My Life Mentors and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me

I think we’ve all learned the importance of mentors to help guide us through our schooling or career. But, this is about a different type of mentor – the life mentor.

My Mentors - Photo Credit: Mr. Sarah

My life mentors originally came to me as part of a faith-based group. However, over 15 years of regular meeting, we’ve bonded into something much deeper. The women in the group have become my life coaches. They are the ones who hold me accountable for the things I need to take care of in my in my internal life. They make sure I follow through with family and other important relationships, and help me see parts of my character that might use a little refining. And, I do the same for them. We represent a wide range of ages, family/marital status and professional backgrounds, so the perspectives are widely varied, adding to the richness of our relationship.

A is a nurse practitioner who recently married for the first time in middle age. She’s taught me about consistency and spontaneity.

N is a single small-business owner. She’s taught me to be assertive and ask for what I want.

V is a former nurse and small-business owner, married with grown kids. She’s taught me the importance of hospitality.

P is a mom of two boys and former travel agent. She’s taught me the value of having fun and not taking everything so seriously.

A is a mom to two preschoolers and physical therapist. In addition to helping us all fix our aches and pains, she’s taught me to be truly compassionate and mindful of the concerns of others.

S is a teacher and mom to a preschooler and newborn. She’s taught me to never give up on a dream – no matter how hard the road becomes.

H is younger than me and a mom to a young daughter. She’s shown me the value of family.

J is a retired mom of grown children – one a special needs daughter. She’s demonstrated how to have grace in adversity.

Together, we’ve journeyed through love new and lost, jobs gained and downsized, marriages and divorces, births and deaths. We’ve carried each others’ burdens and reveled in each others’ joy.

If you don’t yet have a life mentor or mentors, I highly recommend developing one. Find someone you admire and trust and commit to taking your friendship deeper in the next year. Set up a regular time to meet where you can have honest discussion about your concerns and your dreams.

5 Responses to “My Life Mentors and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me”

  1. Paula says:

    Oh Sarah, I love this write up and picture! Very well written and I am so glad you are in my life!

  2. Adrienne says:

    What a wonderful way of framing relationships of trust and commitment.
    I am honored to know you as my life mentor!

  3. Ann says:

    The things that I would write about you as MY mentor would not possibly fit in 1 or 2 sentences. I am blessed to have you as a mentor.

  4. [...] I mentioned in my earlier post, my mentors came to me as part of a faith-based group. Faith-based groups are a great place to find [...]

  5. Sandi says:

    This is EXACTLY what I need and want to do, how did you find these ladies and set up this group?

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Sarah Clatterbuck
I am a front-end engineer and engineering manager at Yahoo! by day and an avid cyclist and runner in my spare time. I race for a women's cycling team called Velo Bella and coach on weekends for the Bay Area Velo Girls. As a native to the Bay Area, I love all things adventurous and regularly travel to ride my bike, trek, try out new languages, and sample local cuisine. I feel as though I'm always learning new things in this great adventure called life, and am eager to share my experiences with others.