The Upcycled Life if Unexpectly Delightful
February 23, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
Life is meandering. RG, our premed advocacy intern working on leaded aviation pollution, and I were supposed to make verbal comments at the EPA meeting last night. We both submitted written comments. It was nothing that was asked of us, just somewhere we thought we should be. But RG had to work last minute (all this environmental health work is volunteer) and I logged in once on my phone, and afterwards when I tried to log in again on my computer – the link did not work. Mr. Plastic Picker is a witness that I tried to log into the EPA “EPA’s Draft Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposure and Disparities in US Communities” and the it was unsuccessful. I really really tried. But since RG wasn’t there and part of advocacy is fun for me, if I get to do it with the premed interns, I didn’t really mind that much. Instead of being attached to the EPA meeting until 9pm, I ceased by Zoom logging in efforts at 710PM. And then I watched Kdramas! Well, the current show I just finished is more artsy so not really a drama. But I learned something that was very profound from the close-captioning translations. I love the Kdramas because I actually do have a decent grasp of Korean, and it’s this weird world where I’m learning all this Korean but I get to read too. Anyway, the translation was the best part of this show about a family of three women and the percussions of domestic violence.
Trust is like glass. Once it’s broken, even if you glue is back togetherthe cracks are still very visible. – From “I’ll Go to You When the Weather is Nice.”
I was just talking about trust with Dr. EF, one of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialist RG and I are collaborating with on a workshop at Pediatric Academic Societies. We were just talking about the lack of trust in academia, and this could be applied to many medical systems.
For me I just wrote this on our internal HMO MD facebook group. Just thinking. “I have this somewhat tortured relationship with my leadership role. I honestly felt thrown into it. I learned a lot about myself and leadership through being a Girl Scout leader, as I was mentoring our troop through their own journey. Anyway, am co-presenting at Pediatric Academic Societies with an amazing Pediatric Environmental Health Specialist from Kansas City Elizabeth Friedman (who is speaking at our peds symposium) on a workshop soon. “Climate Change Advocacy in Academia.” I’m learning so much from her, as we are co-writing a piece on lead pollution soon too. But she sent me this, and as I’m reading it – this should have been front and center in our leadership training or even back in medical school. Medicine is a team sport and leadership is a team effort. Just random thoughts in the morning. Thank you for listening. As I tell people on the other side of burnout, the world is beautiful. I wish this for our entire partnership.”
So the upcylced life I’m living, is unexpectfully delightful. I wanted to run from leadership. I wanted to run away from the tension headaches and the stresses, and the constant barrages of emails and numbers and meetings and graphs. But now I realize that just like I’ve learned how to made a pizza dough that works for me. I can figure out how to be a leader, and I’ve found my leadership training in completely unexpected places.
Grateful to you. Grateful for life. Grateful for this prfound climatic crisis that led me on this path. We need all of us. I promised a decade of action, and we are on year 3 of 10. Much more neds to be done. And healing ourselves is part of it. Thank you for listening. I will try to listen better to the world and to you as well.