Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Festina Lente – "Make Haste Slowly!"

Photo curtesy of Pamela B. Thomas

January 4, 2011
Feature Entry: Festina Lente – "Make Haste Slowly!"

Since December 19, 2010, the MoneyWalker has been in Vienna, VA, a tony suburb of Washington, D.C. Without a set of digital scales to provide daily accountability, I shudder to think what is facing me back in New Orleans, especially given all the rich food that has been available. Moreover, we have consumed three full meals a day for the duration.

We are in Vienna assisting our son and daughter-law with the birth of their new son, Paxton Tong Eason—grandchild number five. All are well and we will be returning to New Orleans soon.

Every day but one, the MoneyWalker did muster the gumption to take long walks, even during the snow storm that blew thru. Many of the walks did result in large coinage finds and interesting if not valuable ground scores. Because this is a very “green” city, few glass bottles were found on the streets and by-ways.

However, today’s five miler yielded only two pennies and a slightly scuffed baseball; but it was perhaps my favorite walk. As frequent readers know too well, motivation provides the most serious threat to my health/weight loss habit of taking daily 90 minute walks. I am just not that reflective in terms of using the walk to calibrate my emotional capital, and I find neighborhood scenery to become stale after just a few repetitious walks.

These musings bring me to today’s featured thought, Festina lente – "make haste slowly." As mentioned above, Vienna, VA is a beautiful small city nestled up against the Potomac River. On today’s walk, rather than zoom, I took a more leisurely pace. The goal was to walk to the Church Street Thrift Store, an old school charitable enterprise totally run by volunteer parishioners from the Vienna Presbyterian Church across the street, beautiful in its classic architecture, with cupola and white paint.

Along the way, I meandered off course and found old Vienna. The neighborhood featured large formal old homes with Victorian fronts, verandas, hidden gardens, and very spacious. These were millionaires' homes of yesterday when a million was worth something. Along one long street more than a dozen of these gems have been totally restored by today’s multi-millionaires.

The thrift store was a winner. I bought five music cassette tapes for .25, great for the long car ride back to New Orleans; a new Harley Davidson motorcycle cap (brand new, still had price tag) for .75; a paperback copy of The return of the Native, Chapter One has a great walking scene; a DVD starting George C. Scott in the movie Jane Eyre (3.00), probably not as good as Patton; also for $1.00 I found a well crafted hand carved mallard for my duck collection.

I then treated myself to a cup of decaf java in the trendy coffee shop across the street. In the management dictated thirty minutes of allotted reading time, I was able to get through several chapters of Hardy’s classic novel. But the 30 minutes was about all of the time I had for disciplined focusing anyway.

The MoneyWalker takes pride in being a “zoomer,” he is rarely passed by other pedestrians. Today, rookies were passing me left and right. But not to worry, exercise science has shown that weather you zoom a mile in 15 minutes, or saunter for 25 minutes, or even jog it in 9 minutes, the caloric count is all the same, about 100 calories a mile.

So if you want a new source of motivation for your walking habit, try Festina lente – "make haste slowly." It is a wonderful world out there. Sometimes it pays to slow down and enjoy it.

And Happy New Year!


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