Alex Balk's New Year's Resolution

Me, this year

I was walking over to The Awl offices this morning and I passed by a dad and his little boy who were walking in the opposite direction. The boy, who couldn’t have been more than four or five, was jumping up and down and yelling, “School day! School day!”

My first thought was, “Oh, you poor thing. That’ll change.” My second, almost simultaneous thought, was, “Jesus Christ, you cynical sonofabitch, give it a rest. When’s the last time you were that excited about anything? When’s the last time any of your joys were so uncomplicated, so direct, so purely expressed?”

I am not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions or the like. I think that after a certain point you are pretty much locked into who you are, and any attempt at self improvement is both misguided and dangerously self-indulgent. But you know what? I’m going to try to make 2010 the year where I’m a lot more like that little boy than not. I mean, sure, we all know that life is really a tireless slog to the tomb where the very brief pleasures we take upon the way are illusory moments of bliss meant to blind us to the meaningless struggle of existence, but even with all that, I’m going to try to pretend otherwise. Because who knows, maybe once or twice it’ll actually work. Anyway, Happy New Etc. It’s gotta be better than the last one, right?