Oilfield Whiplash

oilfield whiplashI’m a planner. I tend to be on the extreme side of organized, and I like to know what is going on when, where, and how. I also like things to go off without any hitches (no pun intended). Hence, my frustration with the ‘oilfield unknown’. It freaks me out and disrupts my otherwise perfect life agenda!

I’ve mentioned recently that the rig my hubby is on now is due to move out of the local area after 4+ years here. As if the very thought of it moving isn’t unnerving enough, now we have no idea where it’s headed (or where my husband is headed for that matter). One day it’s possible it’ll stay here, the next it’s going across country. Within the following 8 hours someone, somewhere has decided that it’ll be going south, just to end up back here once more by then end of that same day! BAH! Stop it!

I can handle a lot of things. I’m not so good at handling this part of oilfield life yet though…. I’ve gotten used to him being away from home for training (note: he always comes back. Heart happy again). I’ve gotten used to long, draining hours (leaves home at 3:30 am/pm depending, and returns at approximately 7:00 am/pm respectively. I got this). I’m used to the nerve shattering, long drives in extreme northern weather waiting at home by the phone (he always…no, usually, has time to check in. Sweet relief!). I’ve even gotten used to the constant rumors of what’s always about to happen (Lesson learned: don’t get your panties in a bunch until it actually happens! You’ll end up worrying over nothing, and that’s no good).

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, BAM! Someone comes in from the left you never saw coming and you must begin planning again! Then, ta-da! You’ve got yourself a nice case of ‘oilfield whiplash’ (accompanied by a pain of the never-ending ‘unknowns’) even a doctor can’t cure. Frustrating, yes? Like everything else, I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

My biggest fear is that something will go horribly wrong and we won’t be able to make it work as far as traveling and maintaining our current lifestyle. All I have to remember when I get that sinking feeling are my husband’s strong, reassuring words telling me “Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out. I’ll make it happen.” He always does! I love him for that (and SO much more)! I know I can depend on him no matter what! He makes the whiplash a lot more bearable! He can come home with whatever news they throw at him and although I know my heart will indeed sink every time, he knows exactly how to make it float again with no worries and constant reassurance.

These next few, uncertain weeks will no doubt be stressful! Excuse me while I go grab my neck brace! Wish us luck!

How do you handle the unknowns, rumors, and mind-numbing constant changes in your oilfield life?

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!


  1. I am borderline OCD when it comes to planning too! We have had to change our plans for our honeymoon more times than I can count! We are a South Texas oilfield family of two (right now). My husband works coil tubing and I work at the corporate office of a different oilfield company in the town where we live.

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