Pace of life

Pace of life isn’t something I’ve previously given thought to, but since moving, it’s been foremost on my mind.

At first, what I noticed was the positive aspect – the lower volumes of traffic, the lack of crowds, relaxed and friendly staff in shops, no-one rushing around in a tearing hurry, a relaxed attitude to problem solving, the buddy bench, the community piano …

My shoulders have dropped from their usual place up around my ears, even when things have gone wrong, it’s been easy to remain calm (if firm), saving up the experience to share as a funny story with Himself over a chuckle and a cup of tea. There’s been no need for anger or frustration, for largely nothing has been too much trouble.

Then I went to my first networking event … and had a second one cancelled very last minute due to insufficient numbers. And I began to wonder … while there are huge benefits to this slower pace of life from the point of view of living, could it prove to be a downside professionally?

Initially, I reacted as I’d been previously prone to do – not quite full blown panic, but the shoulders certainly went right back up around my ears while I worried, blathered about and over-thought. But then, I stopped, took a deep breath and realised I needed to take a leaf out of my new home. Much like SEO (search engine optimisation for those of you lucky enough to be unaware), building a local brand is going to be a slow process … and I’m going to need to be OK with that.

In the past, I’ve allowed the fact of my increasing age to be the driving force, the hurry up to all my decision making and – to be honest – it’s not served me well. At least one hurried decision cost me a great deal, not just financially but in terms of my confidence and self-esteem. I don’t indulge myself in ‘what if’ thoughts, but moving on from that one was quite the struggle.

So, I’m going to take a leaf out of my new home – no more frantic rushing around for me. I loved London when I was young, and the buzz and urgency were certainly part of that. But now I’m ready to slow down a little, to be more considered about my choices and my life. Oddly, as the very wise Ms Bean said in a previous exchange, I may find I get more done when I’m not being such a headless chicken …

Wherever you live – is it the pace of life which attracts you, or do you miss what you once had elsewhere? 


© Debra Carey, 2019

8 comments

  1. I love urban life (mainly because I hate driving) but have considered that a small town with a Main Street would be nice. I am tired of the crowds and the hurry, but would miss the variety of cultural opportunities that I have now

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  2. OK, on a scale of 1-10 how essential was your networking event? Was it mainly social? If so you can relax it will happen again and will probably go ahead next time. Was it business? If so what other opportunities are there to fill in the gap? Does it have to be a networking event? Is there an actual financial cost or a potential one?

    By considering this sort of question you can get a perspective on what is going on and its relative importance. One of my late father’s regular quotations was “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?” which is a prety good motto, I think. On the other hand another of his favourites was from ‘If’ … “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run” etc 🙂 At first sight this cancels out his first quotation, but (and if I could put in italics they’d go here!) who defines ‘sixty seconds of worth’? It could be sixty seconds worth of standing still fully appreciating a work of art, a sunset, a swan gliding effortlessly across a lake. It doesn’t have to be sixty seconds worth of busyness.

    I was born in London and later worked there until I moved away and I now find it quite unpleasant coping with the Tube or buses. There is still a little magic walking by the Thames – until you get mown down by joggers or cyclists. I like living in the country, and I like the small city of Ely – except on market day when parking is a nightmare. There are problems – our bus service was cut from hourly to two-hourly for example and we no longer have a direct bus to Cambridge – but on the whole it is friendlier and we have time to chat to people and stand and stare!

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  3. I live in a small city (St. Augustine, Florida), but it’s also a popular tourist destination. So lots of places to avoid during the summers, but generally in the winters it has that small town feel. I lived 20 years in Washington, DC and to some extent miss the vibrancy of a big city. I liked hopping on a subway to get downtown, loved the energy of the streets, and miss all those eclectic restaurants. I would trade my life now, but I do have occasional moments when I am wistful for a little more action. – Marty

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  4. LA, I do love city life as I love the huge variety of cultural pursuits constantly available. But, these days, I find the crowds very draining and – I have to admit – decidedly a source of irritation. I think a market town, with just enough bustle, with a decent array of culture & the other necessities of life, would suit me down to the ground. Himself, however, would rather live in the middle of nowhere, so I guess this small village is a good compromise.

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  5. Yes, Alan, I’ve realised that I need to re-jig my way of looking at things from an entirely new perspective. Initially I was frustrated and despondent, but nothing keeps me down for too long and there’s now the energy of a new year and a new decade to add to the mix.

    Public transport in rural areas is the biggest concern for me, should I ever get to the point when driving is really not advisable. My Mum had to give up driving when she relocated and wasn’t able to learn her way round it. It has left her feeling dependant upon others and rather isolated, so that’s something I’d really want to avoid.

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  6. Marty, I’m with you – the compromise of a small city/lively town with enough about it seems the obvious solution. So long as it has decent transport links into the big smoke for the occasional visit to top up the need for bit city buzz 😉

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  7. Ah Librarian, I look back at my years of living in London with fondness, but agree that the heaving traffic & crowds can become too wearing.

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