By Sun Lee Chang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The Rat occupies a special place as the first animal in the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. In the Rat, ambition and desire are tempered by a recognition of the realities of any given situation. With planning and cunning, the Rat is able to prevail where others would not.
Of the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water associated with the Chinese zodiac, 2020 will be the Year of the Metal Rat. The Metal Rat will prove to be resilient in the face of adversity. The Metal Rat prefers to be at the top and, when occupying that position, are surprisingly generous. That said, the Rat may forgive a slight, but never forgets.
The Rat strives for balance, but it can take time to achieve it. Just enough is often not enough for the Rat who wants more than what has been acquired. When important lessons are learned, however, the Rat truly takes it to heart.
There is no shortage of celebrities and artists born in past years of the Rat, which include Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Garner, Antonio Banderas, Bono, and Claude Monet. The creative side of the Rat is on full display under those born under this charming and dynamic zodiac animal.
Despite the uncertainty that characterized parts of the preceding year, those who commit to solid preparation and follow-through should find themselves doing quite well in the Year of the Rat. To help you chart your course in 2020, here is what lies ahead in the areas of work and love in the Year of the Metal Rat.
Waiting for a clear endgame before choosing sides? The scene will unfold very differently depending on what you pick.
Work: The ability to adjust quickly is one of your strengths. That includes embracing new technology if it helps your business.
Love: You place a high value on independence, but some level of collaboration is necessary for a successful partnership.
Guided by a gentle spirit, you are nonetheless ferocious in advocating for something you feel strongly about.
Work: If you are lucky enough to have a second bite at the apple, don’t make the same mistakes twice.
Love: There is no reason to debate every point you disagree with. Remember that it’s not always about proving who is right.
Naturally resourceful, you can usually find what you are lacking. When you have plenty, set aside reserves for the future.
Work: In order to avoid overextending yourself, limit your promises to what you can reasonably deliver.
Love: For a genuine connection, you must be willing to invest the time to really get to know who you are with.
In order to reach your full potential, you need to feel secure in your position. Care should be taken to build a strong foundation.
Work: Your skills are obvious to all, but yourself. Don’t underestimate what you bring to the table.
Love: Do you feel you are contributing more than you are receiving? Before resentment sets in, open a dialogue.
Changing old habits can be difficult, but with persistence, a new normal should begin to take shape.
Work: You have no shortage of ideas buzzing around in your head. Once you pick one, it’s full speed ahead.
Love: A fresh perspective could do a world of good for you. Carve out some time to re-energize and reconnect.
Your intentions are above reproach, but your methods could leave a bit to be desired. Seek input if others are involved.
Work: An effective leader models what they want to inspire. Be willing to share your weaknesses and strengths.
Love: Determined to make the most of what you have? Simply be in the moment with the one you love.
In your enthusiasm, practicalities could be overlooked. Organization is key to maximizing your chances for success.
Work: About to reach the benchmarks that you set for yourself? Set your sights higher, by moving the bar up.
Love: Are you finding that excitement can be overrated? Seek someone who has their feet firmly on the ground.
This is not the year to be fickle. Brushing indecision aside, pick the best available option and stick to it.
Work: Confident by nature, you aren’t afraid to go out on a limb. Heed the advice and warnings offered to you.
Love: Even if you are pressured for more than you are willing to give, it is your prerogative to proceed at your own pace.
You are adept at identifying opportunities to advance. If you are ready to act on it, there is much to be gained.
Work: Don’t let criticism bring you down. Instead, use it as a basis to improve your already stellar game.
Love: Your directness might not be so well received. Use tact and sensitivity to deliver your message.
As a general rule, you disdain too many restrictions. You prefer a free and open environment to excel.
Work: You have a flair that is all your own. Your unique touch sets your work apart from your peers.
Love: Healthy competition can be beneficial, but be careful lest you get too much of a good thing.
A recent wake up call is inspiring you to make significant changes, which should pay off in a big way.
Work: There is no substitute for regular practice. To get ahead, you must pay your dues upfront.
Love: Tired of the same old excuses? Put your foot down and stand by what you have laid out previously.
Compared to what has preceded it, this should be a relatively stable year with few surprises.
Work: Experience has taught you to look for a pattern, as it will help you to anticipate your competitor’s next move.
Love: There are no guarantees in the arena of love. Don’t expect to get back exactly what you put in.
What’s your animal sign?
Rat 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
Ox 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Tiger 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Rabbit 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Dragon 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Snake 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Horse 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Goat 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Monkey 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Rooster 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Dog 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Pig 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
*The year ends on the first new moon of the following year. For those born in January and February, please take care when determining your sign.