I’m up at my regular blogging time now. It’s been a while. It’s pitch dark outside and the house is quiet. I have my matcha green tea soy latte in a Yeti Tumbler, a gift from the former regional chief of pediatrics for participating in a gun safety pilot program. It’s a long weekend for the kids and they have Monday off, and I somehow managed to remember to take that day off too. The Yeti Tumbler keeps my morning matcha green tea at the right temperature for longer, and there is some sweetness with some sugar – but much less than I used to drink with coffee.
I was a bit worried about my total plastic pollution bags total, but I’ve caught up. I’m at 9 bags today, and still a few days left. I’ll easily be able to get at least 15 if not 20 bags. But of course you are not really here to hear about my plastic pollution bag totals, right? I’m at bag 584 by the way. You are likely here because of my provocative title?
I had this big revelation as I fell asleep watching my current favorite K-drama. It’s “Revolutionary Love” on Netflix and I highly recommend it. I also really loved “Hometown Cha Cha Cha.” I have to admit, for the first time since middle school, I spent an entire night binge-watching a series which was “Revolutionary Love” and did not sleep. It’s taken 10 episodes for the two protagonists I love to actually hug, and the innocently sweet character build-up and emotional scaffolding has been completely worth it. It takes me a while to fall in love with characters and I fell in love with Jun’s (the young woman) feisty spirit and Je Hun’s (the young man) beautiful hurt soul. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good.
It’s not really an excuse, but this K-drama is part of the reason I decided to pass on an upper management position that I’m uniquely qualified for. But I realized that, it didn’t inspire passion and creativity in me. And if I’d rather watch a K-drama than work on an application – than it probably means it’s not the right position.
During my happiness while I was watching this particular K-drama and practicing my Korean, I was a bit freaking out Mr. Plastic Picker with my Korean mimicking while I’m watching the dramas. I speak conversational Korean and had studied it in college, so it’s wonderful to watch as between the subtitles and my own langauge skills and realizing I have two of my own K-drama-like teenagers in my house (I think my two half korean kids are really good looking) – I’m having so much fun. Too much fun! LOL.
And what is there more to life than joy and good fun? These K-dramas (at least the ones I watch) are very innocent and beautiful storytelling with actors I can identify with, and a language I am quickly improving. I had always regretted not being able to take the 2nd year of college Korean due to a packed premed schedule. But honestly these K-dramas are better! Especially my colloquial Korean is getting much better.
Realizing that that upper management position I was going to apply for but didn’t? I realized during binge-watching that I am in my early 40s. I have a long time in my career still. And there is no rush. I have lots of interesting projects I want to work on that are specifically climate related. And my own kids are still young, and I need time to be happy and to enjoy them and life. Rewild Mission Bay “Love Your Wetlands Day,” helping my daughter and her best friend with their Silver Award project on the Rewild Mission Bay project, leading the first AAP California SGA Committee on Environmental Health and Climate Change, The Youth Arts Exhibition this spring, and continuing to mentor all our premed students. My cup overfloweth is a beautiful way. I’m already the head of two big committees at our HMO even without being Assistant Boss, so I don’t need any more leadership jobs.
So thank you “Revolutionary Love” K-drama series, for reminding me that there are more important things in life than chasing titles that are attached to responsibilities that don’t inspire. You inspired me to continue to improve my Korean! And the earth inspires me to mentor and organize! Sending you much love from our K-drama filled house to yours! LOL LOL LOL LOL The storyline in “Revolutionary Love” is the same. Dare to change the world, and let true love guide you.
I’ve known Eric Nedelman as a parent of my patients for well over a decade. We’ve chatted about their kids and life, and gone through the normal markers of childhood for their children. But he handed two CDs to me last visit. I have been handed CDs in the past, but for some reason I finally found a computer that has a CD player and popped in the CD. It’s really good. I’m amazed at the talent and creative works we all have around us, that often go unnoticed or not appreciated. I wonder who reads my blog sometimes. I put my heart and soul into my writing, grammatical errors and all. It feeds my soul. And for Eric Nelelman, this CD is very good. Check out https://unpavedhighway.com/index.html. The album was created back in 1994. That was the heyday of my high school years so maybe that is why the music resonates with me.
I particularly liked track one and four. One is “Back at Home” and four is “Stand Up.” We are honored to start putting together the 2022 AAP Youth Arts Exhibition on Climate Change and Health, and it’s going to be at a large Hillcrest art gallery and the owner has donated the entire space for the month. We’ve never done anything like this before. But part of the exhibition will be experential and I’m going to ask Eric if we can play Track one and Track four at certain areas in the art gallery. The entire point of the exhibition is to highlight the understanding and perception San Diego County’s children have on the state of the earth, and then the artistic and real prescriptions their pediatricians are doing to adddress this.
My colleague and creative mastermind behind this Dr. AF says we should do an Exhibition Catalouge. I’m all for it! He eve has someone who wants to work on it. So here we go, doing something we have never done before. We need to wake people up and we will do it through the art work of our children and our own creative projects that address climate change as the single greatest threat to our children. If not us, who? If not now, when? And part of the how, is through our own storytelling.
I’m totally going to get one of these! This one is an adult tricycle with off-road fat tires. I can get a helmet as well. There is a great street on our neighborhood where you can ride it straight to the beach. This makes so much sense, because our son needs a car soon for his senior year. I work remotely anyway sometimes. So he can drive my car and I can bicycle around our neighborhood to do errands. Everything is really close here.
It’s definitely not cheap. For the off-road fat wheels, it is $700. But this will keep me healthy and I like to get exercise by just living life rather than going to a gym. I used to love to run, but this is the perfecr cross training. I can ride to the grocery store and actually get substantial amount of groceries. Of course I will need to get a really good bicycle lock for this one.
We have room in our garage to store this bicycle because we got rid of things we don’t need. This I think we would use a lot. I may go to the bicycle rental place and just try to ride one (if they have this type) to make sure it is comfortable for me. I am so excited!!!
I am actually technically part of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition! So I am going to get a cycle, but the kind of “bicycle” I want. I always knew I wasn’t like other people. So excited!
Sometimes technology doesn’t work. I was going to do my regular Secondary Environmental Net Positives Post for this series https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/, but the HMO issued iPhone is wonky and I can’t get into my notes section. Oh well. Some higher power out there does not want me to post that post today. I’ll probably post that post tomorrow, or the day after or the month after. That is truly the beauty of this blog (blog beauty is great alliteration), it’s a place to just document this circuitous environmentalist journey I am on.
It’s 456am Pacific Standard Time, and my father in law just came into the dark kitchen. It’s a rhythm we are used to. The rest of the world is asleep, and I sit in the semi darkness drinking my morning cup (now of matcha green tea soy milk latte) and he turns on the stove burner and heats his pot of water for his morning drink. He turns on the stove heat up high, and I always love the beautiful blue of the fire. I know we need to change over to an induction stove, but we are not there yet. We are imperfect environmentalist.
It’s Saturday morning and the world is still dark and I’m grateful for the weekend. Friday clinic went smoothly and the families I care for dropped by many of them for their yearly visits. I’ve been a pediatrician now for 18 years if you include my training time. 18 years is a long time to learn a craft. I’ve been Dr. Plastic Picker now for going on my third year.
I’m going to mostly putter around the house today because Mr. Plastic Picker is working again more overtime, and the kids have their virtual lessons today. I’ll finish some climate projects and I’ve decided to apply for a leadership position outside of our department. I want to grow. But I know not to force things, nature will lead me where I need to go. I have so much hope because I know this blog continues to get 500-1000 readers a day. Someone is reading. Someone is listening. Please smile, because Dr. Plastic Picker does love you because you are part of the earth.
I’m still not sure how and why it all happened. I haven’t let my virtual and real friends in California know yet, but I will soon. I did tell my friends at the office and the Rady’s residents who were rotating with us. When a big climate and health responsibility and opportunity descends upon me, my automatic reaction is to reach out for help. I reach out to those I think can help me complete the task the best, and those that I can trust. I’ve reached out already to one of the upcoming Rady’s chief residents, and she has agreed to help and is uniquely qualified. I know I can reach out to my friend Dr. Dan Spencer, and I think he will likely be the other person who can help. But I’m just letting it soak in and trying to sort out how I’m going to make sure I give this opportunity/responsibility that has been entrusted to me – and do what is best for the earth and for the children that we are responsible for. Because all of this is for them. We want to give our children and our grandchildren a shot at a liveable planet. The stakes have never been so high.
I’m storing up the memories still. Between my little sister’s visit with our nephew and niece for the first time in almost 2 years, and then our road trip to the Bay Area, our family is storing up those memories. We are back a day earlier than expected and I still have two day of vacation and two days of a weekend off, and now I realize that time is mine and does not belong to the HMO. I’m going to give that time to my climate work and getting the kids ready for the new school year. Our daughter wants to refresh her room, hang up some new posters and swap out some furniture. Our son doesn’t want to do anything with his room, but I need to venture in to dust and declutter.
LOL. That’s an awfully witty blog title Dr. Plastic Picker. How many clicks do you think it will garner? As this blog is non-monetized and completely for my own amusement and to keep me on track on my environmental advocacy, it does somewhat matter. The HMO Family Practice residents are descending upon pediatrics today and I am making vegan banana beer bread with coconut oil and extra dash of cinnamon and extra splash of vanilla extract. I even added in some coarsely chopped walnuts, I was feeling so fancy. I used one of Mr. Plastic Picker’s fancy IPA beers for the recipe. It essentially cost me nothing as I had all the ingredients already and a lot of overripe bananas.
I referred back to this recipe on this blog but used just bananas and not mangos. https://drplasticpicker.com/banana-mango-beer-bread-re-imagining-a-bad-costco-mango/ I also bought a bag of fancy granola from Costco. Otherwise these days instead of spending $150 on meat-filled breakfast sandwhich box from Einstein Bagels, I just made it simple. I just contribute when asked and do what brings me joy which was grabbing something simple at Costco and averting foodwaste and doubling a recipe. Half of this bananas beer bread will stay home, and half will come to clinic for the residents.
There are 21 months and approximately 630 days left of my Assistant Boss term. Yes, I’ve decided in my melancholy and frustration regarding middle-managment to have a countdown. Yes I have. This is the beautiful United States of America and I have freedom of speech and freedom to count. If other MDs can have a retirement countdown and not suffer any professional repercussions, than I have an Assistant Boss countdown. I used to sometimes think about how many years to retirement, but I no longer even consider that thought – as the practice of actual patient care brings me so much fulfillment and joy again. Or maybe it never was as fulfilling and meaningful as it has been the last two years. But the Assistant Boss and middle-management time? I am doing a countdown. Yes I am. And no one can stop me.
I am also going to buy a rooster and I’m going to name him Louie. There is a special person named Louie and I talked to him recently. We caught up on life and I asked him how his retirement is going and he said with true happiness in his voice, “I’m good. I’m really content.” And rather than asking him to work shifts or talk about our middle-management needs, we just chatted about life. He really cared about the farm and wished me luck in Oregon. And I decided at that moment that when we start raising chickens (which the plan is relatively soon) that I will name one of the roosters after him. He laughed.
And that laugh, and that conversation made up for so much. His happiness and contentment gave me joy. During my time as Assistant Boss I was able to do certain projects that eased his transition. It eased the pain of what middle-management did to him at the end of his career. I remember the ignoble way the HMO machinery tossed aside one of it’s best leaders. As I think to my countdown the 21 months left, I don’t know where life will take me. But I always think to Louie when I have doubts. I call him sometimes when I have moral quandries. But it’s time to let him go too. He is living his life in retriement with joy, but I will have a chicken and name it after him so I can remember the Chief Boss and I’ll sing to that chicken/rooster that oh so fitting song.
“Louie Louie. oh no. said we gotta go. yeah yeah yeah.”