7-15-2020 Five Reasons To Be Hopeful This Wednesday
July 15, 2020
When I was a young pediatric resident, I would often watch the nurses go about their tasks and ask them questions. I would like to look at the IV setups that some doctors would just take for granted, and sit and figure out how the the saline in the saline bag which started high above the patient’s head on a pole actually flowed into the patient’s veins. I never wanted to be a nurse. But I always knew the details of their work was important to understand. I can appreciate someone’s role better when I know some details.
On Monday the staff lunches that were stored in the bottom drawers were oddly covered in coffee. It looked like coffee that had cream and sugar. My cold brew coffee was still secure in it’s mason jar and one of our nurse’s cold brew coffee that had creamer in it, was also secure. I pulled out the drawers and cleaned the food, and after a few minutes found the source. It was a half filled styofoam coffee with creamer on the top shelf that looked intact. But there was a small dent on the side. It was leaking. I found the source and cleaned it up.
And yesterday, I continued to try to figure things out. I went plogging in the morning which was a wonderful way to start the day. I picked up two bags of ocean bound plastic including a pretty but toxic peach flavored vaping pen that was still blinking. I saw the driver of one of the surf rakes and we waved to each other. I’ve been cleaning the same stretch of beach for almost 10 months now and have a sense of the rhythms of that stretch of earth. I limited my Facebook and Instagram time yesterday, and concentrated on thinking and working on our Pediatric Leadership Flow Chart and attended the Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) meeting for Climate Actions Campaign. I learned so many things yesterday about the world and myself. And the amazing thing is that this amount of growth is almost daily now.
Today for my Five Reasons To Be Hopeful this Wednesday, I wanted to list five things that I have learned or “figured out” through this journey. Have I thanked you for coming along this journey with me?
Five Things I Have Learned that Make Me Hopeful This Wednesday
- VISIO: I learned how to use VISIO. This is a Microsoft Office product that allows you to make flow charts and diagrams. It’s super easy and fun. I’m playing around with it and learned how to use it yesterday. I am learning it for a work project, but I can probably use it for some of our climate work.
- Embedding an E-Form: I am still super proud of myself for learning how to create a form for the blog, and being able to embed it in a blog post. I learned this one morning when I finished the blog post about our AAP-CA3 Climate Change and Health Youth Art Exhibition. We have created 20 leadership opportunities for children as part of the Children’s Art Council. https://drplasticpicker.com/aap-ca3-climate-change-and-health-2021-youth-art-exhibition-childrens-art-council-applications-are-up/
- Learning To Say No: I have embarked on this wonderful and crazy journey to try to help to save the earth from plastic and world-wide warming because it is literally the elephant in the room. Please see my piece “A Deconstructed Life” to fully understand my trash philosophy. https://drplasticpicker.com/a-deconstructed-life-trash-artists-and-philosopher/ I know I am unable to actually pick up every single piece of plastic going into the ocean. I know that I have emotional and physical limits on how much I can do. I realize that being healthy and happy and balanced as an environmental hobbyist https://drplasticpicker.com/fise-the-case-for-the-environmental-hobbyist/ is probably the best thing I can do. If people see me happily trying to save the earth and having fun, they are more likely to try to duplicate my efforts. Recently I said a gentle NO to three additional responsibilities. It was very liberating.
- Green Politics: As with most physicians, I have often veered away from politics. During our Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) for Climate Action Campaigns meetings, I am learning about the importance of local politics. I have committed to be involved in four campaigns a year as part of this group. It’s amazing that just showing up at a public hearing for 2 minutes probably will have a bigger impact on the environment than picking up a lifetime of plastic litter. But both efforts are important and just need to be put in context. I am at the stage in my life that I acknowledge the urgency of climate change, that I want to gingerly wade into these waters.
- Learning To Work in Groups: I was never really great at group projects. When I was young, if was often easier to just do the entire project myself. But with this climate work, it is imperitive to work together and to foster connectivity. This has been the most amazing growth for me personally. I am playing well with others in the sandbox! My work life is wonderful, as I am getting along and working well with my other administrative partners. I am learning how to be a better mentor to the younger pediatricians at work and also those that are now along with me in our AAP Climate Change and Health Committee. I have enjoyed being part of PHAC Climate Actions Campaign, and will start this weekend the Climate Reality Leadership Corp Global Training. I am going to be one of 5000 participants! I got the inside information from one of my environmental mentors. If that isn’t something to be hopeful for, I don’t know what is!
And much of the reason I have been able to learn so many new things and acquire new skills is that I have stopped consuming unnecessary plastic things. This image from the BrightVibes feed was very powerful and telling. When you stop mindlessly shopping and looking for happiness in expensive things and experiences, than you have room in your heart for the earth. And with that, I remain so ever hopeful despite the COVID-19 pandemic. I will be one of five thousand this next week devoting my time to training with the Climate Reality Leadership Corp – if that is not something to be hopeful for, I don’t know what is.
Click here to read last week’s Hopeful Wednesday post https://drplasticpicker.com/7-8-2020-hopeful-wednesday/