2021 Year of the Ox

happy new year 2021—i think?

Has 2021 started off with a bang, or is it a continuation of 2020?

Two clever Facebook posts I saw on January 8:

  1. “Get back on your side of the line, 2020—I see you trying to sneak in here.”
  2. “I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021. I’ve experienced the free 7-day trial, and I’m not interested.”

Well, you could consider that the Lunar New Year doesn’t happen until February 12th this year, so perhaps the turmoil is just a continuation…?

2020 was a Rat year, which supposedly signifies renewal and opportunity. It may feel as though this is a joke, but there are those of us who do view it that way, pandemic and all. 2021 (starting on February 12) is an Ox year, and it’s up to the hardworking Ox to complete what was started in the Rat year.

I like to think about it this way: 2020 unequivocally exposed a lot of problems we have been ignoring in this country—not just for the past four years but the past two and a half centuries. Our systems of health care, education, labor, and justice (to name just a few) are outdated, clunky, and have never served everyone—thereby never serving anyone, really. We now know better, and we’re morally obligated to do better.

The politics, pandemic, economic fallout, and violence of 2020 have made it pretty hard to ignore what has been, for some, ignore-able until now—irrespective of where you stand politically.

And yet, many of us are just hanging on, waiting for things to “get back to normal,” pinning our hopes on a vaccine and/or a change in administration. Poor Joe Biden has big shoes to fill if we think he’s Superman.

In my opinion, it’s like waiting for the clock and the calendar to shift from 11:59pm on December 31, 2020 to 12:00am (or is it 12:01am) on January 1, 2021—as though everything will be magically be re/solved when that happens.

the year ahead

Well, the clock and the calendar have shifted, and apparently Superman isn’t coming to save us. If you are pinning your hopes on January 20, 2021, let me know how that works out for you.

It’s time to take a close look at what we know now and apply it to righting the wrongs of the past—whether it’s on a national scale, a local one, or the hyperlocal place of the bodies we inhabit. What if we can change the health of our country/our community/ourselves? Why not put in the work rather than wait for a silver bullet? When can we get started?

Time is going to march on, and as someone who loves control and doesn’t have a strong level of comfort with ambiguity, I’m looking forward to the “plodding” work of an Ox year, work that has some clear intentions, goals, and objectives and moves in (more or less) a straight line.

make the connection in 2021

For me, 2020 in some ways really did have the chaotic energy of a rat, skittering from place to place. So much so that the last time I lay down on a bodyworker’s table and sighed, “I just feel out of whack,” she exclaimed, “Well no wonder! Your body’s all zigzaggy!”

I love that new adjective and plan to add it to my list of words-that-should-be-in-the-dictionary-but-aren’t-yet.

If you’re feeling a bit zigzaggy about your health—you’ve tried every new workout, diet, detox there is, you’ve tried waiting until Monday/the first of the month/the first of the year, and nothing’s working—maybe it’s time to stop skittering around like a rat and start moving forward steadily, like an ox?

If you’re ready to get really clear on your intentions for your health and you are looking for support in moving (slowly and steadily) toward them in 2021, here’s how to get started—and yes, some of the offerings are free, so you can think of them as that free trial period.

[Image by AnnaliseArt for Pixabay]