Happy Chinese New Year! According to one story, The Buddha invited all the animals to join him for a party, and twelve of them answered his call. The Chinese zodiac represents the order in which the animals appeared. Having tricked the kind and generous ox, the rat arrived first as they all raced to cross the last river. The poor ox was second, the rooster third, and so on down the line.
Having left the year of the rat behind, we are now entering the year of the ox. According to the Chinese zodiac, ox people are supposed to be "unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint." Unfortunately, many of the predictions, both zodiac and real world, are saying that this will be a year filled with hardships. The good news is that these are supposed to be hardships of the economic, and not personal, kind. Supposedly, the ox's greatest pleasure is spending quiet time at home with family and friends after a good day's work. Maybe this is just the ticket to finding happiness and success in 2009.