At 4 p.m., it was already getting dark here today. Now, at 5, it's nearly completely dark. I'm sitting here in the dark, looking out at my big, bare oak tree. (Did I ever tell you my oak tree is named Agatha?) Next to me is my tiny Christmas tree. I deliberately bought the tiniest tree on the lot. I paid less than $20 for it! It's lit up now and providing the only light in the room other than the computer screen and the frozen-framed TV, stuck somewhere in the middle of "The Daily Show." We are supposed to get a big snow storm tonight, but nothing's happening yet. I have about 6 important tasks to get done very soon, and the early darkness makes me feel the day is shot way too early. My relationship with deadlines has changed over the years, and now I feel we are much too close -- and yet I cannot break away. I'm in a death spiral with deadlines. Maybe I could do all 6 things in one day if I felt the fear of death breathing down my neck heavily enough. But, for now, there's that strange, deep gray of the sky and the frozen TV show and the dots of light on the tree making me feel that nothing can ever happen, that time will never inch forward. And what are these ephemeral tasks? What can they possibly be?
Another pre-winter day goes down to defeat.