… but first a WARNING!
TURN THE VOLUME DOWN A BIT!
I’m a Dog! It’s my Chinese Zodiac sign, which as you probably know is the Sign for 2018 as well. What you may not know, is that each 12 years the element of the Zodiac animal sign changes as well. In my birth year, 1958, it was the Earth Dog, and because there’s a 60 year cycle to that elemental rotation, 2018 is also an Earth Dog year!
… I’m hoping that means this is going to be a great one for me!
Here’s what may be in store for us from the start of the Chinese New Year today…
Mark your turf—but play well with others.
Dog years can make everyone a lot more territorial, and having a safe haven to call our own is a must in 2018. Home sales (and prices) will continue to trend up in many markets—and, by extension, so will the popularity of shelter blogs, home decor shows and Instagram interior decorators. With the earth element ruling in 2018, go green with your selections. Now’s the time for owners to invest in renewable energy solutions like solar and wind. Planting gardens and trees can also cleanse the air while improving curb appeal.
“Insta-BFFs and Facebook faux-friending will go the way of the dinosaur in 2018. As anyone who has unleashed their pet at a dog park can attest, canines have a systematic getting-to-know-you process.”
With xenophobia on a continued rise, however, this border patrolling can be a double-edged sword. As protective pups bark at any random who crosses our property line, we can also grow unnecessarily suspicious of our good-willed neighbors. The challenge in 2018 will be setting healthy boundaries without erecting immovable walls. That said, the world can be a dangerous place and the question remains: How on-guard do we legit need to be? The Dog has an idea: Put people through the sniff test before allowing them into your pack. Insta-BFFs and Facebook faux-friending will go the way of the dinosaur in 2018. As anyone who has unleashed their pet at a dog park can attest, canines have a systematic getting-to-know-you process. Before they romp and play, they bark at each other, growl and, yes, get a whiff of each other’s most private parts.
Metaphorically, the Year of the Earth Dog requires a similar meet- and-greet strategy. Can we open up and show our most vulnerable sides to each other? That level of transparency could be considered crass, but in 2018, being “too real” can be a huge trust-builder. It’s kind of like the children’s book Everyone Poops, which was written with the intent of normalizing a bodily function that’s considered rather embarrassing— unless, of course, you’re a dog. This creature’s excretory habits are the most publicly observed and accepted. While we’re not suggesting you cop a squat on a city sidewalk, 2018 is the year for people to get honest and stop acting like their s**t don’t stink.
Keep calm and canine on.
More than almost any other emotion, dogs have a keen ability to sense fear. And during the Year of the Earth Dog, we can be easily riled, especially in the face of uncertainty. Politicians, bullies, and even trusted media sources that rely on clicks for revenue, can rile up the fear factor. A sanity saver? Create a grounding practice that utilizes the earth element. This can be as basic as a 30-minute morning walk or leaning against a tall tree for its stalwart support.
Dial down angst-inducing stimulants like caffeine and sugar, and reach for natural snacks like raw nuts, apple wedges and healthy proteins. Turn off news alerts and only check world events at set times so you aren’t sent into a panic spiral every time a “breaking headline” posts. Bring this digital detox to your bedroom and invest in a legit alarm clock instead of sleeping with your mobile phone on your nightstand.
Alpha males and tough bitches.
As the Year of the Fire Cock turns over to the Year of the Earth Dog, will we see more Alpha male antics? Ugh, we’re afraid so. We have one more year of law and order ideology and scary dog-whistling politics to weather before the hedonistic Earth Boar shakes it up in 2019.
But 2018 comes with a warning label: Don’t mess with the bitches! The Dog is associated with Western astrology’s Libra, the sign of equality and justice. The age-old, imbalanced power dynamics between men and women will continue to raise hackles in 2018. Domineering types who use their stature to intimidate, control and abuse the pack could be locked out of the doghouse (and perhaps penned up in the Big House). The feminist revolution of 2018 might even reclaim the word “bitch” (perhaps bedazzled on a choker) as the upleveled pussy hat. Designers, you heard it here first.
I’m off to celebrate with a BBQ Beef and noodles stir-fry …
Happy Earth Dog New Year to YOU!