It’s about 2:30 in the morning as I write this. The house is quiet and I can’t sleep, so it’s time to write a little.
Every once in a while, I’ll get this horrible night of insomnia where sleep just doesn’t come. It happens maybe once a month and it’s happened since I was a little kid. I’ll end up staying up most of the night – or, sometimes, all night long.
I’m writing this article just outside of the two bedrooms in our home. In one room, my wife is asleep, and my three children are asleep in the other room. I can hear one or the other of them stirring a bit every once in a while.
They’re sleeping peacefully. For the most part, they don’t have any deep fears about tomorrow.
My wife goes to sleep knowing that we’re in good financial shape, that we can pay our bills, that we’re insured, and that we’re saving for retirement and our other big goals. If she were to lose her job or something else were to happen, we would survive just fine for quite a while. She knows that her marriage is stable and secure and that someone who loves her deeply has her back.
My children go to sleep knowing that they have two parents who love them, a stable roof over their heads, and food on the table when they’re hungry.
All of them sleep peacefully without worry. I usually do, too.
To protect and encourage this peaceful sleep, we’re constantly making choices. None of us have every material item that we could long for. We drive old, used cars. We have a house where all three of our children share one bedroom. We all have low-cost hobbies.
For some, it might be a boring life, but each day is filled with things that I enjoy doing, things that make me happy, and things that fill me with pride and contentment.
The reward for these choices? Peaceful sleep. Fewer arguments and disagreements. Low-stress days.
As I sit here, I hear almost complete silence in our house. No tossing and turning. No bad dreams. I hear the quiet of good sleep and peaceful dreams.
It’s one of the best rewards of all for the choices we’ve made.
I think I’ll go make myself a cup of warm milk with some nutmeg in it and see if I can join them in their slumber.