Guest blog by Doreen Hulsey, who owns her own business and is one of Ana Lomba’s team members.
Hopefully, you had special people – parents, teachers – in your life who loved creating nurturing environments with wonderful memories. While I could mention a few teachers, my most special person was my mom, whom I very sadly lost on Dec. 31. She was my hero, my anchor as I grew up, and I learned a few principles below from her that can be applied no matter whether it’s your own children, other children, or even your own business.
When I was in third grade, my teacher asked the students in the class whom they admired most. While many of the children named a sports star, I said that was my mom and Leonardo da Vinci. Mom was my hero because she was a very honest, patient, supportive, loving, and giving person. (She also actually saved a couple of people from drowning.) She was also like Leonardo da Vinci, someone else I greatly admired. Both of them were good at so many things and could make something wonderful out of very little: a blank canvas, paint, blank paper, cardboard box, etc.
Creating Nurturing Environments for Children
Mom’s anchor was her father, who died several years before I was born. He had a saying that Mom lived by, which I heard so many times growing up.
“For every hour you give your kids, you get two hours of joy in return.”
It’s not the material things that matter most to children, it’s the amount of quality time we give them, no matter whether we are parents or teachers. Businesses and organizations, too, need quality time to run well.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, concentrate on what’s really important.
Not only did Mom spend a lot of quality time with my sister and me, but also she made some of our clothes and all of our Halloween costumes for many years. Additionally, she made many other things like a Native American tipi and a large cardboard house out of several empty refrigerator boxes she requested from an appliance store. She could take such simple, inexpensive materials and make the most wonderful creations. They were only limited by her imagination. She wanted us to have fun together.
Mom not only did these things for my sister and me, but also she spread it around to the schools and outside activities her children and grandchildren were in and beyond. She worked in the school libraries, taught our classes how to make mints, and gave historical presentations just a few years ago on the Pilgrims with props she made, including a little diorama. Additionally, she spent a lot of time teaching children to bowl and managing several children’s leagues in addition to the ones my sister and I bowled in.
Mom loved children, and it showed in so many things she did. Just like traditional teachers, Mom made a positive impact on many lives. I have some teacher friends and it’s amazing how many times out in public with my mom or friends that former students would come up to them and say, “Mrs. [last name]. Remember me? I’m [name] and was in your [class, league, etc.].” (I always thought that was so cool.)
Creating Nurturing Environments for Organizations & More
Mom had so many sayings that she lived by, but the next two apply to creating nurturing environments.
“Do the best you can at whatever you do, and do it right the first time.”
Take pride in what you do and do the best you can. Although it’s not always easy to know how to do something right the first time, she was talking about not taking short cuts that would compromise the quality of whatever you do.
From a business standpoint, Mom took her love of stocks and worked hard at creating nurturing environments for two successful investment clubs she started, teaching her members how to invest. While she spent hours pouring over research, it paid off. She could frequently beat the markets over many years.
Associated Press Business Writer Vivian Marino learned of Mom’s success and wrote an article, “2 Aspirin And Go To Bed” in about 1997. The title of the article comes from Mom’s father’s saying, “Take two aspirin and go to bed.” He believed that when you hold good stocks, keep them when the market goes down… they’ll go back up.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
This was one of Mom’s favorite sayings. My mom, who was old enough to be my grandmother, was born in 1926, just seven years after women got the right to vote. She lived in a time when women mostly got nursing degrees or became teachers or secretaries. However, her father, who had marched for women’s suffrage, taught her that women could do anything a man could, like carpentry, architecture, and other non-traditional jobs. That would include owning your own business.
Mom wanted to get an architectural degree. However, that was not possible in the 1940s for her as a woman, so she got a degree in interior decorating and a minor in business. Not to be totally deterred, she took her love of architecture and designed, among other things, her own home and garden. She had the desire to do some type of project, so she found a way, even though the university previously denied her the traditional approach. It was really her love of designing things that drove her will.
Whatever you want to do in life, if you have the will – the love – to do it, then there is a way to achieve your goal. Mom lived her life this way. She resided by herself in the home she had designed right up until about a month and a half before she died. Getting around had become more difficult for her as well as getting out of chairs and going up and down the stairs.
Almost 45 years ago, she created a beautiful Japanese garden, including a pond with koi and an authentic-looking Japanese bridge she built many years ago. She loved to spend a lot of time nurturing her lovely garden. Then, about 25 years ago, her garden was even featured in one of the national magazines and the local paper.
In the past few years until 2014, she would go out by herself and weed, plant flowers, and do other yard work while she slowly moved her chair around her beautiful garden for hours at a time. From the time my dad died, she hired people to mow the lawn, something she didn’t want to do. And she also hired people to cut the bushes, when she could no longer easily do it herself. Also, she transformed a walker into a tool holder, having someone weld hooks onto it to hold her trowel, little trimmers, and other small tools. Since she had the will – the love – to garden, she found a way to do it even with her growing physical limitations. Mom knew when and how to ask for help and wasn’t shy about it.
Love What You Do and Make It Show
Mom loved being with my sister and me, which really showed. She also put her effort into starting two very successful investment clubs, besides her garden. Her love and enthusiasm showed there, too. Mom was successful at most everything she tried because she not only had the determination to do it, but also she put her love into it. Additionally, she had the creativity to make something out of so little, which amazed not only me, but so many others.
Translating that to teaching foreign languages to children, once you know what you can and can’t do and what you do and don’t want to do, you can find the right tools or people to help you in creating nurturing environments no matter where you are. Keep in mind that time is money. Spend your time on what matters most: making it fun and creating great memories.
Right now, Ana and her team are preparing an upcoming webinar for people who want to start teaching languages. If you are interested, subscribe to Mpressarias to receive more information about it when we post it.
Also, the team is working on launching a newly redesigned AnaLomba.com website and e-store this month, featuring our numerous products.