Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Long Does It Take?

National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
October 19, 2010

While in the Washington D.C. area, Mr. B, Tish, and I enjoyed the Behind The Scenes tour of our National Cathedral.  It was a wonderful opportunity to be taken places within the Cathedral that one can only imagine when standing in the vast expanse of the main hall.  The very first time I visited the National Cathedral in the late 1970's, I remember that it was not yet complete.  When the final stone was laid in 1990, it had been more than 83 years since the foundation stone had been laid on September 29, 1907.  It remains Washington's longest-running construction project!  Don't you imagine there were a lot of people tired, impatient and questioning the whole project?  I suspect there were a lot of amateur contractors full of advice on how to speed up the process.  Few people, if ANY, who were present when the foundation stone was laid, lived to see the grandeur of the completed project.  In fact, the project outlasted three architects!

Why did the Cathedral take so long to be constructed?   The simple answer is that the Cathedral was built as funds were given to finance its construction.   When enough money was in hand, the next phase of building would commence.   When the last stone was laid in 1990, the fully completed and totally paid for National Cathedral was finished.  What an accomplishment, but what an exercise in vision, patience and dedication.  But oh my goodness, what an awesome treasure we have.  Its beauty rivals any Cathedral and yet a close-up investigation reveals intricacies found only decades after the work had begun.  For example, our guide revealed that the builders were given permission to make the lowest level of gargoyles on the roof "personal." Some reflected a love of fishing and others indicated the builder had been a hunter.  All these touches combined gave me a whole new appreciation for the finished product.  It also taught me that the Cathedral is not "perfect," yet I would challenge you to find some imperfections that I now know exist!  

How long would it take to build the National Cathedral?  No one knew and to those intimately involved, it really didn't matter.  The most important thing was that it was done correctly and built to stand tall and proud for centuries to come.

How long will it take for me to reach my goal weight?  I don't know, but to those who care about me and are closely involved, including myself, it really doesn't matter.  The most important thing is that I do it correctly and learn the lessons needed to make me stand tall and proud for the remainder of my days on this earth. 

I hope it doesn't take me 83 years (laughing hysterically!!), but one look at that Cathedral tells me that I want my body to be as strong and healthy when it is "complete" as the Cathedral that stands on the tallest knoll in the District of Columbia.

So I will continue to make progress when the time is right and my "bank" is fully funded!!  I will graciously consider all well meaning advisors (this has nothing to do with my advisors in BlogLand!!), but challenge myself to remember that only the "experts" knew how to build a Cathedral and the best "expert" for knowing how to build the Cathedral of my body is ME.  

What a great object lesson I encountered on that day.   What was your most recent object lesson? 


  1. Wow, Sharon! That was a great lesson! I feel the exact same way. When I decided to lose this weight for the LAST time, I gave myself no time-frame. I really didn't care and still don't. As you said, I want to do it right! Now three years into the journey, I continue to learn more about myself, my body and why I eat. Hey, it may take 83 years for me to finally have it all come together, but I'll be the hottest and healthiest chick in the nursing home! LOL!

  2. What a great post! I was there with you and totally missed this wonderful teaching point. Glad you were there to "get it" and to share it with the rest of us.

  3. Oh I sure do love analogies and this is a great one. What strikes me most about this post is that I think so many dieter, myself included, focus on the end point. We calculate how long it will take us to be at our goal. And for many of us, we then get discouraged when we don't get there as fast as we wanted. This is a great way to think about it.

  4. I LOVE THIS POST!!! What a great lesson for us all.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog this morning Sharon. Did you get the message I left for you yesterday on your blog?

  5. I really appreciate this object lesson... especially right down to the personalization of the gargoyles. I love that, for I strongly believe we all need to personalize our journeys. We can learn from each other, and be teachable, but then take that and make it our own.

    If you were allowed to take any pics from the inside, I'd love to see them, also. What a majestic building!


  6. Loved it! I can't think of a recent object lesson at this moment. If I come up with one I will get back to you. :)

  7. I love the fact that the cathedral was constructed as funds were available. What a concept. I wish some of our modern day churches that get embroiled in a 'building project' would take this lesson to heart.

    And yes, love the analogy. In case you didn't know from my blog, I believe this project will take us the rest of our lives. But what an adventure, eh?

  8. A wonderful comparison. I agree the most important thing is to do this journey correctly. It will be a slow process for me, too, and I am okay with that. Just being okay with it is one the biggest differences between this journey and any of the others I have had over the years. So, I am with you completely. Have a great weekend! Michele