The “Green Awakening” – woke up some doctors yesterday
September 30, 2021
I’m usually up later these days since forgoing coffee. My sleep is deeper. I sometimes miss the 4am writing sessions, but overall this is better for my health. I’m still writing a lot, but more advocacy letters and emails regarding climate. Please know that this blog and the writing practice and your support, has meant the world to me. I could not have done it without this virtual audience. You gave me the strength to speak up. You made me realize that people will respond to my writing, my letters, my words, my speaking.
I am sipping my “Green Awakening” right now which is my matcha soy latte. It’s this beautiful green warm cup of plant-based goodness that greats me in the morning. I also hope I caused a “Green Awakening” amongst some of the pediatricians who showed up at the California AAP State-wide Chapter Chat. It was on climate change, and very powerful. A coordinated effort amongst the four california AAP chapters. Primarily the talk was Dr. Aprana Bole who is a national figure in climate advocacy, and the head of the Council on Environmental Health. I was on the panel discussion along with someone I admire so much Dr. Amanda Millstein, founder of Climate Health NOW.
I received text messages and emails from friends yesterday after the talk. I could tell that my comments paired with those big personalities and figures like Drs. Aparna Bole and Amanda Millstein resonated. I just told them my simple story about burnout and finding meaining in medicine through climate and health advocacy. I shared with them that for me it is a spiritual journey. I notice the butterflies and I notice the snowy egrets. The earth leads me to different projects, and I just grab all my friends and we try to do it together.
I could put on the persona. I definitely can. I have credentials and degrees and accolodes. Remember, I’m still Assistant Boss and now somehow I’m the co-lead for all of vaccines at our very large HMO. We have a vaccine CME/MOC yesterday, and the team I helped assemble knocked it out of the park. Literally. And it was the combined efforts of everyone, but really I had to contribute persistent, creativity, clearing out the roadblocks and figure out the new innovative ways to get this project done. That it was successful was the most important part. That talk actually reached 140 attendees, more than the 60 attendees on climate change through AAP California. But I don’t need anyone at work to know now. I think many of them have stopped readhing this blog, which is okay. But I called RN Plasticpicker my friend, and I wanted to tell her all I had done. I paged a few more people after the talk, those I’ve worked with in upper management who I know care about me and know the quality of my quality work. And we shared virtual high-fives. But I want to talk to my friend tomorrow RN Plasticpicker and share my relief and happiness at a work-work vaccine-work job well done. We did it because I am now collaborative. I know how to form and build up a team. I need to inspire and motivate. And then also to put my ego aside and let others step up and shine, and do the hard work in the nitty gritty details. But the behind the scenes work, all those skills have allowed me to succeed as a state level climate and health advocate.
Then my mentor came yesterday. He is truly my mentor, despite my rantings and ravings about him sometimes. I am part of his “Green Awakening” as well. He made me mad when he did not want to sign my Rewild Mission Bay letter. I already have over 20 signatures, and will combine them with my family practice colleagues soon. But I wanted to convince him. It’s really important that I convince him. So I took him up to my HMO Guerilla Gardening project.
And I told him my story. The same story I told last night at the AAP California-wide state chat. And he heard me. He’s thinking about it. And I said, “See Ash, I made it grow. That aloe is growing. It took Dr. Dear Friend and I a freakin’ year and a half!”