New Year of the Rat —meditate on new opportunities

The old calendar fills me with gratitude like a song. Yosa Buson (1716-1783)

New Year Display 2020 Year of the Rat: bowl, ema, temari balls, lacquer box, furashiki

A new year display for the year of the rat, 2020

It’s 11 January, 2020. Surely not too late to contemplate what the Year of the Rat will bring. In Japan the new year begins on 1st January but nation-wide celebrations continue for about ten days. I understand that rats are not only quick and highly intelligent but are capable of playing hide and seek! That makes the rat seem more attractive.

My friend Barbara sent me a photo of this display in her home to mark the start of this new year. All year the display is both a thing of beauty and a reminder of what this particular year may bring — new opportunities. According to the Japan Times,

… the Year of the Rat (2020) is expected to be more about progression and starting a new project with great energy, astrologers say.

That sounds promising and I’ll go with that.

In Japan, every new year inspires thought and action

Yet every new year is highly significant in Japan. The briefest look at the traditions incorporated into my friend’s New Year display shows  how this time of year has a whole nation refreshing and rejoicing and starting anew.

Your new opportunities in the Year of the Rat

I’m excited about 9 new projects on my plate in this Year of the Rat. Obviously that’s too many, but I kind of like it that way. I’m highly incentivised to get cracking and work fast to get them done. How about you? Never mind last year. This year, what is possible?

New Year card, year of the rat

New Year card for 2020, Year of the Rat, painted by Isshu Fujiwara

10 thoughts on “New Year of the Rat —meditate on new opportunities

  1. Damyanti Biswas says:

    9 projects?! Good Luck!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thanks, it’s almost feasible 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I am very relieved that the Year of the Rat doesn’t apply to the leader of my nation! I like the real meaning much better. Thanks.

  3. cedar51 says:

    I’ve nothing set in concrete, like your NINE goal/challenge/whatever. But have it to be the year, I really get into making more books – be it small, medium or a tad bigger. Using as much as possible my own designs on paper (bought paper) with additional other designs, some repeatable whilst others one-off.

    And labelling each book with a theme, even if the theme isn’t exactly inside. I just made a “Dream Log” it’s small, so you can start small approx 4 x 6″ with only 26 pages so if you get unchallenged with noting our dreams, you haven’t wasted a lot of time. I also state that “besides your dreams, you will need a pen…” and sometimes like on my f/b page I added the online art store with a link direct to their markers!

    I’ve created quite a big list of “labels” and that was because I was led to believe late last year, that the “art of handwriting had disappeared, a forgotten art” – then just last week at the art store my favourite assistant said “it’s coming back, including calligraphy but also just make real sensible writing with pens”….

    and then up popped kakeibo … and I’ve had a real good look at that “a meditative way to process and observe your spending habits” which relies entirely on pen and paper…

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I think you’ll enjoy this delightful project.

  4. JT Twissel says:

    My hope this years is to scale down my projects and focus on just a few. Last year I had entirely too many projects going on. The Rat will just have to put up with this worn out Tiger with a Gemini tendency for taking on too much~

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Like it or lump it you old rat!

  5. delphini510 says:

    Rachel, your introduction to the year of the rat makes me re-think the rat. It isn’t the most welcomed animal but seeing the other qualities you describe I will reserve judgement. 🙂
    I thought I had no projects as such but you got me thinking. I have already three holidays planned but not yet booked. An invitation arrived yesterday to a wedding in Amsterdam. Can’t miss that, wonderful nephew and friend. There are other
    solid plans involving the garden and of course writing.

    How far will we get as the year goes?


    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I see many opportunities and new beginnings lined up ahead of you. How exciting!

  6. Jean says:

    The only projects so far, are ones I have to execute/lead at work.

    I come home..putter or go cycling/walking, etc. for now.

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