19 Nov 2020

Pace Yourself, Change Of Pace Or Not?

Pace Yourself, Change Pace Or Not on vickiarcher.com

How’s your pace?
Have you felt a shift this year in the pace at which you are running?

Pace – both mental and physical – seems to me to be related to so many different factors. I feel with age my mental pace has accelerated and at times I know my physical speed has slowed. It can also be the reverse, depending on my external circumstances. Our pace, the speed at which we run our lives, is important to maintain and be in our control. Covid and extended periods of lockdown have probably altered our ability to “pace” in the way we are accustomed to.

The shift of pace I am interested in is the one we choose to change ourselves.

A crisis of major significance, like the one our world is facing, is oftentimes a cause to reflect and a catalyst for change. I have most definitely made changes.

Suddenly I don’t want to do “life” in the same way. My interests have changed and my ideas shifted. What once gave me enormous pleasure may have been superseded by something else. I am not talking about “slowing down” for that will never be my choice but I’m feeling a shift; a shift in mindset, which is giving me cause to reflect on the pace we run at things.

Let’s backtrack.

Consideration: I was less considered and more inclined to be involved in everything to pass my way. Not in a hugely excessive sense but if I am critical I would say much of my activity could have been better thought out.

Expectation weighed more heavily on me. What I felt compelled to do as opposed to what I wanted to do was the order of things.

Priorities were not as preferential as they should have been.

Output, the quantity of what I could achieve was top dog over the actual quality.

Interests change. There is a natural evolution with interests and obviously, they develop as we move through life. I believe a change in pace can precipitate a whole new range of interests.

How To Change Pace?

While events this year may have been the catalyst to change the way I run at life, acceptance is why I can successfully and happily do this. No recriminations, no judgements simply an acceptance of choices and where they lead me. A change of pace can be the most exciting adventure of all and it most certainly does not mean any slowing down.

Shifts in our mindset do come with age and it is easier with greater self-awareness and self-confidence to be and behave in exactly the ways we choose. Ask your younger self about her pace? I’m sure many of my points above resonate. This year might well accelerate these feelings for many and fast-track us in directions we never even dreamt of.

A rollercoaster ride? For sure. Exhilarating? No doubt. xv

These Helped Me Change Pace

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Dear Vicki, as I read your words, I feel a connection. At 62 and a very active, healthy (so far) and young 62, I have been trying to guard myself from losing my fast pace. After reading your words here however, it gives me another perspective to accept what we are all finding ourselves in the middle of: change.

I had to retire early. If it wasn’t for Covid and I was retired, I imagine that things would be different for me. I would be ON THE LOOSE out in the community, visiting friends, collaborating and traveling. Basically, I’d be fulfilling my dream of creativity in community. But I find myself, like the rest of us, at home in the silence. This has started to develop into what I saw my poor mother experience, being a stay-at-home mom and wife sans an education. I am finding myself worrying about every little sniffle, every little indication that when I try to read and plow through my beloved books, my eyes are having a harder time with the small print whether it’s due to more floaters or swollen eyes. In sum, this time at home is an echo chamber for worry to amplify. Worry of aging, worry of reading because my eyes are weaker, worry of losing my poetic edge.

However, I went into this year with the esoteric notion that this would be a great time for growth in the darkness of the “soil” of testing. We are those seeds that have been planted under the ground upon which we danced through our lives. We are going to grow and like any other living entity, the only way we’ll become what we never imagined is to break through the old shell, the husk of the seed and flourish. I’m hoping on it.


Anita, you will… you are…

Your “pace” has definitely changed (early retirement is a massive change of pace – both physical and mental and I am sure when you look back you will determine it is and has been for the better..

Linda B

What a thought provoking–and comforting–piece, dear Vicki! One of my first reactions is to notice that I am only settling down to read it late in the afternoon, after yet another rather busy day. My main activities have been a tandem bike ride with my dear husband; a visit to my father in the memory care; and working on more set up in my new little art studio. A good balance in all that, at least by my standards.

It has now been almost a year and a half since I retired (at age 62, like Anita.) It has been quite a roller-coaster of events, both personal, national and global: the joy of becoming a grandmother within a week of finishing my working life; the loss of my beloved mother three months later; the pandemic changing EVERYONE’S lives another 6 months later; the intense election in the U.S.A. that still has not fully been resolved; and moving to a new home–the settling in is an ongoing creative project, mostly quite fun.

The pacing is really key right now. There are actually so many possibilities, within the limits imposed by the pandemic. I accept that it is a privilege and an opportunity to be home so much; I am full of gratitude, actually. My one sadness is that we cannot visit our children and grandchild as we had hoped, due to Covid. I keep reminding myself that if we stay the course, and find the way to focus on the good of all, we will get through this time.


So honest words. I noticed many month ago that your interests has changed and with it
your mindset. Many people made this experience as I did also . We must conform to an
other life/style and accept how it is without giving up our pace and joy and many other
good attributes. Perhaps it happened not all for the worst


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