend. We went shopping together, went to the hair salon and she even listened to some of the music I liked: Queen, Pink Floyd, The Cure, U2, and my favorite Rock in Spanish band, Soda Stereo (from Argentina). I started to appreciate the classical music she loved even more. She was my first mentor. She taught me the values of Love for God, honesty, to always follow my heart, to do the right thing even if it made me look weird, and to simply be myself. Through her love and sacrifices for my brother and me, she showed us that the most important thing is that no matter what situation we could be in or with what people we were surrounded by, our values always come first.
My second mentor has been my sister, even though she is 8 years younger than me, she has had major struggles, but she has always stood up and continued to go ahead. She even has her own online business. She is teaching psychology at a university and she does freelance work at a human resources company. She lives in Chile and is a single mother of two girls, 16 and 3 years old( I love my nieces). My sister has given me the best advice and even kicks in the butt when I had gotten depressed and she had shown me that with determination, passion, and believing in ourselves, everything is possible. I truly admire her strength and hard work ethic.
My mother-in-law is my 3rd mentor. She is a wonderful lady who raised 5 children on her own and still managed to retire with a pension and saved money for herself and for all her children. Not only did she raised 5 amazing human beings, but she is still giving her love and time by volunteering at a hospital in Naples, Florida, where she lives. She helps to take care of premature babies. This awesome woman is turning 85 years old in June 11th and she doesn't look a year older than 65. She is elegant and poised, her nickname is the queen of clean, because her house is always spotless.
She has taught me that even during difficult times and stressful situations, poise, manners and acting with intelligence can always be useful to get through those uncomfortable moments. The most valuable lesson I had learned from her, besides all of the above, is to never go to bed before tidying up my home!
My sister-in-law, my 4th mentor, is an amazing person, who has done above and beyond for her family and everyone around her. She goes out of her way to help whoever is in need. She was with me when I had neck surgery when I had my son, and even when we bought our home and sold it. She is always lending a helping hand. When my mother-in-law's husband was sick from Alzheimer's, she helped her care for him, since she also got sick. My sister-in-law even moved to Florida just to help them (people used to think, she was his daughter). His daughters gave a special speech at his funeral thanking her for her kindness to their father.
She works as a teacher at a school in NYC and gives herself to the children and the staff. She literally gives herself because that is what she does by showing compassion, tolerance, and kindness. She even buys food from her own salary to feed those kids who don't have any food at their homes and have to go to school hungry, but M.S Slattery is always there to care for them and give them some hope. With her love and dedication, she has taught me that, as she once said "Church is to love and to help whoever is in need," and that is exactly what she does. She takes church(love and kindness) everywhere she goes. One more thing: She is an expert in the organization. I always tell her, "Donna, you should be a professional organizer," because she has given me so many tricks and tips to organize. I am on the messy side of the spectrum, but with her help, I had been able to get a lot better than I used to be.
My sisters-in-law are the other three ladies who had mentored me. Noreen with her generosity. She gave my husband and me a beautiful wedding. She even got the place and she decorated it! My husband and I eloped, but when his family found out, she arranged everything for our proper wedding. She owns a flower shop. She is very talented at doing gorgeous flower arrangements and putting together beautiful parties. She is also an artist. She paints beautifully. I wish one day she could get her artwork exhibited in a museum or art gallery.
Ellen is always welcoming the whole family at her house and she is always very thoughtful and dedicated to give us the best Christmas, Easter, and birthday parties ever. She is also my advisor whenever my son doesn't feel good, more specifically when he was a baby. She always advised me on what to do, she still does. She is a very smart lady. She has taught me to be a very gracious hostess and to take leadership as she has done with everything related to her family, work, and personal life.
My Sister-in-law Sandy always had a smile on her face, always a sweet demeanor. She opened the doors of her house to all of us. When I had my surgery, she came over to my place and took me for a ride to a beautiful church in Long Island. She shared with me her favorite place to be when she felt sad or stressed out, which was the church I mentioned above. Later that day we went to Michael's store close to my house to buy materials to do crafts. She used to make beautiful things with her hands. She decorated her house with her D.I.Y. wall hangings, flower arrangements and she even took perfume bottles or other objects and made them into Christmas ornaments and decorations. She taught me to always be an early riser, and to do everything on time and to go to bed the earliest time possible, and to reuse what you have to create beautiful things out of everything. She was a very important mentor to me.
I have to mention my brother-in-law. With his fun personality, he is always the life of the party so to speak. He always finds ways to make us all laugh, he is generous and a role model for everybody[ including men and women]. 10 years ago his wife, Sandy [whom I also love and respect and I had just mentioned above), was diagnosed with Alzheimer, dementia, aphasia(loss of speech) and 1 year ago, with Parkinson. Anybody would had given up and send her to a facility, but to this day, he is still caring for her. He feeds her, bathes her, and dresses her. He still is generous, he always has a smile on his face, and as stressful and sad as the situation is ,he is still the life of the party(in this case his family]. I consider myself the luckiest person to be part of such a wonderful family. I have to be clear and note that my brother-in-law has had the support from his mother, sisters, his brother, who is my beloved, amazing husband, and his son going through this terrible situation.
My husband has been a major role model to me and our son. He has taught me that integrity, responsibility, laughter(he has the most contagious laugh), strength, braveness, kindness, unselfishness, and true love are the only way to go trough life's adversities and good times as well. I am so blessed to be married to Philip Slattery, the love of my life, and that our son has such an awesome dad.
Last but not least, my best friend, Surbhie. She has gone through a difficult process of inner transformation and with her kind nature along the way, she has shared with me all her experiences through meditation and from feeling trapped, to becoming an independent, strong woman. She has been there for me when I needed support and she has given me opportunities to learn and to grow along with her. She has showed me that positive thinking and taking charge of our own destinies is the only way to get to our dreamed destination. She is a professional chef and cooks the most delicious meals. She is from India and now Indian food is one of my favorites, especially when is cooked by her.
Empowering others, being thankful for all they have to offer and have offered and recognizing their valuable role in our lives are ways to manifest our own power and potential. It is a way to continue to design a lifestyle worth living.
Who are your mentors?
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