I Want to Hold Your Hand

12.12.21

A few years ago, when Linda and I got together, we often went to bed around the same time. We got into the habit of falling asleep facing each other and holding hands. It was a sweet routine, one we both liked. It was comforting to us, and our already considerable closeness deepened.

Things gradually changed, particularly when COVID hit and my early work hours became even earlier. It wasn’t practical for Linda to go to bed as early as I had to, so the nighttime hand-holding ceased. Currently, I’m not going to work quite as early as I was a year ago, and some nights, she’ll go to bed when I do, though she’s often still reading when I go to sleep.

A couple of nights ago, I had had a particularly bad day, starting with an episode at work. In addition to that, the workload was very light, so the extremely boring work that I usually do was replaced by an uber-monotonous ongoing task that I was given to do months ago when there wasn’t anything else to do. This was after that talk with my boss where he revealed that he had seen the first post about how much I hated my boring job. This task was, apparently, his way of saying, “You think you’re bored now, just wait!”

Well, I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before, and it all hit me in such a way that left me open for other garbage to pour in. I started feeling worthless due to my lack of success at finding another job. As I’m prone to depression, that ended up being the result.

Linda understands depression very well, and she did and said all the right things. It didn’t just go away, but she got me redirected onto the road to recovery.

One thing we talked about was the discussion we had the day before with our financial adviser. He worked out some very conservative projections, looking at our various accounts, and he determined that, financially, we’re going to be just fine in Portugal.

According to his projections, we’ll be able to live a very good life over there. In fact, considering the cost of living there, we’ll probably be able to live a somewhat more extravagant life than what appeals to either of us. We’re pretty simple people.

My dream is to live in an old, historic village or neighborhood. Once I’ve gotten out of the outside job routine and turned my alarm off permanently, I’ll start sleeping later, so perhaps I’ll awake to the sunrise. We’ll have a routine where we get up and walk to a local coffee shop. Depending on the coffee shop and the route, maybe we’ll take the dogs with us.

Faro, Portugal Faro, Portugal

In time, we’ll become regulars there. The owner and employees will know us, and we’ll just relax over a leisurely breakfast with coffee or tea, perhaps visiting with them or with other regulars.

When we’ve had all the breakfast and chitchat we want, we’ll leave and wander around, perhaps doing a little window shopping (or real shopping), as we gradually make our way back toward home. On the way, we’ll stop at a local grocery to pick up whatever fresh veggies, fruit and fish we’ll need for the day.

Back at home, I’ll open up my computer and write for a bit while Linda gives a few music lessons. When evening rolls around, perhaps we’ll go back out, to explore the area at night. (I’ll be able to do that because I won’t have to get up at 3:00 a.m. the next morning.)

Well, a couple of nights ago, after that bad day, I woke up at 12:00. (Midnight, unfortunately, not noon.) All the crap of the previous day was swirling around in my head, but so was the stuff that Linda and I had talked about. And I started picturing that perfect dream life.

One of the times I rolled over, as my body refused to go back to sleep, Linda reached over and took my hand. We just lay there for quite a while, hand-in-hand, and my thoughts calmed down.

I never did go back to sleep, but I got up a little more ready to face the day. And it was a decent enough day. Work was tolerable, with no contentious episodes. Our discussion the day before had put things in perspective, and I have a brighter outlook now.

I have to keep that dream life in mind, picturing it whenever things get tough. I don’t know that the dream will come true to the letter, but it’s something to work toward.

And I look forward to holding hands with Linda as we fall asleep in Portugal.