November 23. A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder.” (English Proverb)
This is one of those quotes that’s more metaphorically true than literal. I know that I have been awakened by some hellacious thunderstorms in the past, even though my conscience was completely clear. Sometimes thunder is just noisy! But that doesn’t diminish the value of this quote. Like many people, I have dealt with bouts of sleeplessness. And, when I am at my most honest moment, I can attest that when it’s happened it was because something was eating at me, and that something was most often my conscience.
The mind is a complex thing. When I am awake and going about my business, I can compartmentalize my thoughts. I can shut out those thoughts of things that are unpleasant, or which need more attention than I am giving them. But when I lay my head on the pillow, and the body, mind and soul begin to unwind, that is when the conscience kicks back in and plays hell with my sleep pattern.
I am not talking about a guilty conscience in the sense that I have done something overtly wrong. When I was a child there were times like that, but not so much in recent years. It isn’t that I was trying to hide some dark secret, but that doesn’t mean that my conscience was completely clean either.
My conscience goes to work nagging at me when I know I haven’t done my best, or when I have procrastinated to the point of crisis. These days when I lose sleep it is most often because I am behind on something, and it is something that I shouldn’t be behind on because there was plenty of time to get it right.
When I know that I have done all that I can do, when I am as up to date on my work and commitments as possible, then my mind rests easy, even when the thunderheads of deadlines loom, and even when those deadlines might go unmet. That is because in those times I know that I have put forth my best effort. I know that I am not rationalizing my performance with excuses. I know that what I have done will pass the test even if the deadline isn’t met.
Today my reflection is on those things that keep me awake at night. Today I am thinking about what thunder may be on the horizon, and whether I have done all that I can so that my mind can rest easily.
Writer’s note – This is the 401st entry on Just some thoughts I have… When I started this blog nearly 2 years ago, I had no idea where it would take me. I knew that I longed to write, and that there were some thoughts I had that someone might find interesting. When I posted the quote for November 22, I was reminded by word press that it was the 400th time I had posted. Stay tuned. This 365 project will be wrapping up on December 31 of this year. I am starting to formulate plans for how I want this blog to evolve next year, and for years to come.