Considered a lucky creature, the Year of the Rat is seen as a prime time for self-renewal, hard work and new opportunities.
Yup, that fits.
The rat is replacing the pig, and from Chinese Astrology: Exploring the Eastern Zodiac by Shelly Wu I found:
As the last sign of the zodiac, the Pig represents "resignation" accepting human nature as it is - content to live and let live.
Yup, we've had a bit of that, too.
January was a very rough month for us, and, at least so far, February hasn't been a whole lot easier. I think things are getting better, but after all that has happened, it's hard to feel sure of anything right now. Have we seen the worst? I certainly hope so, but I really don't know.
I am, however, ready to embrace the philosophy expressed by the Year of the Rat. We could use some new opportunities, and I have never been afraid of hard work.