What’s next?

23 05 2016

pace - Lincoln quote

My new life has been in the re-making for a while now and I just managed to accomplish another goal on my list,  I  am College Graduate. May 20th marked that unforgettable moment in  which I knew that anything I could put my mind to, I can accomplish. It is just a matter of clarity on the goal, trace the route and work hard until I make it to the goal. There were moments in which I did not know if I could go on but thanks to my professors who offered assistance and at times encouraged me to push a bit harder that I was able to make it through.

As I arrived to the Convention Center where the ceremony took place, millions thoughts went through my mind. I’ve been there before, for my daughter’s High School Graduation and I could not imagine her feelings at that time but for me it was something I longed for such a long time. I went to college in the past but I never finished. My role of wife and mother was way more important to me at the time. I don’t regret it one bit, but at this time of my life in which I am rebuilding it just the way I want it. It was important to me to attain this goal. The decision to do this came easy to me, the determination and the hard work that I had to put into it came later. It was amazing all the things that happened those two years as I simultaneously worked and studied.  During my Sophomore year I got into a car accident, that event changed everything; for one I could not sit for more than one hour without being in pain. I was unable to work for two months, was prescribed physical therapy, Meds and eventually had surgery. My GPA suffered because of it, there were times in which I could not even think straight dealing with the pain and my body working against me but I pushed through. There were times away from family and friends, beautiful beach days locked up in my place studying for a test or working on a presentation or project. I am sure all of you who have a college education have lived this, but for me it was the first and I had no idea how hard it would be and the kind of determination one must have in order to get to the goal. Perhaps doing it while one is young, single, no kids and no job is easier. For those who sole commitment is study without many other preoccupations will help them stay focused on the goal and get there faster. Thank God I crossed the finish line even though I would of want to make it a Bachelor’s degree instead but at this point in my life it would be foolish to get into such a huge financial debt.

Today I am in new phase as I contemplate my future once more and the new goals I will set for myself. I wonder what would make my life better and my heart content. At times my mind goes in circles but then I reflected in one question; If money was not necessary, what would I do? I did not come to me right away but after sleeping on it here I am, writing. There are many things I would like to communicate and inspire others, especially women. There is an urgency on the message I want to convey. Life can change in a split second and my dreams can’t be left for later. I know I have a mission in life and I haven’t begun to spread my wings yet, all of this is mere preparation for the platform I am about to step on. My experience and education will be the credentials I will need to talk to others and be heard.

As I contemplate the possibilities of my future I see myself inspiring, uplifting and empowering others. The world is going through so many changes physically, financially, and resource wise. There is a great need to attune my goals to the current situation and teach others to do the same otherwise I won’t be able to thrive. As I prepare the program that will help analyze and develop this new way of working in the new economy my intention is to help as many people as I can to see this vision.  It is necessary to become more creative and most of all to be able to identify good opportunities that come our way. Entrepreneurship will flourish because there is a huge uncertainty these days in jobs, unemployment and low wages and even though I realize the biggest segment will be employees, I truly believe the entrepreneur segment is about to increase tremendously. I want to be part of this growing entrepreneur segment as I grow my own business and help others explore the possibilities to  have a business of their own as well. It is a new experience, a new way to look at the world around me; to identify opportunities, to guide and advice those who have unused or not fully developed talents they can utilize in order to succeed.

I welcome you in my journey and would love to know your thoughts about it.

What do you believe is happening and what changes need to be made in order to partake of success? We only live once and each and every one of us have a mission. Are you fulfilling that mission? Do you even know what your mission is?

It is time to shut down the auto-pilot and get a hold of the direction of our lives.





Do Schools Kills Creativity?

24 04 2009




Warning: They Are Stealing From You

27 03 2009

1066491_money_grabber

Today I just had enough.

Money doesn’t come easy these days but it seems it is very easy to lose the little that we have.The companies we deal with are doing very little to help the consumer and if we are not watchful they plain steal from us.

I always try to teach my kids how to handle their finances and help them become independent but yesterday we had a big lesson taught to my daughter and me, DON’T TRUST FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. I will not mention the bank I dealt with but I would say that we have been with this bank for over 20 years, in the past they have worked with me and did their best to keep me as a customer, not so this week.

I took my daughter to open her first checking/savings account with this bank couple of weeks ago and in the past it has always been a pleasant experience. They usually explain everything, work with the new client and even offered a bonus for referring the account to them. Okay, they were courteous and tried to explain everything but there are things you need to read for yourself. They said the account was free for students (false). There is a charge for a lot of things and her being new at this and not taking the time to read everything in detail missed some vital information. It has happened to all of my kids, they make mistakes, they get charged and then the officials credit them in good faith because they know how it is. It is not an habitual thing, once they knew what could happen they never done it again and we are always in that bank. All our accounts are there: checking, savings, business, credit card, investments, everything.

Anyway, my point is this. She could not get online for a few days for some reason. And she overdrew on her account 5 times and resulted in a whooping $135 in charges. They usually give you couple of days to cover the charges and don’t add the fee but in this case they did not. There was no way they will take out anything but $35, she lost $100, awesome! You know how long it took her to build that money? And her impression? Banks are thieves, my thoughts also.

Well, there are plenty of banks trying to get new customers and I will close all my accounts with this bank and go somewhere else. I need to be watchful of how they do things and how my money is handled. But let me tell you the same is going on with credit card companies as well. In these difficult times when people can hardly pay the minimum amount on their accounts they triple their interest rates, so how in the world are they going to get ahead if their accounts is next to impossible to pay off??? It is all about them and not the consumer. I am seriously considering going back to the times when nothing was bought on credit and people kept their money under the mattress, it will be safer that way. They only thing will be to give up the convenience to pay my accounts online and not having to get money orders to pay my bills. All I know is that I am losing more money than I can afford at this time and it is my responsibility to manage my money in the best manner possible.

On the same token I received a call from a collection agency trying to contact my son, the Marine. There is an account he needs to pay and I come to find out through him that it might be a cable company he asked to have disconnected before he was deployed. At the time his roommate wanted to keep the connection for another month so they asked to have the account transferred to his friend’s name. They said they would but then they said they needed to call him in order to confirm the change (0f course, to delay the process), hello!! He is on the phone line with you right now making the request why can’t you confirm it right that moment? By the time they called he was already gone (0f course, what they wanted), the transfer never made, the service continued, his friend is gone now also to Afghanistan, they are serving this country, for Heaven sake write off the freaking charges instead of having a collection damaging his credit. My son said he heard the same happening to other Marines. He has an excellent credit rating, so far he managed to build it up to nearly perfect and now this. It is ridiculous!!

Every company is out there trying to pull a month here, a charge there, interest rates, not processing cancellations, whatever they can to steal money from us!!! I am outraged! A well known internet provider used to do the same by offering a free month of connection and letting cancel the service at no charge but you would call to cancel and they would never process the request on time and you would always got charged for at least one month. That’s stealing!!!!! Now a see a free month ANYTHING and run as fast as I can from it.

What are you doing with your money? How are you protecting yourself?





Screwing Up the Next Generation

4 02 2009

682243_christmas_cheer

I often wonder what can we truly expect from the next generation? It is clear to me that the way we raise them will determine the kind of individuals they will be and what I see happening around me is not offering me much hope.

It amazes me how lazy and irresponsible some kids are today, they are hardly held accountable for their actions and don’t have to do much in order to get all the conveniences they enjoy like a car, cell phone and computers. Some people think I am strict but my job is to raise kids that will eventually contribute something good to society. In the past parents watched out for each others kids and they were respected by the teens or kids in the neighborhood, today hardly nobody takes the time to even get to know their neighbors. I still believe that parents have the strongest influence on their kids but unfortunately these days parents want to be friends more than parents and they don’t believe that their kids are able to make the right choices for themselves. Obedience, respect for authority, following the law are all things that I teach and expect from my children but once they step out my door there is a whole different set of boundaries in their friend’s homes.

I was always amazed at how minors were able to smoke and drink freely when it is illegal. How do they get their stuff?? Sometimes they get it through older friends but now days most of them get them from their parents, and their parents allowed them to do it home because “they are going to do it anyway” so they might as well do it at home where they have “some control.” Wow! I don’t see how is that going to help them and what about the kids that aren’t theirs? What happens to them when they get behind the wheel of a car drunk? Is that what we are teaching our kids these days? That it is okay to brake the law as long as their parents know? I believe parents are doing a disservice to themselves, their children and to society as a whole, by the time they are 21 years old -if they have survived- they are either alcoholics or with some kind of record for misbehavior with the authorities, or a DUI. Excellent way to start! We as parents need to step up to the plate and show them by example the way things are and teach them to respect laws and authority. It all begin with us and if it doesn’t I don’t know what kind of individuals are going to run this nation 10-20 years from now. Sometimes I feel like I am swimming against the current and sooner or later will drown because I see no lifesaver coming my way. I feel totally alone on my points of view. Am I too old fashioned or do certain values always prevail no matter the times? I believe that there are some fundamental truths that never change and these are one of them.

What is your opinion?





Shifting Our Collective Consciousness

12 10 2008

Our present economic situation is the inevitable result of our actions. For decades we have learned to spend more than we earn and financial institutions were the enablers to this misfortune. The way all of the financial institutions deal with this economic crisis doesn’t make sense to me. Raising interest rates on credit card balances when we get behind in payments is not going to help us pay them back sooner. Damaging our credit records is not going to help us, if we can get loans at a decent interest rate from whatever source possible -like the equity in our homes- in order to get our finances in order the would be better off. What makes them think that if we can’t pay the minimum due on our accounts that we will be able to pay the full balance? It is not that we don’t want to pay our bills, it is that we can’t pay with money we don’t have. I believe that there should be a shift on our collective consciousness and instead at looking so much at the financial institutions that the government look at us with compassion as well and try to help us.

The situation is clear, even if the financial institutions are saved by the government’s bail out program or by becoming part owners they won’t in turn reach out to us in order to rescue us from our financial ordeals. I don’t believe that will help us in any way, shape or form. What I believe should happen is for all financial institutions to communicate in writing with their customers with new re-payment alternatives on their accounts. Everyone knows that interest rates, penalties, mortgage terms and writing off accounts don’t work. I challenge them to stop being so greedy and adjust each and every account to the point that they can at least break even, if they don’t I’m sure in time we will learn to do without them. Banks should do whatever it takes to keep everyone in their homes instead of going through another foreclosure. Shifting our collective consciousness to one based on what we earn and what we can afford will provide us with peace of mind and well-being.

I don’t know if we have a Domestic Economics course in school, one that teaches not about this country domestic economics but one that teaches about our own economics at home. If we do students should be required to mastered it by the time they graduate from high school. I would suggest this course begins in Junior High. Now days even teenagers have their own credit cards without having a job. As parents it is our job to teach our kids about handling money, even if it is from our own mistakes.

What is your opinion on this whole situation? What do you think needs to happen in order to turn it around?





Admitting Our Faults

14 08 2008

One of the worst situations we can find ourselves in is the one when we have to admit that whatever happened was our fault. Our ego hurt when we take responsability for the mistakes we make in life. It could be either our actions or inactions the provokes our failures.

As a person who likes to take charge and make things happen, when I fail I tend to get very upset. But at the same time I tend to blame others for not following my directions. The reality is that sometimes those who are under our guidance many times can’t see the importance and urgency of the requested actions and we need to force them to act for the time being. In the case of raising children it is easy to make mistakes, I wish that guide on how to raise them will show up someday, but every individual is unique and I’m afraid each parent has to write their own. Admitting that we don’t know it all and that many times we have dropped the ball for whatever reason, doesn’t come easy. All we can do in moments like these is admit it, communicate it and work with the person to make it work and help them solve the problems at hand. I believe this is a great lesson on humility.

I want to believe that everything happens for a reason and even though I can’t possibly understand it now, I have no doubt that God knows way better than me. We provoke many of the things that happen to us but God always guide us out of our own mess if we let him.

So there you go; I messed up and dropped the ball, now is time to face the consequences and somehow find a way to make it work. It won’t be easy but with God’s help I will find a way, I’m sure. I just need to pray, lay it on his hands and see him work it out. I need to be alert to his promptings and must of all Trust, it will be okay. Next time I won’t assume someone else knows as much as I do and will try to teach them what they need, I will push if I have to and I will praise when I see an improvement. Most of all I will tell them the good things I expect from them, that always make the other do their best.

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Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life





Exploring Liberal Arts Education

26 07 2008

It is that time of the year when our high school graduates have applied and being accepted at the different colleges around the country, perhaps I’m a little too late for this article, but for those preparing to graduate in the next 2-3 years and to their parents, I would like to talk about a little bit more the choices we have in higher education in order to succeed.

Education has been one of my life passions; not only do I love to learn but I also love to teach. I’ve homeschooled my children for the past 16 years and while looking for the best methods and curriculum I landed on one I prefer over all others; Classical Education with Kolbe Academy. The curriculum is based on classic works of literature, history and theology not taught anywhere in any private or public schools around the country. It is a shame that the kind of works utilized to read, learn and analyzed during high school is no longer taught in schools. To me is the perfect preparation for a Liberal Arts Education in college.

If you don’t know what Liberal Arts education is you can read more about it here. But in a nutshell it is:

The standard definition of liberal arts education implies a program of study designed to foster capacities of analysis, critical reflection, problem solving, communication, computation and synthesis of knowledge from different disciplines. Its goal is to provide students with an intellectual, historical, and social context for recognizing the continuity between the past and future and for drawing on the human capacity of reason to understand human experience, to question the values dimension of human enterprise, and to articulate the results of this process of thinking.

–from Liberal Arts Education – A Foundation for Success

Nothing can empower more an individual than his capacity to reason, analyze, adapt, transform and communicate what he encounters at all levels in his life. It doesn’t matter what his vocation might be in life and how he makes his living, developing his mind to approach life with all his challenges and changes along the way is one of the best way to assure his success.

I’ve personally pursue this kind of education right along my children and I continue to look for ways to continue to grow at all levels. It is a lifelong process where I look forward to fulfill my mission and at the same time connect to others around me.

To go even further, all the great minds and the people we have benefited from with their works in arts, science, technology and great discoveries were educated in the liberal arts: Einsten, Beethoven, Michael Angelo, just to name a few. To me it is very logical to go this route for at least part of our college education years, it will provide a solid base to build upon.

You can find a list of colleges at The Nation’s Top Liberal Arts Colleges.

I hope that this brief explanation of what Liberal Arts Education is urges you to look into it before you or your children enter college. I assure you it will be one of the wisest decisions you could make in your life for your benefit, the world and humanity.

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Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life