It’s the season of short days and long drives, and through my windshield the bare, black limbs of the trees look like bony claws, scratching away against a low, ashen sky.
It will be dark soon.
There’s not much business to drum up in the waning days before Christmas so I’ve been tinkering with the back end of the website some, filling next year’s calendar, doing the long math of the entrepreneur after the sun goes hastily down. But the news cycle always provides — this year with a flurry of election filings after our new Congressional districts took hold. And, of course, our nation’s travails in the capital, where on Tuesday the House formally resolved to impeach the president.
This too, will end by and by.
In the meantime, I’m trying to dial it back. We’re getting the home fires lit for a long holiday stretch, one of a dwindling few before all of these kids are gone from the house. Plans are settling — gatherings, performances, tasks, rides — and lists are being made. Perhaps we’ll check everything off before Christmas dinner.
The news business thrives on pressure: deadlines, cycles, the cost of making a mistake out there on the live, high wire. Spend too much time submerged in it, and you become like one of those dense, ugly fish that live in the very bottom of the ocean; if they swim too close to the surface where the water pressure is lower, they’ll explode.
I’m pulling back by reading fewer newspapers and watching more Netflix, being more social, taking the long way to the office and heading home before it gets too dark. Another week of this, and I might even get to have a few proper days off.
Can’t get too close to the surface, though. Holiday season or no, there will be news in the coming weeks — the last few days of December are classic for controversial information dumps — and then there’s a four-year election to deal with; campaigning has already begun.
Soon enough the days will grow longer.