Sunday, February 1, 2009

Strong like Ox

This year, we celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year, the year of the Ox, with family, lavishing the house with red decorations and ordering in exotic Chinese dishes. Unlike the new year of the Gregorian calendar, where I often contemplate making new years resolutions, with the arrival of the Chinese new year, I wondered whether my alter persona, The Rooster was according to the Chinese zodiac, compatible with the rural life. A bit of winter whimsy? Perhaps. But you may find what I discovered somewhat interesting. I know I did.

I decided to relate the traits of an Ox to the year ahead and I discovered that Oxen believe the way to success is paved with hard work; no short cuts allowed. Anyone who doesn't believe in an honest day's work will never have their respect. Okay, I can certainly live with that. I'm under no delusion that by the end of the summer, hard work will be my middle name and I'm fully expecting to expend every muscle in my body this year between gardening, painting and other odd jobs where my husband may require an audience.

As I continued on, I discovered Oxen also prefer life-long bonding rather than short-term friendships. This shy rooster certainly needs time to feel comfortable and be herself in any type of relationship; I do truly appreciate those friendships that have endured over the years. As for my relationship with this house, well I'm definitely in this for the long haul and everyone who helped us move is holding me to that. In fact, at the end of moving day, I don't think any of them would leave without me signing a declaration to that effect in blood.

Things continued to improve when next I read, "Home is where Oxen go to seek comfort, occasionally watching television or reading. They prefer the rural outdoors and spend the majority of their “home” time working in the garden or caring for the yard." Bingo! It seems the traits of this new year and my plans are so in sync, you would think I was an Ox myself.

Then it was my turn. "The Rooster symbolizes such character traits as confidence, pompousness and motivation." Well motivation is a good thing. Once the snow has disappeared for good and the real chores get started, I'm going to need all the motivation I can muster and I'll certainly need confidence with a rototiller. What's hard to swallow is that I can easily envision my pompous self taking on more than I can chew this year.

I continued on to uncover that, "Roosters are loyal and trustworthy but are also blunt when it comes to offering their opinions. Their bluntness stems not from being mean but from being honest; a trait which Roosters expect from others." Still reeling from being thought of as pompous, I was now dealing with bluntness. Well, I'm not one of those types who can easily read between the lines. Say what you mean and mean what you say is my motto, with enough tact not to hurt any one's feelings.
Not one to give up too quickly, I plodded on. "Extremely organized and detail-oriented, Earth Roosters are excellent at multi-tasking. They’re motivated by success, and set high standards that they expect others to follow. These expectations of others can lead to animosity so Earth Roosters need to adopt a more subtle approach." Hhmm, well, I can honestly say I've been working on that. Why just tonight, as the dishwasher was running after sitting full of dirty dishes all day long, there were no accusations tossed out, about sabotaging my evening plans for a load of laundry or a scrub in the tub for our son. I merely stated the facts of what I could no longer do. Uh-oh! I guess that's where the bluntness comes in! I guess I better work on those skills a little more or it could be a very long summer.

"Roosters are extremely sociable and prefer being the center of attention, always bragging about themselves and their accomplishments. They continually seek the unwavering attention of others which can be annoying." This is where I drew the line. Anyone who knows me, knows that description certainly doesn't befit me. I must be the rooster who was the runt of the hen house because this girl is nothing but a wallflower. Perhaps with age, maybe I have become more of an attention seeker; I did just start a blog after all. This description is looking less flattering the further I delve but I never have been one who is smart enough to quit while they are ahead.

I also discovered that "Roosters are as proud of their homes as they are of themselves. They’re extremely organized individuals as evidenced by the fact that their homes are always neat." Guilty as charged. My husband will never be able to make the bed or cut a grapefruit to my satisfaction and it annoys me to no end that no one else in my family has noticed that everything has it's place, and that that place is where I put it. Okay, so I'm probably not the easiest person to live with but I am a Rooster and there is no where else a rooster longs to be except at home on the farm keeping their family on track - from the break of dawn.

One final note, apparently Roosters are most compatible with the Ox. Unfortunately, my husband is a Rat but it looks like this old farm house and I could be at the beginning of a beautiful friendship. As long as I keep my plumage (and tongue) in check.

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