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The Year of the Ox. The Patient, Steady Worker

The Year of the Ox. The Patient, Steady Worker

by Mary Clymer on February 16, 2021

We welcome in the Lunar New Year with a reminder of Where our Community is Headed. 

This past Friday February 12th marked the Lunar New Year. Typically this time of year is met with a lot of community gatherings. A time for many asian cultures to travel to celebrate with family and community. This year because of restrictions things looked a little different. 

Throughout the weekend you could still find activities throughout Chinatowns International District including the famous lion dance. But most events, like all things, went virtual this year. 

The Lunar New Year is a time in many Asain communities to celebrate the coming together of families. It also marks new beginnings as the first new moon of the year goes into its cycle. This year is the year of the OX. The second zodiac symbol of 12 that rotates through the years. The OX represents persistence. An honest and hard working animal. The year of the Ox reminds us to work hard, stay true to your word, and know your boundaries. 

This is a great reminder after a year where so many struggled. A year that forced us to look at our lives in a new way and reevaluate what is important. The year of the Ox reminds us to stay on course and be a person of value. 

This moves right inline with our longing to speed things along and get back to the benefits of in-person communication, extracurricular activities, and work environments, not to mention getting the kids back into the classroom. But like the Ox, we are reminded to stay focused on the prize, which really is to do this all safely and not at the risk of those in our community. 

With King County now in the new guidelines that is phase 2, we see high emotions as business owners are cautiously reopening with the fear that setbacks will close their doors again at any time. 

Mental health and the prolonged effects of isolation are a concern for us all. The Ox reminds us that we must not rush the process. 

We all have a risk tolerance we are willing to take depending on our personal circumstances. 

This could be health issues or a work environment that put us at a higher risk. Keeping each other safe has taken its toll and the benefits we get from in-person contact are missed. 

As we slowly move out of a lock-down state and restrict ease, we will each need to weigh the pros and cons for ourselves, our families, and our community. Everyday we take calculated risks, and this should be no different. 

Many of us have spent the last year in a tight covid-bubble. Seeing only the same 5-10 people and being anxious about being in a closed space with more that 10 people at a time. Others are ready to get out there and socialize more. While you may be eager to get back to the gym or feel more productive at the office, others may not. 

Each position has it’s valid remarks. Wherever you are on the spectrum it is wise to remember that not everyone feels the same and it is our duty as community members to respect each other's personal space. 

Getting out to a restaurant or retail store to support your local economy is one thing. Putting the staff's health at risk while doing so is another. 

We are all feeling fragile in some way because of this isolation period, and getting back to close encounters may take time. 

Life is a balance and the Ox reminds us that steady forward motion is the duty of this proud yet modest worker. 

Oxes are diligent, dependable, and determined. These faithful creatures are patient and realize goals are achieved by a consistent effort. 

Let this year of the Ox remind us that we are headed in the right direction. If we are going to keep the course then we must ensure that everyone is alive to enjoy these activities with us. 

Many business owners are in a tough spot right now deciding whether or not it is right for them to open their doors. Just because restricts say 25% capacity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for them. Please be patient and know that they too are looking to make the right choice. 

You are not going to like every decision being made right now, but stay steady as everyone is figuring out the best route for the most amount of people. It’s new territory for us all. 

I encourage you to stay in touch with your community while we remain physically apart. Understand where your neighbors and friends are at in this unique time. Soon enough we'll gather at our favorite watering hole swapping tales of 2020 dread, but for now let’s take on the strength of the Ox and ease into each phase with caution. 

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