My walks to work have slowed down a little bit. Used to be, I could leave at 6:30am and get to work by 6:45/6:50am. That all changed after I nearly fainted one morning and had to go home from work early. Embarrassing. In my defense, my walk to work is basically all uphill. And the hills in Auckland aren’t like hills in the Midwest – everything here is volcanic!
Nowadays, I leave earlier so as to avoid arriving at the hospital in a state of near-collapse. Even though I know that I have extra walking time, I still find myself wanting to rush. It’s taken some getting used to. There have been a few times where I was huffing and puffing up the hill, then realized that I’m 5 minutes away from work but still have 35 minutes before my shift starts. That’s annoying.
So the other day I’m walking to work. It’s slow going and I’m cold and a bit damp thanks to an early morning drizzle. Suddenly, I hear rapid footsteps followed by a high-pitched, “Hi there! How are you?!” I look to my right, and see a bouncy, lycra-clad, pony-tailed, probably 30-something woman walking alongside me, big grin in place. I take a moment to consider the question, then reply, “I’m fine, thanks. Yourself?”
“Oh, I’m great! Don’t you just love walking in this weather?!” I look around me at the dark and think about how I’m chilled despite the fact that I’m wearing scrubs and my long raincoat. Then, I take another look at this lady and see not one, but two cans of Red Bull – one in each hand. She takes a big swig from one of them, and I notice that the other hasn’t been opened yet. Ahhh, mystery solved.
She proceeded to chatter away next to me, ponytail swinging, saying, “Wow! So, you’re pregnant, right? That’s amazing!” She takes another large gulp from the can.
I wanted to ask her why she thought this was amazing, but refrained, choosing instead to smile and say, “Yes, I’m pregnant.”
Another gulp, then “So, when’s you’re baby due?!”
I told her, and then she stumped me. She asked, “So, what star sign is that?!”, followed by another large swallow of Red Bull.
I realized that in all of my preparation for childbirth, I had neglected to figure out what astrological sign my child would/might be born under. I told her I didn’t know, and she clucked her tongue at me. “Well, you’d better figure that out. I’ve got to go. Have a great walk! Bye!!!” She chucks the now empty can of Red Bull into the bin and reaches for can #2.
And then she left me in a cloud of dust, ponytail still swinging and the sound of a Red Bull can being opened trailing back behind her.
Despite the weirdness of it all, it was actually kind of nice. I had to smile, shake my head, and chuckle over how much chemically-induced energy this woman had at that hour of the morning. And then I hoped that I wouldn’t be seeing her later on, brought into the ER due to heart palpitations.
Oh, and I’ve since discovered that baby boy will most likely be a Gemini 🙂