Plans for the Future
August 28, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
My real plan is to go for a jog this morning. That’s my real plan. I need to work on some basic cardio at least three times a week. I think I can safely go back to jogging regularly now that my foot pain is better and my back no longer hurts. Those aches and pains are gone now, and I feel fundamentally I’m healthier. But I want to work on my blood pressure, which had crept up to the high 110s and low 120s. I used to always be 100/70. Trying to find balance in how one moves ones body is very important. But I had to work on my mental health and my professional work-life balance. I had always been a fast runner, so picking up jogging again is going to be okay. I won’t go back to running half marathons. I don’t think it’s good for my knees.
My other real plan in life is how to save the earth, or at least try to avert the worse of climatic disaster. One of my climate friends asked if I wanted to go to COP 27 which is in Egypt this cycle. I could totally go to COP 27. I have friends that are going, and I’m sure I can insert myself into multiple delegations. But I don’t think the earth wants me to spew carbon from San Diego to Egypt. Lets use one of those on-line calendars. Keep in mind this is doubled, because it would be a round trip flight.
Wow. That is amazing. I also decided (with the earth) that I’m not going to AAP National Conference which is in Anaheim. There are going to be so many climate and health advocates there. We are awash with us in California, that can fill the speaking spots. It will be too overwhelming for me. I don’t need to be where there are enough of us. I will go to our HMO regional pediatric symposium in October. I will go to Oregon in October with family, and to check out our tree house. I will go to DC hopefully in April to present our vaccine equity project if I can get it written in time, as two of the premed interns want to present and need a paper to write for their medical school applications. I will speak at our HMO regional asthma symposium, which is virtual anyway. I will help my friend Dr. Elizabeth Friedman put on her Environmental Justice conference in Kansas City. I will plan on taking a sabbatical sometime next year. I’ve been with our organization now 15 years and I’m overdue and want to do this for myself and the earth. I have applied for a national HMO federation type sustainability position, and I’m still waiting to hear. I will continue to practice pediatrics and take care of my patients, and be happy at work with the actual practice and art of medicine.
And my major plan for the future, is that at some point when my children are finished with graduate school – I plan to be a grandmother. I would like a livable future for my children and their children, whether we can stay in Southern California or we will be part of the global climate migrations and migrate up to our properties in Oregon. Yes, climate change is happening and Dr. Plastic Picker has already made real estate moves to prepare. My daughter asked me yesterday if Korea will be too hot to live in at some points of the year, given the high likelihood that she marry someone who is Korean or part Korean. It’s hard to know. Right now in their father’s hometown in South Korea is in the 80s and raining. On our farm in Oregon, we are for now safe from the >2000 acres wildfire raging in Medford which is south of our farm. Our neighbor told us the air quality is OK right now. My mother’s hometown in Vietnam will likely be underwater with even a few inches of sea level rise.
And the funny thing is that worrying about the next next next , which is climate change. And then trying to slow life down by living with less plastic and generally living a more minimalistic life, has slowed the present to a beautiful snail’s pace. And in that restoration of the sense of time, has given me more time and space to do everything especially to be mindful of the two teenagers we are raising. They are turning out well. Our son has his college rank list and he’s chipping away with the applications. He’s appropriately stressing about senior year AP Biology, and getting ready for the start of classes. Our daughter is reading some good books (they are both good readers and writers), and taking time to develop her high school fashion style. We didn’t travel much purposefully because they have their things they needed to do. Cross country camp, volley ball setting camps, summer school, summer internships and on and on. They accomplished what they both set out to accomplish this summer. I am very proud of them. While I was cleaning the beaches and have been trying to save the earth for everyone, everything kind of righted itself. I actually think both will likely get into Ivy League schools, although Mr. Plastic Picker doesn’t necessarily agree. I used to stress about what kind of schools they would eventually get into, but now one realizes it’s more the kid than the school. And also I’m going to miss them if they go to far from me.
That’s it. Just my thoughts this morning. Mr. Plastic Picker is back from walking our crazy black poodle mix and he’s making his coffee now. I love the sound of family as they are puttering around the kitchen and I’m typing away in my own blogging world. The future is here now. After I chat with my original Kdrama boyfriend (Mr. Plastic Picker), I’m going to go jogging for 30 minutes and pick up one bag of plastic pollution.