It doesn’t matter what one calls them – roadblocks, walls, or hurdles – life is filled with obstacles. Not a single person is immune. Trouble does not differentiate by race, creed, color, gender or socioeconomic status (though some groups will have higher levels, without a doubt.)

Everyone faces obstacles.  They are inescapable. The thing that differentiates us from one another – the burning question for today is: how do we deal with them?


I realize that this topic is a bit cliché.  I am sure it’s been done to death.  So then why did I decide to bore you with yet another “you can do it” essay? Simple: I had to swallow some of my own medicine lately.

My week started off well. I almost thought I was completely on track.  I was finally getting exercise.  I was meditating to lessen stress. I was taking care of my loved ones. My work (writing) was going well.  And I was reaching out to fellow bloggers and making new friends—what could be better?

Then I got sick – nothing major, but my exercise was put on hold.  Bit by bit, my careful plan was being derailed.  Stress increased.  Work suffered.  That is when I had to switch to “Survival Mode,” where your goal shifts from making progress to “just hanging in there.”


Then came the “final straw.” Over the weekend, my computer – essential to my work – died. My hard drive decided to stop working.  And while I am sure this has happened to many of you (and you understand how troublesome this can be), this was especially crushing to me as I have been working on a novel about my father and had not backed up the latest portion onto external memory (stupid me – I know.)

I felt “Panic Mode” setting in. This was the single most important thing I have ever written and I wasn’t sure if I could recover it. I began to wonder if this was a sign from God to drop the project. I wasn’t sure if I could rewrite what might have been lost. It’s one thing to recreate simple files, but to recapture the feeling and creativity – well, things like that don’t happen all the time.

I tried to stay calm, but it was a losing battle. All that I could think about was how would I solve this problem.


That is when I realized the great opportunity before me – the chance to learn and grow and make my life better. This was a test for me, and I was determined to pass it. I told myself to not worry about how long it took to solve the problem.  I told myself not to worry about the cost (I had to buy a new computer.)  I told myself to stay focused on the goal: retrieving or recreating the book and developing a better way of working in the future.

At this point in time, I am not sure if I can get the files back.  I don’t know how long it is going to take me to fix all the problems that happened.  But I do know a few things: I am stronger than I thought, I will not panic about this, and I will get it done!

I will be plunging into this project head first and I will succeed!


About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

12 responses »

  1. I recommend that people read your blog first thing in the morning. It is a great way to see the day for all the potential that it is!

  2. greenblade says:

    Wow, I love this posting. It’s an opportune time for me to read it too. There’s a very stressful problem I’ve been dealing with that has big obstacles. My tendency is to get lost and depressed by the obstacles and not stay focused on the goal.

    I’ve started to use Carbonite as a back up system. It backs up automatically each day– otherwise I would just forget. It’s an online cloud system but I keep meaning to get the external hard drive option. Basically it would also back up automatically on your external hard drive — it backs up everything including your software applications so if your computer crashes, you would just plug in your hard drive and it would restore everything automatically. Also I think it backs up iterations of a document…like it would store your Aug 4th, 27th etc editions. Seems like that might be useful if you had to go back to older document versions.

    Anyway, blah blah, thanks again for your posting. It meant a lot and was a perfect time for me to read it! .

  3. I can so relate!!!!! 🙂 This week WordPress shut down my blog– for a few days it was a mistake— but still it happened!!! And it gave me a chance to decide how I was going to proceed in the future– with my blog & also rethink the time I was spending answering the hundreds of e-mails that I do each day from other MCS sisters– & why I started my blog in the first place— I have made several mad at me– for deciding to have a life other then answering all those e-mails & also blogging– etc etc etc— BUT— I feel a lot better about my decision!!!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing again– blessings to you & you will do well I know!!! 🙂

  4. MCS Gal says:

    Oh, I can empathize with computer problems. When I recently had a computer crisis, I had to keep reminding myself that the world didn’t end.
    You are right, you can’t recreate the feeling that you had with your writing that was lost. Who knows, maybe rewriting it will create something new and wonderful that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

  5. Joe, the images are great. Especially the huge boulder… talk about a picture being worth a thousand words!

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