Luke Duke and Blogging to the Rescue

Derek Everything Else 17 Comments

I was all set to finish up a post I had written about orange warning cones and holes in the sidewalk. I had worked on it all afternoon and only had a couple of paragraphs left to comb over when I decided to turn off my computer and head into town for a quick bite to eat. So off I went.

After the meal, as I was driving home (about an hour ago), belly full and eager to publish my post, I hit a speed bump while traveling at about 30 mph. I hit that bump hard and for a moment felt as if I had been given a small role alongside Luke in the “Dukes of Hazzard”.  Although, as soon as my tiny car landed back on the ground, I didn’t carry on at dangerously high speeds in an attempt to outrun Boss Hogg or Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane. I simply downshifted into second gear and crawled along for the rest of the distance to my apartment.

The reason I hadn’t noticed the speed bump was that moments before, I had suddenly realized that I missed an important conference call earlier in the afternoon. And while on its own, this certainly wasn’t too big of a deal and could have been attributed to the hectic day I was having, unfortunately, this was not the first mishap or frustration of the past week.

Actually, even in terms of conference calls alone, this was the third one I had missed in seven days and that was a frustrating thought, enough to keep my mind racing all over the place and not focused on the road.

Orange Cones or No Orange Cones?

Right now I am back in my apartment and my post about orange warning cones is staring me right in the face, begging to be finished, but I don’t feel like finishing it tonight. I’m going to leave that post for another time. Instead, I’m going to see if I can snap myself out of my gloomy state of mind and regain the positive energy that I have temporarily misplaced (perhaps its in the same place as my swim suit that I can’t find).

First, I’m going to get all the negativity out of my system by writing down some of the issues I’ve faced this week. And the best way to do that is to start with those conference calls.

I had one scheduled for last Saturday, one for Monday morning and another one this afternoon. On Friday I misjudged the amount of time I needed to drive home from Cancun and after being pulled over by the police for apparently driving too close to the car in front of me and then being caught up in a drug-search roadblock (that’s the last time I don’t shave before driving on the highway), I arrived home after the conference call had already ended.

On Monday, the internet in my apartment stopped working one hour before the call and so I jumped in the car and began to drive over to a cafe that offers wifi. I made it about 100 feet down the road when the front right tire blew out. Luckily, I found myself in front of a mechanic shop, but unluckily, I found myself speaking with a not-so-friendly mechanic who refused to let me borrow his jack. Naturally, the jack which I had seen only days ago in my car was now nowhere in sight. By the time I borrowed a jack, put on the spare tire and drove over to a ‘llanteria’ where they fixed the original tire, over 50 minutes had passed. Then, when I finally arrived at the cafe, relieved at only being 10 minutes late for the call, the cafe was undergoing renovations and there was nowhere to sit and participate in the conference call.

And that brings me to today’s conference call. I simply forgot about it. Hooray for me!

Let’s See…What Else Went Wrong?

On top of these missed calls, I also discovered that one of the eBooks I created and now sell, is being sold by someone else on a website that is an exact copy of my own. Some guy in Rochester, NY (and I’m in the process of tracking him down) copied my site – everything from the sales copy to the testimonials to the colors and even the “About Me” section. And he is selling an exact word-for-word copy of my eBook. So the search for Mr. Rochester has taken up quite a bit of my time this week as I try to get this situation sorted as soon as possible.

I also received a strange series of threatening emails this week from an anonymous person claiming to be interested in purchasing this same eBook (the book is an insider’s guide to cruising based upon my time spent working in the cruise industry). Their emails keep consisting of several rude and angry statements trying to disprove what I claim to offer and then harsh demands that I answer their questions immediately while hinting at repercussions if I don’t. I have no idea what to do about this one.

And that’s not to mention spending most of Tuesday in bed with a severe headache, having the ‘fixed’ tire blow out again two days ago, accidentally brushing my teeth with shaving cream (please don’t ask) and breaking the stove while attempting to prepare french toast.

Ok, deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. One more time. Deep, deep breath.

That’s a general outline of what has been a somewhat rough week. Although, I must admit, after writing all of that down, it really doesn’t seem so terrible anymore. In fact, it all seems somewhat amusing. I mean, who really misses three conference calls? While that certainly doesn’t say much about my organizational skills, I don’t think I should beat myself up over it.  And the eBook issues? Of course they’ll be dealt with and I know that there’s really nothing to worry about.

One more deep breath…ok, perhaps another. It can’t hurt.

In an attempt to get me flying high through the air again, although this time without causing damage to my car, I’m going to remind myself of all the positive things that happened this past week and use that to lift me into the next seven days in better spirits. It’s a worthwhile exercise (I’m hoping) as I normally am unwavering in my belief that we should spend as much time as possible focusing on the positive aspects of our lives. So without much thinking, here’s what randomly comes to mind…

  • Spent a couple of hours on three different afternoons relaxing on the beach.
  • Started reading Greg Mortenson’s book “Three Cups of Tea” which I have found to be the most inspiring story of global citizenry that I have yet to come across.
  • Decided to start playing basketball again after discovering a park in town where locals play every evening.
  • Discovered an amazing eatery called “Dona Maria’s Loncheria” which serves the best tostadas, sabules and panuchos that I have ever eaten (although that doesn’t say much for the sabules and panuchos as I had never heard of those before).
  • Visited a dentist for a teeth-cleaning for the first time in 4 years and was pleased to hear that my teeth were in perfect condition.
  • Watched the film “Invictus“.
  • During a restroom break in the middle of writing this post I found the swimsuit that had been lost for a week (it was in the bathroom hanging up on a hook under a towel).
  • Took the ferry over to the island of Cozumel and re-visited many of the places I used to go when I worked on board cruise ships that docked on that island.
  • Spoke more Spanish than English for perhaps the first time in any seven day period.
  • Received emails from two old high school friends that I hadn’t spoken to since high school and have greatly enjoyed being back in touch with them.
  • Was given a new pillow that instantly improved the quality of my sleep.
  • Began work on a non-profit organization that I am helping to set-up with some friends.

I’m sure there’s more, but honestly, I already feel a lot better now that I’ve written those down. There really is something to be said for therapy through writing, or through blogging for that matter. So now I want to declare today the start of a new week! I see no reason to wait until Sunday or Monday and allow the negativity to linger on and on when it can be halted in its tracks immediately.

If you’re feeling frustrated about your week or even over a few days, try writing down the negatives and positives as I’ve done above. It’s simple and it can be done from anywhere and at any time. We don’t need to use some long drawn out process to help snap us out of a gloomy state of mind.

After all, just by writing this post, I have literally gone from a grumpy Gordon to a…I don’t know…just back to feeling like my happy self.

How was your week? How do you try to keep the negatives from taking control of your life?

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Comments 17

  1. We loved reading about your recent adventures and your ability to use blog therapy to pull you out of the troubles. Very useful advice and sharing for all of us and our day to day tribulations.

    How was Cozumel? That has always been on the list of places we’d like to visit.

    Congrats on so much espanol. Sounds like you are pretty much bi-lingual at this time. Fabulouso!

    With love,

    Barb and Julie

    1. Hey Barb and Julie! Thank you for commenting on this post and following along with the blog! Cozumel is a great place to visit, especially once you get away from the one main touristy area. I’ll actually be heading there again tomorrow to explore one of the national parks on the island and to celebrate one of the main festivals that takes place on the island each year. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes…

  2. And so it goes…

    Life happens. Good and the bad. My worst week yet here in Uganda was the one where I could have been raped, robbed, and shot in a matter of 13 hours plus the rest of the frustrations of living here. But hey, I’m still alive and I have a sweet new place 🙂

    Good things are happening and never forget it

    1. Hey Sandi! For many people there are always positive things to focus on and no matter how fundamental and simple those things may seem, we must be sure never to forget how lucky and fortunate we are. And I’m glad to hear you survived that 13-hour spell unharmed!!

  3. Hi Earl!

    Man….tough week! I felt really upset about hearing that somebody copied your website and ebook and is trying to sell it. I’d really like a follow-up on that one once it’s resolved.

    I’m so glad you’re reading Three Cups of Tea! It’s an absolutely amazing book. Greg Mortensen epitomizes selfless living and giving back. He and what he’s doing is nothing less than true inspiration.
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..Questioning What We’re Supposed to Feel =-.

    1. Hey Nate! Amazingly, the person illegally selling my eBook has removed his website after receiving an email from myself and his hosting company. So for now at least, the problem seems to be resolved, although I’ll definitely keep an eye on it of course.

      I don’t even know what to say about “Three Cups of Tea”…he’s an incredible guy and I’ve never been so inspired by any other book I’ve ever read. There are an infinite amount of lessons to be learned from his life and what’s he doing with it that I’m not sure if anyone can read it and not be affected!

  4. Hi Earl,

    I hope next week works out better for you. 🙂

    When I am feeling a little down or overwhelmed I find that it helps just to think of all the basic things that we take for granted.

    Just being born in a rich country is a fantastic advantage that most of the world doesn’t have. We have abundant food, a decent education, opportunities to travel and do almost anything we want anywhere we want.

    All of that can be ended in a car accident, robbery or a million other things every day. Our own daily problems are quite insignificant to the miracles of life we are fortunate enough to experience every day. I am thankful for my eyesight, my ability to walk, the food in my refrigerator, friends and family and a million other small things.
    .-= John Bardos – JetSetCitizen´s last blog ..The End of Lifestyle Design – Long Live Lifestyle Design =-.

    1. Hey John – Thanks so much for the comment. You are exactly right. All of the negatives that we face at any particular time are easily outweighed by the advantages and good fortunes that you mentioned, and dozens more. Just the fact that I am able to be here in Mexico right now makes all of the frustrations I may experience seem like absolutely nothing at all compared to what a large segment of the world’s population must endure every day just to stay alive. That realization alone is about as powerful a motivational tool as there is to keep us on track and striving to use our lives to benefit others.

      And ever since I wrote this post, it has been a remarkable couple of days!

    1. Hey Gordie – It’s quite a straightforward process to find the person, but the tricky part is getting the situation resolved. If you type the domain name into’s domain search and then click on ‘more info’, you will be able to find out where the fraudulent website is being hosted. From there, I then used the WhoIs database to find out more details about the website owner and the website’s registration information. It’s also important to print out copies of the plagiarized material as evidence in case the situation escalates further.

      And then, it is recommended to send a demanding email to the site owner (copying the hosting company) detailing the infringement and explaining all of the information you have gathered about them. This letter can also be written by a lawyer to give it some added weight. Unfortunately, if the owner doesn’t reply or chooses not to take down their site, the only remaining option is a lawsuit. And whether or not that’s worth it seems to be a matter of how much money a person is willing to spend to defend their product.

      I’m still waiting for a response from the website owner and hopefully I’ll receive one soon!

    1. Hey Brian – I can’t wait to start playing b-ball again…although I’m sure it won’t be anything like those memorable days of playing in Chiang Mai!

  5. This is so great! I love this! We can’t all be happy all the time, but we can certainly try hard to turn it around. Counting blessings like this are a perfect way in my opinion! I try to do this often.

    Blogging TOTALLY is my therapy as well. Even just writing about my kids/hubby like I’ve been doing this week makes me love them all the more because I sat down and took the time to think about all the ways that I love them. It has made me “fly high” this week and pay no heed to the other “stuff”!

    Thanks Earl!
    .-= Shawna Cevraini´s last blog ..The Epic Adventure Right in Front of Me =-.

    1. Hi Shawna – I’m happy to hear you’re flying high this week!! I hope you don’t come back down any time soon!

      I think the key is not in trying to discover a permanent state of happiness (which is simply not possible) but in figuring out how to stop the negativity that inevitably enters our life and finding ways to return to a positive outlook when such moments do occur. And if blogging works as it does for both us, I say, ‘let’s blog away!’

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