I guess we shouldn't have been surprised that the Year of the Rat was a rough one. Rats have different meanings in the modern world than when the Chinese zodiac was created more than 2000 years ago, but after all we do live in the modern world! I am hoping for better things in this, the Year of the Ox.
The Ox is a symbol of diligence. hard work, and reliability. That seems at least promising! Things have already begun this way, as I have more orders in February - mostly not due until spring - than I have ever had before. Clearly the sellers of fine handmade items believe this will be a good year. I will need to be diligent, hardworking, and reliable to get these orders out on time. What I will need to avoid is waiting until a month before they are due & then scrambling to do them all at once.
I am doing pretty well with this - yay me - which is, I hate to say, unusual for me. My more typical mode would be to tell myself, Plenty of time, that's still months away! and then go into panicked, 12-hour-workday mode when I realize it's actually only 5 weeks away, barely time for a firing cycle. My plan is to make a couple kiln loads of pots while the weather is wintry, then bisque-glaze-fire, bisque-glaze-fire, 2 firing cycles in succession.
Wishing everyone a successful Year of the Ox.