The piece "Obama After Dark: The Precious Hours Alone" in The New York Times, gives you a small glimpse into the demanding work that is required by a sitting president, where long hours in the office and lack of sleep seem to be something ordinary.
There is time, too, for fantasy about what life would be like outside the White House. Mr. Emanuel, who is now the mayor of Chicago but remains close to the president, said he and Mr. Obama once imagined moving to Hawaii to open a T-shirt shack that sold only one size (medium) and one color (white). Their dream was that they would no longer have to make decisions.
During difficult White House meetings when no good decision seemed possible, Mr. Emanuel would sometimes turn to Mr. Obama and say, "White." Mr. Obama would in turn say, "Medium."
Now Mr. Obama, who has six months left of solitary late nights in the Treaty Room, seems to be looking toward the end. Once he is out of the White House, he said in March at an Easter prayer breakfast in the State Dining Room, "I am going to take three, four months where I just sleep."
Image credit: Photography by Callie Shell.