September 2, 2023
by Dr. Plastic Picker
It’s 6:46am and I was tossing and turning last night a bit. I know I can be silly at times, and I made my 15-yo upset with my silliness. But I’ve stopped the silliness completely and when you do it on Instagram, it’s kind of final – if you know what I mean. She deserves to make choices in her life. She deserves to feel the emotions she feels. She’s deserves to remember her 14-year-old self and the heartbreak of homecoming, and the her current 15-yo is still hurt and mad. I don’t need to make excuses for anyone, because it’s her life and her emotions and her experiences. It’s kind of like discrimination training, it’s the experience and perception of the person that is important. And the extenuating circumstances is just circumstances.
But I am reminded that I share so much about my daughter intertwined with the climate work, because both are infused with love. And in the end I know love will win. She’s doing this project with the safety subcommittee for the Youth Advisory Council for the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and it’s on child trafficking. That’s she is able to participate in these kinds of activities is amazing, and we are grateful. One of the non-profits that she is researching and has a meeting with the Executive Director soon is called Love Wins. Just looking on a quick google search, this is a very important issue right now. https://calmatters.org/newsletters/whatmatters/2023/07/california-legislature-child-trafficking-bill/ She was up last night working on her convocation poem for her school, and honestly – it’s an amazing, loving, poignant, and innocent poem. She’s a poet in her heart and as a artist, they feel more than others. And as her mother, I am there to help her temper and center her emotions.
So much goodness has resulted from the H3SD San Diego’s Heat and Human Health Summit. I am just following up with projects and threads of activism, as the beauty of that day is reverberating. It’s funny, but yesterday morning after sending a flurry of emails – I felt the universe move a bit. I felt things shift. When you throw love out into the universe without reservation and with complete abandon, sometimes you are rewarded. And that is what I did when I met a very cute 15-year-old boy in clinic and asked that innocent boy to go to homecoming with my daughter and the same love is what I did when I finished 5-months of furious organizing to get H3SD completed. Do I have regrets? I absolutely don’t because I know I’m just existing in this world and living each beautiful moment with you and myself, and sometimes it’s on Instagram and sometimes it’s on this blog. And definitely if you are my actual patient, you can be witness to how wonderfully present we are all together in our hallway. Love is one of the greatest adventures, and there is nothing to be afraid of. And climate change, and addressing this existential crisis has to be 100% won through love. You have to throw it out there, with your entire being and with abandon.
So the projects that resulted from H3SD is reshuffling of the Public Health Advisory Council, Climate Actions Campaign Co-Chair position. I’ve been upfront with the leadership and my co-chair, and I’ve learned so much from being a former Assistant Chief. Leadership is better if it is shared. It was originally intended to be a 2-year term, and I will step down this next summer. I will always be involved in the PHAC board, but it’s time to make room for younger leadership and to build someone else’s skillset. Both positions will be shifted and we will take the year to make sure it’s a solid transition.
And then there is my now friend Prof Adam Aron. He’s scheduled to be speaking at Harvard Medical School. I really think it’s the right thing to do, and I’m part of organizing and trying to get him there. But really brilliant academics like Prof. Adam Aron and my friend Dr. Elizabeth Friedman, they are both kind of high strung – to be honest. I have to kind of cajole them and prod them to go where I think they are meant to go. I hope this works out. I have faith and I’ve put in the planning work to get him there, and planting the seeds to make sure it’s an impactful meeting. He really inspired the attendees at H3SD, and he leveled up my climate work for sure.
And the last thing, is Our Children’s Trust that is leading the fight in the federal lawsuits against the various state and the federal government on behalf of children – as the government has simply not protected the planet for the children – they reached out to me. Isn’t that crazy? Our Children’s Trust reached out to me for help, and I have a meeting scheduled next week. They told me that I don’t need to prepare anything, but I’ll do whatever I can. I reached out to my climate mentors and I include Prof Adam Aron in that group now, and he said that this would be impactful work.
Lots of other projects in the works, but these three above are the most important. H3SD is definitely going to happen next year. The region is beginning the planning meetings and grouping all the players together, and I get to attend these cool meetings (on my own time) and help make sure the 2nd iteration of h3sd happens. It will be different but it will be equally as impactful, because it will be sustainable and a group effort. Actually, this afternoon I get to go to my friend Dr. Luis Castellanos’ house to have a fancy lunch! To meet some of his friends and talk climate and H3SD.
Just organizing my thoughts for my upcoming climate projects, and I got to show you the beautiful picture of our daughter.