Noun. a single step taken when walking or running; speed in walking, running, or moving.
Verb. walk at a steady speed, especially without a particular destination and as an expression of anxiety or annoyance; move or develop (something) at a particular rate or speed.
I do things quickly – I always have. We were brought up in a busy household of self-employed and action-oriented parents.
Thus I am a quick thinker, a quick speaker and a quick doer. I make decisions quickly based on my instincts and experience. I also have long legs so I walk quickly too. (But as for running…!)
As a teacher I had to do everything quickly including eating, drinking and peeing! I worked in fast-paced schools for most of my career, turn around schools that needed urgent action.
This all means that others around me often feel under pressure to keep up with me. I am usually the pace-setter in a team and have had to develop my ability to be patient and work slower to accommodate the speed of others.
Since leaving working in schools I have consciously slowed down and tried to be less rushed as I go about things. I now set my own pace and work around my clients’ pace.
My pace has been perceived as both a strength and as a weakness by others. What people don’t see is that I am reflective, I read and I research behind the scenes, which underpins my confidence and my competence. I don’t make quick and decisive decisions on things I do not understand and am not sure about. There is a lot happening under the waterline, a lot of strategic thinking and planning that goes unseen and often unrecognised.
Pace as a strength means that I am a highly-productive person, but the fall out is that I have a high capacity for holding a lot in my head and I often end up doing more than my fair share of the workload on any given task or project. I can thus get burned out quite quickly. Working in schools for 20 years means that I have followed the peaks and the troughs of the school year and often crash each school holiday.
My work life is busy, but my social life has always been very full too. But as with many of us lockdown forced me to slow down, to stop, to pause and to be still, and I really enjoyed the change in pace. It was also quite hard to then resume the pace of life pre-Covid.
I have pace but I am not someone who paces. I have a clarity of direction and tend to need to be still if I am mulling things over – in the bath, on my Shakti mat or on a sun lounger are my preferred spots instead of pacing it out.
Since leaving teaching, I have consciously tried to establish more boundaries on my time and my energy so that I can enjoy the change of pace and the freedom that comes from being my own boss. When I am busy now, the only person I can blame and hold to account is myself!