Keep it simple and back to basics after my interview with PB Monthly
November 20, 2019
When I was in eighth grade English, a classmate that I admired with my whole adolescent heart was assigned to critique one of my writing pieces. I was excited for him to see my writing, as back then I thought intelligence was one of my redeeming features. He was himself a talented student. He wrote only one comment on my paper in bright red, “K.I.S.S. Keep in simple stu**d.” It broke my heart and I always remembered that.
In a sense he was right. He was only referring to my writing, but sometimes I have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to me. When a distant family member heard about my blog, she well meaning but in an Eeyore-ish outlook said sagely “you are going to make it like another job.” I already have a full-time job.
It has been over 80 days, and I almost did make it into another job. I have written almost 50 blog posts and picked up almost 80 bags of trash and 450 salvagable items. And tonight I finished the 2nd part of my final phone interview with our local paper PB Monthly. They are going to feature the blog in one of their briefs, stay tuned!
But the difference between me now and me in eighth grade, is that I have the wisdom of life and years. I know how to pace myself. When I was a track runner, my quarter mile splits would drive my coach crazy. I ended up making it to county championships my senior year, with a a PR in the mile of 5 minutes 20 seconds or so – which is not bad. But what drove my coach crazy was even at the end of the season I had negative quarter mile splits. I always save my energy for the end, so that I don’t burn out.
Above was one of the first iPhone photos that I captured when I began my walks. I would come home after an hour and show these photos to my husband and children, and we would marvel at how beautiful the world was. I still find that awe and find joy in writing. I tried to impart that to the reporter from PB Monthly. Initially I was rattling on and on, so excited just to be interviewed. But in the end I told her, I’m just a pediatrician trying to get exercise by picking up trash on the beach, and I feel better helping the earth and helping myself.
Savannah Duffy from PB Monthly asked me to send her five ways I would encourage people to reduce plastic pollution. I wrote back quickly,
5 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use
1. Take care of your plastic sand toys so they last a long time, and please bring them home from the beach. When they are broken, dispose of them properly in the trash receptacles.
2. Drink mostly water and milk, and water in your own reusable water bottle that you treasure and love. Juice, soda and most caffeinated drinks are not good for you anyway and usually come in single-use plastic bottles.
3. If you drink coffee, try to slow down and enjoy your cup. Drink it at home or at a nice coffee shop in a normal ceramic mug. If you have to have it on the go, take time to use a reusable coffee mug. Again identify a reusable mug that you treasure and love, and you will more likely use it again.
4. Snack on whole fruits or buy dried snacks in bulk and parcel out in small reusable containers. There are so many candy and food wrappers on the beach, and all those processed foods are never as healthy or delicious as whole fruit.
5. Bring reusable grocery bags, produce bags and reusable containers for bulk items when you shop.
And that it is dear readers. I will try to pace myself and maybe post three times a week, rather than twice a day. I have to refocus on work, and keep trying to improve physician wellness through my role as an HMO middle manager. I know I was getting a bit obsessive with the blog, as things are taking off and after the Interview with Dr. Young-Ho Yoon https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-young-ho-yoon-pediatrian-and-environmentalist-1/, the blog shot up to 300 pageviews a day, then I got on twitter and Instagram as @drplasticpicker! But this is what happens when one gets passionate about something. But I know how to pace myself, especially when the finish line is so important – my own mental and physical salvation, and saving our oceans.
So to the adolescent classmate who broke my heart. You told me to KISS (Keep it simple ****). But I met Mr. Plastic Picker in college and he was an English Literature major who studied Shakepeare and won all sorts of creative writing awards in high school and college. And he came up with the name Dr. Plastic Picker (I was going to call myself something else which I forget what). Mr. Plastic Picker knows that sometimes when I tackle issues I can make them churn and chaotic and complex, but then my mind reorganizes them into coherent blog pieces which he likes to read. And he is super excited that I get to be in the local paper! So in the end my story ended up with a happy ending as I am the Tigger to my family member’s dismissive Eeyore. I actually remember Mr. Plastic Picker buying me a stuffed Tigger in college. Now I see why! I guess that is why he loves me. Stay tuned for drplasticpicker being featured in PB Monthly!!! And after the rains stop, I’m going to bounce over to the beach and hang out with the birds https://drplasticpicker.com/snowy-plovers-whimbrels-marbled-godwits-and-a-regal-snowy-egret/and pick up trash!
Here is a follow up post to when the PB Monthly story broke https://drplasticpicker.com/pb-monthly-helps-spread-drplasticpickers-message-to-those-i-already-know-my-real-life-friends-you-are-my-vegetables-and-i-seek-to-be-your-vegetable/