新年快乐 and welcome, Year of the Metal Ox! The lunar new year began yesterday, the one time of the year that I reliably get a little new age-y, check my horoscope, and read way too much into what it tells me about what lies ahead. I’ve never gone in much for astrology, but the Chinese zodiac interests me. Probably because in this scheme I’m a “Wood Tiger” (active, courageous, up for a challenge, and adventurous) which I like a lot better than the whole Virgo thing: the “disappointed goddess” that seeks (but rarely finds) goodness in humanity, gets stuck in details, is deeply critical, and concerns themselves with matters that no one else seems interested in.
Okay, painfully accurate. But this is about being a Tiger, in this new Year of the Ox. Tigers typically choose stressful careers, are strongly identified with the work that they do, and consequently suffer anxiety. Check, check, and check. My horoscope predicts a “stable” year, in which I may “finally be able to catch a breather,” which sounds great on its surface – but it also recognizes that a lack of excitement and activity may make me feel restless, frustrated, and disappointed. It’s that whole Tiger thing.
Bring it on, Year of the Ox. I’m up for the challenge – of not being challenged. I fully embraced the heavy load of learning and new skill development that the last year required of me at work, and the helpful distraction that overworking provided me during what’s been an exceptionally hard time in the world. But that’s quite enough. I am ready for a break from the intensity, to take my turn at catching my breath, and healing some neglected and strained relationships.
Yesterday I cut out of work by noon, ahead of the long holiday weekend, and in the spirit of the new year spent my afternoon doing nothing other than dropping off an overdue library book. I picked a branch of the county library system I’ve never been to before, and drove myself twenty minutes each way to return a book. One book. I didn’t stop at the grocery store on my way home, pick up a prescription refill at the vet, or get dressed in workout clothes beforehand and squeeze in a quick run while I was out. I enjoyed a nice drive into a part of the county I rarely visit, dropped off my book and walked around the park and community space that surrounds the charming Lincoln Acres branch of the San Diego County Library, and then just enjoyed the drive back home. Maybe not everyone’s definition of indulgence, but it was a perfect hour of rest and pure inefficiency.
This disappointed goddess is tired.