Oil Changes, Pile Driving & Social Media

Every now and then a person needs to make some changes and these changes seem to follow major life events.  I find myself reflecting back on the past few years, seeing where I was in the various moments, what I loved about it, what I didn’t like about it, and what I would do differently.

Six years ago this month, I found myself going through a major life change.  I became single.  But not single like I had once known, single with kids, meaning continued everyday ties to the ex.  It took a few years to figure out how to manoeuvre through life raising two kids, single, but alongside another human being who at times you couldn’t decide what you wanted to do, punch them, talk to them, end life as you know it, cry, ignore, breath, communicate…… the list goes on.  My impulsive go to reaction would usually waiver according to the subject at hand – which for anyone who has gone through a divorce will know, there is always many subjects at hand.  So I was a mixture of all emotions.

I was temporarily insane….. legit.

Then over time it got easier.  Things got lighter and we could talk.  To this day, we check up regarding the kids a few times a week.  Every now and then we briefly catch up on the local happenings and he gives me advice on where to go to get my car fixed….. because I’m mechanically stupid, by choice.

Forgive me for saying this, but I honestly never want to be the woman who can open a hood of a vehicle and actually care.  But then there are the times where I have made a complete ass out of myself because I should care just a little.  At least enough know to know the basics.

Before my VW Tiguan, I owned a Nissan Murrano.  I LOVED my Murrano for many reasons, one being that it made this DING sound when I needed to change my oil.  It had lights and sounds for the attention impaired.  Which as a single parent, self employed, volunteering, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, gym….. time is valuable, therefor my attention to the little things like oil changes was null and void.  Where once two tackled the everyday details, now became a one woman job.


One time I knew that I was overdue on my oil change as my vehicle quit making the sound and I hadn’t had time to get to the oil change place, so I was nervous about wrecking my vehicle.  I had heard of stories where women had seized their engines and such, but how far did they push it? Was it 100 km over or 1000km overdue or was it more?

In any case I’m driving down the street and past the new hospital construction, over the bridge and I turn right going towards the legion when I heard “the noise.”  I stopped by vehicle and listened, but it went away.  So I started to drive again, and I heard it again, so I stopped and it stopped.  My heart started to race and panic, and as per usual I started to berate myself for procrastinating.  It’s things like this that makes me feel very overwhelmed because I simply lack the understanding – much like a senior attempting to use an iPad…….DAMMIT, am I calling myself old?

I call my dad.

I’m in an emotional panic and I tell him my vehicle was making the noise but I haven’t heard it in a while.  I’m so confused.  He asks me about the oil and to get out and open the hood.  Well, just as I’m about to step outside of my vehicle I hear the noise again.

It’s not my vehicle.  It’s the construction of the hospital. They were pile driving and the noise I heard was the impact on the ground, not my vehicle……..

So I went and got an oil change.

Now I know that this probably isn’t a story I would want to tell publicly a it shows my complete lack of what some would think is basic everyday knowledge, and I risk being laughed at, which I’m completely ok with as I can laugh at myself and my learning curves.  I can tell that story and be crying in laughter at my own stupidity, others are less amused, but I don’t care.  I simply didn’t know my vehicle enough that too much information caused me to panic and yet the information I was processing had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Isn’t that life though?  Especially now a days.  Social Media has given us too much information and 99 percent of it has nothing to do with the actual problem.

So what does this story have to do with life changes?

Well, it’s more about the concept of where do I have too much or not enough,  information or stuff in my life and how does it help with my actual everyday life and journey?

Two years ago, I took a job back in my home town as Recreation Director of which I still hold.  It was during a time when I needed to get back to the basics of things.  Life had become insanely busy, so the argument was presented to me, that it was time to simply things.  Well, it simplified some things, but actually made life much much more complicated and more stressful in terms of almost every aspect of my life and then some.  There has been some natural disasters and things like government red tape issues to add to this, so I decided to take my time off to step and away and quiet things down. So this blog is really about me fixing that all.  How do I keep things simple and yet meet needs where they need to be met?

To add to this, we are at a unique time in life.  Well, that’s kind of an obvious statement as everyday is a new day and has never been lived before, however I am referring to our structures and ways of life in which we as human beings have operated and allowed for certain ways to become the norm.

Things are being edited by natural selection or should I say consequences.  We as a society and culture have made choices and turned a blinds eye in denial to certain values and morals and now, we are unravelling at the seems forcing us to evaluate, tear down and rebuild.

This is a good thing. It’s a scary thing.  It’s emotionally and foundationaly upsetting, but it’s so necessary.  When foundations are being tested, it forces people to make a stand.

One of these issues is social media.  Social media provides way too many variables and false information feeding on emotion and biases and then people using those emotions and basing decisions on them.  I’m an emotionally being.  There is nothing wrong with me being emotional. I’m created that way. I am passionate about what are my truths and my thoughts and I LOVE it when someone forces me to put them to the test using reason, facts, and creativity.  However, there comes a time when I’m too emotional and it needs to stop.

For many years my life has been involved around social media.  I’ve had a Facebook account for TEN years. I used it for my job both within the fitness industry and within the oil and gas industry….. and all the social event in between.  I’ve done my fair share of travel and in doing so met so many people and of course the appropriate response would be the addition to the social media family. I was reaching close to 2000 people on my Facebook, which is nothing compared to some, but it is significant.

Soon my Facebook feeds started going through a psychotic breakdown as news media flooded the world with elections, corruption and hollywood BS.  I personally cant stand Hollywood, nothing about it intrigues me.  I never want to see it, i don’t care about actors.  The ones I do care about are ones you rarely see in the media.  My give-a-crap button has never crapped, so to speak.

So I decided it was time to widdle down the social media.  My first cut brought me to 800 people.  I went through that list and could identify all of them and felt comfortable with possibly messaging them for one reason or another, either for business or personal reasons. Soon it was down to 400 and then I decided, SCRAP IT.  I’m starting over again.

I’ll be honest, some apps are just better for one purpose than another.  So I decided depending on the individual I would determine which app I would friend them on.  Political and business is twitter.  Fun casual stuff is Instagram and Facebook is well, Facebook, I use it mostly for connections.   My only rule is no political posts.  I break it every now and then and force myself to go back and delete it afterwards.

Snap Chat is simply so that my kids answer their phones……

Linkedin is a complex beast.  It’s suppose to a professional application but I find that it is more like a professional stalking application with some of the worst creeps and messages I’ve ever received.  Some of the salesmen on that app are not only unscrupulous but also slimy…… and married.  Being single in a social media world only feeds the beast that is the world of dating.

SIDE NOTE: I hate dating.  Actually I loath dating.  I’m so done with that scene.

I do miss the days when life was simpler.  When there is two in the mix.  I can have my crazy ways and he can be the voice of reason….. “Jennel, STOP panicing.  It’s a pile driver,”

And the coin flips.

Some of my dearest most important relationships ever built was on conversations and listening to other people’s pile driver stories.  They share their crazy and I am the voice of reason.


I’m tired of all the noise.  The fluff and the fear.  So I evaluate, adjust and edit in order to rebuild.  In the meantime, remind me, I need to get an oil change again.





  1. The social media thing is highly accurate, particularly the Linkedin comments.

    Oil Changes: In about 2005 my friend, a mechanic, got an early ’70s pickup in the dealership and was evaluating it for a trade in. The oil filter was still painted the same as the engine block (this is done on the assembly line) meaning this truck had never received an oil change in its life. Im not condoning this but just don’t sweat the “100km over”.



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