By Sun Lee Chang
Northwest Asian Weekly
After the trials and tribulations of 2020, it is with cautious optimism that we look at the Year of the Ox. The second of 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Ox began on Feb. 12. The ever-hardworking Ox is the epitome of perseverance and gains through steadfast commitment to its goals.
In addition to the animals of the Chinese zodiac, each year is associated with one of five elements. They are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. This year is the Year of the Metal Ox. Metal signifies fortitude and strength. While Oxen are generally associated with the element of earth, it works in harmony with the element of metal. One would do well to focus on the basic foundations this year to support what may come.
The Ox is nothing if not pragmatic and any grand ideas are tempered by the need to get things done. There is a natural rhythm and logic to the way Oxen operate, from which others can find solace and comfort.
It is not surprising that Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, George Clooney, Princess Diana, Meryl Streep, and Jane Fonda were all born in the Year of the Ox. Whether you agree with them or not, each rose to the challenge in their chosen fields or roles and were all strong advocates for causes they believed in.
As you make your way through the Year of the Metal Ox, there will be no shortage of purpose. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by the sum total of things to be done. Instead, take one task or goal at a time and keep the following in mind as a guide to the year ahead in work and love.
As much as you yearn for the familiarity of old routines, there are some old habits that should be left behind.
Work: There could be a better way to do what you have been doing. A small change could translate into higher profits.
Love: Don’t put yourself in the position of having to make up ground. Be attentive to preventable missteps.
Rather than dwelling on what is immutable, channel your energy into finding workable solutions.
Work: An unexpected opportunity could be opening up for you soon. If you accept it, establish a clear timetable for completion.
Love: It is easy to fall into a predictable pattern. Mix it up once in a while to the delight of your partner.
Major milestones are few and far between, so celebrate the little victories along the way.
Work: You have high hopes for the future, but that should not be a substitute for solid research and planning.
Love: While you do many things together with your partner, make time to pursue individual interests.
Veer away from an all or nothing approach. Center yourself by finding a balance between your priorities.
Work: Though your caution can save you from unnecessary risk, there are instances where it is worth taking a chance.
Love: Drifting in different directions? Look for ways to bridge the gap or find points of connection.
When you do something, you want to do it right. However, be wary of the costs of achieving perfection.
Work: Settling into a new or additional role? Your strong communication skills will inspire confidence in your leadership.
Love: Resist the urge to prejudge the situation. If you listen, you could discover there is much more to the story.
Once you pick a side, you are reluctant to deviate from it. Don’t ignore evidence that is contrary to your position.
Work: Quick to read the situation for what it is, you should be an able navigator as you rely on your considerable experience.
Love: While you are hesitant about sharing your vulnerabilities, it is a necessary step to building trust.
You can talk a good game, but it is your actions that ultimately will show where you really stand.
Work: While it is important to get the job done, how you go about it could also factor into future opportunities.
Love: Have you finally met your match? Although your inclination is to rush in, there is value in taking it slow.
Did you come full circle on your journey? There is net gain if you arrive with a new understanding.
Work: You are not defined by your limitations. Instead, you would do well to let your creative side flow free.
Love: Independent by nature, you’re at your best when given room to grow. A good relationship will let you do so.
Has your social life been on hold recently? To connect with others, you may need to adjust how you interact.
Work: If you want to stay above the fray, don’t allow yourself to get entangled in petty politics.
Love: You know how to bring out the best in those around you, but do allow yourself to shine as well.
Has your directness landed you in hot water in the past? Some things are better left unsaid.
Work: Despite the pressures around you, it is beneficial to proceed at your own pace. Steady progress is your game.
Love: Beware of outward appearances. How someone presents themselves won’t necessarily reflect what is in their heart.
A long-held burden could soon be lifted off your shoulders, prompting you to make a significant change for the better.
Work: Sometimes there is no point of reference to start from. In that case, you must make your own rules.
Love: Does it seem like you’re operating from a different playbook? Stop playing games and be honest about how you feel.
You are one to meet the moment rather than to shy away. Such boldness will not go unrewarded.
Work: An astute observer, you look at a problem from all angles. Take a step back if you are looking too closely.
Love: Filling in the blanks with guesses is far from ideal. Take the time to ask the questions that interest you.
Sun can be reached at email@example.com.
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, 2021
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.