Do you remember tetherball?
Even for a playground sport, tetherball is completely inane. It is a ball. Attached to a pole. By a string. Because of its simplicity, too, I think it lends itself well to so many worldly metaphors. Life is like tetherball: the taller guy always wins, the endless pursuit of balls and poles, a game that just keeps going over and over and over. I don't know.
When we were thirteen, my friend Jennifer and I came up with 100 metaphors for Romeo and Juliet's doomed love affair. I don't remember why, exactly--maybe just to flex our infinite creative sides, or perhaps to prove that Shakespeare wasn't really all that complex and deep.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that when life gets really overwhelming and/or confusing, it is always nice to try and reduce the clutter down to a simple metaphor or even a lovely cliché. It just seems so much more manageable. I could really use something like that right now. Maybe it is as simple as: the end of the year is always a time for reflection.