There is a youtube video that pretty much sums of the problem with all big organizations that includes government, big corporations, and HMOs. Mr. Plastic Picker showed it to me. Big organizations tend to create certain positions that actually don’t do nor accomplish anything. This is due to government regulations and very good reasons, but the end result is this bloated middle that includes what I call the inventory people. I once saw someone who belonged to a department whose entire job was to go through our entire organization and just scan barcodes to make sure HMO property stayed within the HMO. The absolutely hilarious thing is that there was a printer my old mentor had bought with his own money for his own office, and this robot put a barcode on it and then scanned it. That pretty much summed up the absolutely hilarity of the entire situation.
Yesterday was indeed a momentous day. Firstly (is that even a word), I finished binge-watching Dawson’s Creek. I’m glad I did not watch this during it’s original run 1998-2003 because I was premed and in medical school at that time. I was very busy with my studies and my own romance with Mr. Plastic Picker, who is now my lawfully wedded husband. There was also living your own adventures. But now that I’m in my 40s and trying not to spew carbon in the air by taking exotic vacations and it’s still a pandemic anyway, I appreciated the adventures of this group of friends in Capeside. I had to finish watching yesterday because I knew that Pacey Witter and Joey Potter end up together (Dr. Dear Friend was kind enough to Ecosia search it for me) but I needed to see it for myself. For me, Pacey Witter and Joey Potter will go down as one of the great romances right along with Dr. Plastic Picker and Mr. Plastic Picker. They stay together and live happily ever after. I may need to write a fan fiction piece about them afterwards! That will be epic! My star trek fan fiction piece of Trip and Tpol regarding the alternate ending of the Star Trek Enterprise is still my most popular blog post. Click here to check it out! https://drplasticpicker.com/the-star-trek-enterprise-romance-of-tpol-and-trip-im-going-to-give-them-the-ending-they-deserve/
Yesterday was also a momentous day because I went through the first full day of work without coffee. Today will be the fourth full day (the entire weekend and Monday and Tuesday). I didn’t intend to stop drinking coffee, but it’s something I don’t mind. The reason why I was able to stop drinking coffee is because a huge psychological stress was gone due to our restructuring some of my work Assistant Boss responsibilities https://drplasticpicker.com/500th-bag-came-and-went-just-like-my-building-up-the-per-diem-pool-a-lot-of-work-and-passing-it-on-with-little-fanfare/ It was interesting the reaction of various people when I told them about my coffee victory. Lets just say there is alot of subtext with different reactions. But it is done, and the thirteen year old coffee habit came and went without much fanfare. It’s better for me, and it’s something that happened because I’m more in balance in the truest sense of the word.
Oh, and then the picture above! I was making dinner last night and our daughter has decided to not eat any meat for a while. This is okay because she has a very positive body image and she is doing it for the earth. We had gone through a period of kinda vegan eating, so I’m comfortable with the different cooking methods and I’m almost pescatarian anyway. So I was making an Impossible Meat (which is vegan) sauteeds with garlic, onions, mushrooms, mixed vegetables from Costco, and we had it with the locally made Pita bread from Sprouts. Our daughter was toasting it in the toaster and it lit on fire. Mr. Plastic Picker was able to move the fire outside, but I was the one who grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the fire. I bought it years ago and thought it was a good idea to have it. And then I had gone through the training at work twice. I felt very masterful putting out the fire. I knew to remove the pin. I knew how to aim the fire extinguinsher, and I knew about how much to press it. I felt really good.
And lastly, one of our premed interns who is the second class in our commitee and one of my former patients – got an amazing internship with one of my fellow climate activists who is a researcher at UCSD. I was able to make the connection and she is now going to work with this wonderful group. I am so proud of her.
And that it is is. That is why yesterday was an exciting day for me. Still not drinking coffee. Boo to the naysayers. I know they don’t read this blog. I am drinking a bit of green tea though. Much love to you all. Dr. Plastic Picker! Hopefully will make it to the beach this morning.
Something absolutely wonderful and weird happenend. Between semi-binge watching Dawson’s Creek, giving up per diem physician management as per the request of the HMO machinery, and realizing how sweet the cherry tomatoes from our garden tasted, I stopped drinking coffee. Yes, just like that. I stopped. It’s been 36 hours, and I haven’t gone without coffee at least 2 to 6 cups a day for almost 13 years to this day. I also stopped for the most part cursing (I know, I know, it was a horrible habit and I only did it – in front of my husband or co-workers when the doors were all closed).
I went for a real jog and walked along the beach last night. And then came home and had a good nights sleep. I woke up at 5am or so. I had gone through all of my medical training including chief residency and the endocrine clinical year without coffee. PICU, NICU, pediatric surgery rotation – all of it without coffee. I remember now that after the birth of our daughter when she was a preemie baby and then brining her home from the NICU, it was a stressful time in life. In retrospect, I had postpartum depression. I didn’t recognize it. No one who cared for me recognized it. No one asked. I self medicated with coffee, lots of cream and lots of sugar. That is how I coped with life. And the coffee habit fluctuated from 2 cups to sometimes 6 cups a day with lots of cream and sugar.
But this weekend it happened, the coffee habit ended without much fanfare. My body feels right. I realize through the demands of work, emotional stress – it was my crux. I’m lactose intolerant anyway. It’s hard to get sustainable grown coffee anyway. And I put way too much sugar in it anyway. Oh, the cursing for the most part stopped about the time I started walking along the beach plogging.
Without the coffee, time has slowed down more. The tomatoes from the garden are so sweet this year. I think some of it is the compost, but some of it was that I didn’t drink coffee with sugar yesterday. I had the cherry tomatoes at breakfast with a sandwhich and then at dinner we used it on our homemade pizza. It was hard to get enough to put on the pizza, because I kept popping them into my mouth. And the sky looked beautiful yesterday above the Pacific, despite the air pollution. I noticed a monarch butterfly when I was sitting in the car at the park, waiting for our daughter to finish volleyball. And I gave more hugs to Mr. Plastic Picker yesterday.
When one is on the path of healing, it is slow but real. Healing the earth. Healing ourselves. Sometimes I doubt myself. But then I get these little flashes of fundmanetal change that just happened because I’m just better. I’ll still eat cookies here and there, but I much prefer vegan muffins homemade now with whatever leftover ingredients I have around the house. Life is so sweet now with the cherry tomatoes from our garden.
I’m still in the throes of Dawson’s Creek. I’m on season three and at a reasonable time last night turned it off. There have been a host of new characters introduced into Capside High, and the original cast is being challenged and pulled apart by these new relationships. This is what happens in real relationships as well, but honestly the best seasons are the first few seasons. This is when you learn about your characters, their struggles and you fall in love with them and their relationships. As the seasons go on, the plot-lines sometimes get a bit weird.
I did a lot this weekend. I thought I didn’t go a lot at the close of yesterday, but after closing 20 charts so that I don’t hit the naughty open chart list – I felt I had done a lot. And it’s Monday morning and I woke up at a normal time at 6am, and I realized I did a lot this weekend. I updated letters of recommendations for our premed interns. I made way on the final edits for the paper. Mr. Plastic Picker and I met up socially with two separate friends and physicians in our physician group, really to just be together as friends but also to talk about physician wellness and environmental activism. Then our son did have his belated 16th birthday party. He went to the movies and had dinner at the food court at Liberty Station. Used his own credit card for the first time, and he and 2 of his best friends were just together. No instagram or facebook or picture trail. But we were there too and saw them and stored those beautiful memories.
And I realized something watching Dawsons Creek. I’m still in the middle beautiful part and more seasons to go of Dr. Plastic Picker. But I know that the best seasons were the first few, and there will be an end. And because there is an end, the now is beautiful because this will not go on indefinitely. So I kind of made a decision yesterday about the blogging and Instagram and all this activism. The activism will go on because we need all of us to stop climatic disaster. But at some point, I’ll retire certain aspects of the blog and collate it into a book. At some point I’ll retire the Instagram.
The wonderful things about the blog and climate activism being a non-monetized part of my life, is that it’s been about growth and new experiences and reflection. And at some point, you learn enough about yourself or share enough and there is a natural close. I’m still in the middle of Dr. Plastic Picker! But just reflecting on this journey and it’s natural close. It makes the today so much sweeter.
I looked at a close friend and colleague yesterday across the dinner table of a very fancy restaurant. And I told him a bit about my story and ended with, “Most days I walk in to work now and I’m happy. I’m happy to be where I am. I am grateful to do what I do.” And if we can all say that about our lives, than the world would be a better place. I wish this for everyone. I know last night as we left the dinner and two couples walked together, that we all four left more connected because we all listened to eachother. And that listening is so important.
I was up until 2am last night watching Dawson’s Creek. I had worked Saturday morning clinic and feeling tired, so I went to my other alternate universe which is now Dawson’s Creek (I have multiple alternative universes). This morning I was supposed to meet two famous Instagram litterpickers for a joint event, but honestly after trying to be mindful and take care of my own patients in a Saturday morning clinic – I was tired. I wanted to escape. And I escaped into the slightly bad-boy eyes of Pacey Whitter. Joshua Jackson the actual actor is my same age, so I think it’s okay to have this celebrity crush. I’m on season 3 right now and it’s getting kind of weird with the story lines – but still fun. And after Dawson’s Creek, one of my real friends (not Instagram friends) recommended Fringe which also stars Joshua Jackson. I’m actually really excited.
And that is it. I don’t have much to say today. I watched so much Dawson’s Creek last night and was up until 2am, that I texted the two Instagram litterpickers and said I could not come, and I had family responsibilities. And this is true. I’m actually going to meet up with a real life friend and do a litterpick around our area, and show him our composter Aerobin400. I consider him family because I interact with this particular person alot and I love his toddler, who speaks fluent Vietnamese. I’m still going to try to save the earth today, just without driving since I’m tired and will just see someone I really know. And I was having second thoughts yesterday, because Instagram is not really real. I didn’t want to set a bad example and start meeting virtual people in person, because what if they are not what they purport to be? I’m pretty sure these two particular people are wonderful, but you never know. I don’t want to end up in a ditch somewhere because I did something stoopid.
So I’m watching Dawson’s Creek and finishing up the final edits of that journal article again. Knowing I can watch Dawson’s Creek (which I did not watch in college because I was premed) gives me a nice feeling toward the close of the day. But I’m not going to binge watch it anymore. Just a few episodes a night is good. Got to love these streaming services. Will pick up litter today but with someone who I really know. Then with our highschool class as a mini-reunion event beginning of August.
Pacey Whitter, I think you may have saved my life. Because I was memorized by your quick wit and slight bad-boy persona, I missed this mornings litter-picking event with complete strangers. I know it wasn’t the safe thing to do, and Mr. Plastic Picker told me not to go.
It’s a holiday today. I have to finish the final edits to the paper on Environmental Justice for our AAP author group. I’m in the middle of fixing the citations. It’s not as easy as it looks. I spent about three hours on it yesterday, and it will take another two to three hours to fix the citations. All the citations had to be fixed and reordered. I’m confused as to why Mendeley (the free endnote program) did not format the citations the way the copy editor wanted? If I try to write another academic paper, I’m going to just get the right endnote program. But it’s almost done, and I will submit today.
We did submit our abstract for the AAP National Conference and Exhibition which is in October. I worked on it with one of our premed interns. She did a really good first draft, and I had to do major edits. But it was a shared project and I’m proud of how much she contributed. It’s going to be hard for the interns that follow her. She has been such a dynamic force of good for our young group. That was submitted as well and we put a bunch of other people’s names on the poster, as they have been working on our advocacy group and it gives them whatever kudos they need for their careers.
And I will work on the chair refinishing project. I’m not sure if Mr. Plastic Picker has the day off today. He’s been working essentially all weekend. We did have lunch at my parent’s yesterday. The rest of my family likes their privacy, so no pictures or blog about that. But it was a lovely afternoon all together.
I may deep clean the downstairs floors today. Maybe go with the kids on a hike. I binged watched Dawson’s Creek yesterday. The storyline about the teenager having a relationship with his teacher is so inappropriate. But it’s fun to see Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams when they were young. I totally missed Dawson’s Creek in the 1990s because I was premed and busy studying organic chemistry. Also someone offered us 10,000 to use 2 acres of our Oregon Farm to plant a “special crop” which I’m sure was Marijuana. We said no. Sheesh people. It’s good not to need money. Best reason to be a minimalist and environmenatlist. Because if you need money, you’ll fall into temptation. I may stop watching Dawson’s Creek if the storyline becomes inappropriate. So far, it’s okay.
I have no idea what the image above means. All I know is an engineer worked on it, and the plans and project proposal was already done to build a bridge to cross Cows Creek on the timberland parcel of our Oregon Farm. The creek spans about 6 feet but it’s Riparian Habitat that we get a tax abatement on, and there are salamnders and fish in that creek that is fed by the southern Cascade mountains and feeds the reservoir. We want to be able to access the timberland recreationally for hiking and whatnot, and it seems good sense to go forwared and build the bridge.
The previous owners had sent us a sign-out document that was super interesting about the property. One of those pieces is this bridge. Anyway, I contacted the engineer that had been working on the property on behalf of our two families and asked if we could proceed with the project.
So Dr. Plastic Picker is literally building bridges!!! I ended my email to the engineer person with “We were hoping you could forward us and update us on any plans that were done already. We would love to continue to work with you to complete that project if possible. It seems like a connection across the creek, would be better for people and wildlife combined.” I thought that was a nice sentence.
And that is all! I find all of life, work, Oregon, my children, and the world – very interesting.
Some of my family members are fishing up near the reservoir near our Oregon farm. Yes we are FARMERS!!! I actually know someone whose last name is Farmer. They are good friends. But we will be hobby farmers. But I can’t go up to Oregon eventhough it’s a paid off property because I still work. But I’m happy at work and just try to do a good job everyday and be happy, that is all you can ask of yourself. When you are in middle management, life is not that different. If you think life is different for a middle manager and there is more happiness, I would dissuade you from going into management. Happiness is found within not with fancy titles or power. Middle managment can be stressfull because you are trying to do work and think is a swirling mass of sometimes very disorganized people, and I’m super proud of myself that I’ve learned to reach this zen state that I can put that work in context, and find humour in chasing metrics and sitting at meeting after meeting. My biggest accomplishment is that I’m stream-lining committees and cancelling meetings! I love cancelling ineffective meetings!!! Time is money folks. I really don’t know why I’m in management really. I think it’s just because I wanted to attend my Crimson University 20th college reunion and have a fancy title to tell my classmates. I think that’s the truth. But after attending my reunion, I realized we just really cared about eachother. We celebrated everyone’s career advancements, but the most important part was whether we were each happy. And seeing happiness and joy of those we had attended college with, especially when we were what we called “blockmates,” was so wonderful.
I’m not a guru. I’m doing yoga more and reading more Buddhist philosophy text, and just thinking. But I’m not a guru. All I know is that doing a few minutes of yoga at night, and learning a move here and there and reading some philosophy and thinking – makes life make sense. Thinking of the planet holistically, and ordering my life and prioirities within the order of the world makes sense. It helps me understand myself better. I think that is why I have been drawn to the issue of physician wellness or burnout so much recently is that finally after being a doctor for almost 20 years, I know that I could never stop being a doctor. That is how I look at the world with a healer’s eye. I will definitely early retire from our organization at 58, but I’ll just go practice somewhere else or use my skills in a different way.
“Explore how pressure from and collaboration with wider healthcare stakeholders, such as the public, providers and policy makers, can help to further move the dial and deliver change for the broader ecosystem” this was part of the agenda for a webinar I missed. I had received it from a Healthcare Without Harm email. I missed the conference, but it was enough to prompt me to do something I’ve been meaning to do.