What does 끝 (kkeut) mean in Korean? To Finish.
March 19, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
My mind is filled with Korean these days. Between living with my in-laws for the last 16-17 years to binge-watching K-dramas to having my Korean New York City sister-in-law visit this weekend and being in the center of our essentailly Korean household, I’m an observeror and participant in this life we have. My Vietnamese parents are close by but I don’t see them as much and I don’t speak to them as much, so my mind turns toward Korean words these days. Every morning I have a quick breakfast and it’s a bit of kimchi and some side dishes with rice. Plant based because most cultures were plant-based before that word was a thing. What does 끝 (kkeut) mean in Korean? To Finish. To End. And I’m at a beautiful ending in my career.
I don’t remember when I emailed the powers that be? Was it a week ago? Two weeks ago? I had been asked by my climate friends outside of work to be the second Chair of our Public Health Advisory Council, Climate Actions Campaign and it’s something I feel called to do. We have much more left to do regarding local climate change legislation and building electrification. Between the AAP California legislative work and this new Public Health Advisory Council Chair position, I really felt that I’m full now. I’m full with love and joy. Filled with meaning and purpose. Filled with happiness. And honestly I need more time now. Time for myself. Time for my children. Time for my gardening. Time for my trashart that makes me laugh. Time for this volunteer climate advocacy work, and I felt in my green bones that it was time to call it a day. Time to 끝 (kkeut) my Assistant Boss time. So I sent a heartfelt email to the powers that be that effective 5/24/2022 at the five year mark, I would transition and open this leadership spot that has been integral to my leadership journey to someone else. It’s someone else’s turn. It’s someone else’s responsibility. In the end it’s a job that I get a title and some extra money for, and it’s a job that I’ve decided has come to a natural close.
I was going to do this countdown but honestly I don’t really feel the need to do it anymore. I have two more months worth of monthly leadership meetings, and I’m smiling realizing it’s all coming to a peaceful close. I wish the leadership team that I was a part of, all the best. Those numbers and metrics and big and small issues, those issues simply don’t interest me anymore. There is money in those issues, and it’s time for someone new to bring their perspective and their passion to those issues. And since it’s a job with a title and some extra bonus money, I’m sure there will be plenty of applicants. I truly wish them the best.
So I’m back to being me, still a pediatrician and still Dr. Plastic Picker! I got a fancy title to replace the old title, Physician In Charge of Physician Wellnesss in our large building. I’m going to organize either a ping-pong tournament or a four-square tournament for the staff during lunch time. I think it will be really funny. Solar panels are going up hopefully soon on the parking structure where I’ve been guerilla gardening succulents. I told them there is a lot of sun up there, and solar panels would likely do great. And our art exhibition idea we are going to try to bring to New York City and the entire state of California in it’s next iteration.
But Dr. Dear Friend put it best, as I walked in every day this week shedding the title, trying on my old identity. Me. Pediatrician. Doctora. Hey lady, Dr. Vi. I really like it. It fits me and I’m happy. So here is to good endings as I 끝 (kkeut) my Assistant Boss time. And to new beginings. I’m not sure why the powers that be haven’t announced things yet, but I’m finishing up the projects I’m contracted to do and cleaning things up. Dear Dr. Friend told me I’m walking differently at clinic as if the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. And it has dear readers. It was a stressful job even after I reimainged, restructured, reinvented myself due to all the stresses. It drove me to burn out , and I emerged back as Dr. Plastic Picker. On the other side of burnout having figured it out, I finished it. I graduated myself after five years. Five years is a long time to do anything.
This is the only announcement I’ll make. Just to the blog readership. Funny how something that made up so much of my life is an afterthought now. Perspective, freedom, purpose, and choosing to live one’s life deliberately every day is a wonderful thing. And for most importantly my patients, I’ll be in clinic more and be able to see you! And you dear patients are my joy. I love being your doctora, pediatrician, hey lady, just me.