I brought my cold brew coffee concentrate to the office yesterday. I reused a sauce jar and made sure it did not have any pungent smells in it, but the lid was not the tightest fit. So I carefully put it in my lunchbag but had to make sure to carry it the right way so it would not spill. It made it to clinic and I put my repurposed glass jar in the office fridge. We have a new office fridge. The old fridge had been there since the clinic’s opening over 20 years ago.
It’s my last day of my week of vacation. It’s been a mentally exhausting week because a lot of important work issues crept up that needed to be completed. Today is my last day and I will enjoy the day with the kids. Mr. Plastic Picker said he will try to work from home. He usually ends up getting called into the hospital to do an emergency fluoroscopy study. But I am hopeful he will stay home for some of it and we can be together.
There were many important tasks I had to complete this week despite “vacation.” I am proud that they are done. They were big tasks that only I could complete because I care about them. Since it was vacation, the usual annoying issues of pediatricians essentially whining about this and that – I just ignored and punted to the managers that were actually on duty. One of our pediatric GI nurses used to have a sign on their door that said, “NO WHINING.” I loved that. At some point I’m sure someone from compliance or customer engagement made them take it down. This week I did not deal with the whining. I did receive messages about clinic issues that are meant for Dr. Dear Friend, who leads the clinic and is not on vacation. Another physician sent a message about a going away party for a graduating resident and a special caterer he likes which does not have anything to do with me, unless the other physician was subtly asking for department money for that party? But in this COVID-19 pandemic and the financial stresses we are facing in healthcare, there is no budget for that. I punted it to Dear Dr. Friend and told her I’d chip in my own money, but no departmental funds are available for extraneous costs that do not have to do with actual departmental business.
I’ll be blunt here. Physicians are not for the large part good stewards of their own money. Physicians often think other fields are easier than our own work. I hear this a lot. Some of my colleagues think there is easy money in real estate investing, yet rarely do those same people have actual real estate outside of their primary home. It’s kind of a minor insult to true real estate professionals, just like a parent telling you they could drain an abscess better than you could with a sewing needle and exacto knife.
To actually support a middle-class or upper-middle-class family solely through the real estate boom and bust cycles of the market is not easy. Like performinig surgery, real estate investing requires a very specific skill set. It requires negotiating, managerial skills interacting with skilled laborers and tenants, having good accounting skills and being able to take on financial risks. You need to know about the specific tax laws, termite inspections, cost by the square footage of decking material and on and on. It also requires time and focus and attention to detail.
I want to coin a new term. If I blog about it enough, perhaps it will gain traction and enter into the internet/instagram/English speaking lexicon. FISE – Financial Indepedence and Save the Earth. FIRE is well established. It’s Financial Independent Retire Early. I used to follow these FIRE blogs religiously about 15 years ago, when they were just getting started. I’ve been reading 3 bloggers pretty regularly, Retireby40, LenPenzo.com and Mr. Money Mustache. I read intermittently Financial Samurai as well. These financial bloggers pretty much just talk about their lives, how they spend their money, how much they save, and then all of them (except LenPenzo) left the workforce. Mr. Money Mustache is actually a closet environmentalist. He is probably the most popular of the FIRE bloggers. These bloggers all make money off their blogs through advertisements, links to financial planning services, links to credit card offers.
I have joined twitter. Why have I joined twitter? That is where the children are and the children are the ones that need to be protected and supported, and drplasticpicker is a pediatrician and a mother. I need to go protect the children. When Greta Thunberg gave her UN Speech and castigated the adults in the room, this battle-worn pediatrician had tears rolling down her eyes. What have we done? The children think of us as “Do Nothing Adults.” Indeed, it cannot be all Trump’s fault as he has only been president for 3 years. We were all here and we did nothing or did not do enough. Climate change is happening and we have 15 years to mitigate these changes. I am in my mid 40s, and I have until 60 to help.