Pace Yourself

Figures on the horizon- pacing themselves or trying to hold up the sky? Copyright Alix Adams 2011

I haven’t been blogging recently, having had some enforced idleness due to two bouts of chest infections in three months. The connection between wheezing coughing and not being able to speak (or ‘General ghastliness’ as my GP described it), and sitting at the computer isn’t immediately obvious, even to me, but there you go, I couldn’t do it. However I’ve been drawn back by an urge to sing the praises of the NHS (Andrew Lansley, keep your hands off!) and the concept of pacing yourself.
So NHS first. My wonderful GP has been incredibly patient with me turning up week after week, and has sent me for blood tests and scans, and been understanding about my complete inability to hold my head up for more than an hour at a time.  I think the NHS is superb and is working better now than it has ever done. Political message over!

I had two interesting conversations this morning about the concept of convalescence having gone out of fashion, the first with my coach (yes I have a coach, of course I do) and the second with my GP.

My GP said that what I really needed was six weeks by the sea with a matron to look after me, and this is so exactly how I feel I could have wept. Ye olde convalescent home not being a possibility she said, “just pace yourself as far as you can”.
Now, for me, driven must-achieve-something kinda gal that I am, this means take the foot of the accelerator and take a rest now and then, cut some of the non essentials out of the calendar (usually the more fun things), and generally calm down. No, not what she meant. What she meant was, do as much as you possibly can, don’t given in to the urge to do nothing.
Interesting, that this actually results in roughly the same amount of activity from completely different perspectives. NLP in action; different realities.

So what is Pacing?
When I think about pacing a client when I’m coaching, it’s mainly about energy and focus, and getting into step emotionally so that I don’t rush, or lag behind where they are in the moment. If I think about applying that to pacing myself, I’m not nearly so considerate, I get impatient and think I ‘ought’ to do more, at the same time as worrying that by doing so I’ll wear myself out. I’m used to being capable and resilient and I don’t like not being.
Talking it through with Claire, my coach, she asked me what my worrying achieved, and how I might worry less.

Strange though this might seem, this is a mindboggling concept for me. NOT worry? Surely I’m holding the sky up all on my ownsome here, with all that worrying? I’m not? Good heavens! I actually started feeling better almost at once.
I know someone who worries more than me (shock!) and her partner deals with it by sitting down looking at her watch, and saying, ‘OK, how long do you want to worry about this for?’ Very clever.
So now I’m going to spend a little time deciding how long I’m going to worry each day; then I’m going to jack it in and do something more productive, interesting and fun.
The first step in pacing myself.

Copyright Cherry Potts 2011

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About Cherry Potts

Cherry Potts is a published fiction writer, publisher, event organiser, photographer, cardmaker, NLP master practitioner, life coach and trainer. She is an enthusiastic singer. Through Arachne Press she publishes fiction and non fiction and runs spoken word events and cross-arts workshops for writers at interesting venues. Always interested in new opportunites to perform, write or explore writing.
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