Bonnie Bing

Without real work, resolutions are more of a fantasy

Wow, it’s February already? If the rest of the year goes as fast as January, you folks who still have your Christmas lights up might as well leave them up. (I’m kidding. Get that stuff put away.)

Another question: After a month, how are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? After I wrote the column in late December about not making resolutions, I received a copy of a commentary written by psychologist John E. Valusek. It ran in The Wichita Eagle on Jan. 1, 1996. Needless to say his opinions are more scientific than mine, and certainly right on the mark. He wrote that most of us make our resolutions impulsively. We don’t think it through. “Therefore, they are more likely to be the stuff of dreams, not realities – they are wishes and wants without substance – they represent fantasies, not actualities,” he wrote.

Let’s remember, however, that some people do think it through and they are successful with their resolution or the goals they set any time during the year. But Valusek says that’s only possible if we are “willing to involve ourselves and accept major responsibility for all of our choices and all of the consequences that go with them.”

There it is! That’s the problem. Most of us don’t like change in the first place and it’s not easy to blame ourselves, and only ourselves, for failure. He also writes, “The human animal is the only animal capable of choosing how we will be behave under any given circumstance – no matter how good or bad that circumstance might be.”

Well, this female human animal isn’t doing great on her main goal, so I’d better quit counting on magic, big wishes and good luck and start putting out the effort it will take to make a change.

Happy Heart Day – Don’t forget Friday is Valentine’s Day. A lot of people have fun, funny, and sometimes sad stories about Valentine’s Day. Years ago I got a letter from a reader, Wanda Smith, who shared a funny story. Her sister Gloria was 7 years old when she received a homemade valentine from a young man named Stanley. He inscribed it with a toothpick using milk instead of ink so that a lighted match held beneath the paper would reveal the message, “Your my girl.” (Who needs “you’re” when it comes to love.) Well, the match got too close so the paper went up in flames. But that didn’t stop Gloria from sending Stanley a construction paper heart signed, “Your interesting friend.” She meant to write, “Your interested friend.” Wanda says by fourth grade, the hot romance had flickered out. “Too much smoke and fire,” she said.

Come Friday, eat some chocolate, give someone you love a kiss and have a happy Valentine’s Day.