There you are. Knee-deep in one of the most tedious and mind-numbing meetings you’ve ever attended. You glance around the boardroom at the shuffling papers and donut crumbs, before finding yourself gazing out the window at the bustling cityscape. You begin to imagine you’re out there. in your Jeep. The stress melts away as you slide into the driver’s seat that fits as though it were sculpted just for you. The top is off, and the wind feels cool on your forehead, like the washrag your mom used to put there when you had the flu as a kid. You close your eyes, let your head fall back on to the headrest and smile.
“What do you think, John?”
Ugh. Reality hits. You’re back in the boardroom and now a little embarrassed that you have to ask to have the question repeated.
Does this sound familiar? Do you sometimes find yourself away from your Jeep only to long to be back at the helm again? Do you daydream while at work or find yourself overwhelmed with sadness when a business trip or family vacation forces you to be separated from your four-wheeled baby? If so, you may be suffering from ‘Jeep Sickness’. It’s a real thing, and only Jeep enthusiasts can relate. Today we’ll talk all about Jeep Sickness and discuss some prevention tips you can employ in order to keep the suffering to a minimum.
WHAT IS JEEP SICKNESS?
Let’s define the basics. Anytime you buy something new, or new to you, you experience that emotional rush of joy. What’s different among us Jeep owners is that some of us experience this feeling on an ongoing basis, years into ownership even. With this intense bond of ownership with our Jeeps, comes separation anxiety. Some describe it almost as gut-wrenching as dropping their child off at church camp for the first time. The thought of leaving or being separated from your Jeep can be overwhelming. It’s not just the attachment to the beast itself. It’s the culmination of pride, fulfillment, and happiness that’s been produced from owning it, driving it, sitting in it, and gripping the wheel of that machine.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU HAVE IT?
You’re thinking, I love my Jeep, but I’m not in tears when I leave on a business trip or vacation. I couldn’t possibly have Jeep Sickness, right? Think again. Jeep Sickness comes in both mild and severe forms. You may only suffer from a mild version i.e. you think about your Jeep only once or twice while away on that work trip or family getaway. If you’re on the plane and stare out the window at the rugged landscape below and can’t stop thinking how awesome your Jeep would handle that torsion-twisting terrain, you’ve got it worse.
IT’S OK; IT HAPPENS TO ALL JEEP LOVERS
Listen, we’re not trying to freak you out. Jeep Sickness is entirely normal and to be expected at any level of ownership. No one will judge you and who knows, there may even be support groups out there. The most sound advice we can offer is to first be aware of it. Be able to recognize the various waves of Jeep Sickness that may overcome you, once you can you be able to learn how to manage it.
It boils down to planning. If you anticipate an upcoming separation from your beloved Jeep, there are a few things you can do to curb the surge of anxiety. For example, dedicate a few hours if you can, to driving and enjoying your Jeep before you leave. Use this special bonding time to get your ‘fix’ and create fresh memory responses before you depart, for easy recollection while you’re absent . Consider spending some quality time cleaning your Jeep before you leave. You’ll be put at ease knowing she’s sparkling and shiny, neatly parked and happily awaiting your return. For some, it’s all about the memorabilia. Pack your Jeep shirts, grab the Jeep hats and if you must, load up your phone with fresh driveway pictures to help get you through the separation. Do whatever it takes to ease the anxiety, don’t be shy.
COPING WHEN YOU’RE AWAY
To keep your mind from wandering too much when you’re away from your gem, there are a few techniques you might find helpful. Download some ‘rough road’ and ‘driving’ type games on your phone. During any downtime, instead of heartache, you’ll find some satisfaction in hitting the road digitally. If you’re into reading, download a few of the latest Jeep news publications or pack a book. No, really, it does help. Even though you’re away, you’ll feel like you’re still semi-connected to your Jeep.
There’s one more thing, and this is a big one. Remember to do your best to be in the moment. If you’re on vacation with the family, then BE with the family. If you’re on a work trip or with business colleagues, stay tuned into the work conversations. If you’re operating heavy machinery, by all means, focus on the operation of said heavy machinery. Use your moments away from these dedicated time frames to reminisce about your Jeep. For example, dedicate the first ten minutes of the morning to scrolling through your phone’s Jeep pics, thumbing through your Jeep reading or hugging your Jeep hat. For the rest of the day make a conscious effort to focus on the moments and tasks at hand. Before you tuck in and retire for the evening, you can always say goodnight or call home to check in for a wellness report on the Betty.
TELL US YOUR STORY
The first step to getting well is honesty. We invite you to tell us your Jeep Sickness story too. Sharing with others is the best way to foster an environment of support and coping. Maybe it’s the first time you found yourself in a sedan when a Jeep pulled up next to you, and some shmuck was driving. Clearly not a Jeeper, but there he was, driving a Jeep while you were forced into the company carpool and riding in the co-worker’s family boat. Maybe you recall a time you thought you had planned to escape Jeep Sickness by renting a Jeep while on vacation. Only, instead, you find out they had overbooked, and you were stuck driving a minivan. Whatever your stories, let’s hear ’em! #jeepsickness