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Finding your fortune in the year of chicken
Many start a new year by making new year resolutions, which often involves dieting, going to the gym or reading a few thick Russian novels. Immediately after Jan 1, gym parking lots are packed. By the start of the lunar new year, often weeks after the western new year day, people would have forgotten about their resolutions. 
The lunar new year, therefore, ushers in an opportunity to resuscitate resolutions. However, we Chinese bypass these resolutions to go directly towards the fortune. Interesting traditions are built around this concept. In the days of scarcity, families do not finish eating their fish on new year eve. The word for fish (yu) sounds the same with the word for abundance or excess (yu). More recently, it is customary to give or grab the “lucky money” on Wechat, an activity that greatly increases the National GDP without significant losses on anyone, hence its popularity.
So how exactly do we improve the chance of a good fortune in the coming year? Having searched for fortune for many years, I may have found some of the secrets, and I would love to crow about it. Sharing brings good fortune.
Work as hard as a chicken hauling wood [1]. Be up with the chicken [2]. The harder you work, the better your fortune. Shake a tail feather [3]. Get moving.
Whatever you do, be fully present, feet-n-feathers [4]. In this age of distraction, remember fortune favors those who are deliberate in everything they do, while passing by those who lowers their heads over their phone screens.
Be positive. Don’t brood over a problem. When life gives you chicken poop[5], fertilize your vegetable garden with it so that you will eventually have chicken salad.
Invest with prudence. Do not put all your eggs in one basket[6], or count your chickens before they hatch[7]. Save for your future.  Well some do so by feathering their nests[8]. Remember, too, that monetary fortune can complicate your lives.  To simply them, you can transfer the complication to me.  I am just that kind!
Be real. Or you will have egg on your face[9]. The chickens will come home to roost[10]. Nothing hurts relationship more than distrust. Poor relationships bring bad fortune.
Make peace, not conflict. Don’t ruffle your feathers [11] or play rooster games [12] by using fighting as your only way of solving a problem. There is plenty of room to do well for yourself without trashing or beating the other guys.
Be tough. Don’t be chicken-hearted [13] when there are difficulties on the path. This is especially relevant for children. We Chinese tend to function like mother hens [14] for our children. However the whole point of parenting is to cultivate independence.  Make ourselves dear but not obnoxiously near. 
Walk the talk. You have to start somewhere. Don’t cackle if you haven’t laid [15]. Can you imagine making an omelet without breaking the egg [16]? Actions speak louder. Just deliver, or you will hear that “the rooster may crow, but the hen lays the eggs!” [17]
Find your pecking order[18]. It is better to be a chicken’s head than an ox’s rear end [19]. Be a big chick in a small coop. For youngsters, it cultivates confidence and satisfaction. Perhaps you should not look for the best possible middle school for your children, but focus more on making the best of the environment they are already in.
Last but not least, rest well. Nothing rejuvenates you like a good rest. In her TED talk, Arianna Huffington asks people to literally sleep their way “to the top”. 
When you are tired, you fuss like an old hen [20]. Well-rested people strut their stuff [21]. Sleep-deprived people are like a chicken with its head cut off [22].
That’s all I have to help you with your fortune. Finding all the chicken phrases has been a challenge, but I didn’t chicken out. Then again, I am no spring chicken. Off to practice tip number 10 now and I wish you all a very happy 2017!
... as a chicken hauling wood:辛苦劳动。
be up with the chicken:起得像鸡早。
shake a tail feather:行动起来。
You can't make chicken salad out of chicken poop:“烂泥扶不上墙”,“朽木不可雕”。
put all your eggs in one basket:投资只选一种策略,孤注一掷。
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch:小鸡没孵出来,就先别数了。八字没一撇的事先别夸口。
feather your nest,也作“featherone’s one nest”: 只顾自己渔利。
egg on your face,或“caught with egg on your face”, 当众出丑。
The chickens will come home to roost:真相会水落石出。
ruffle your feathers:好斗。
play rooster games:争强好斗。
like mother hens:过度保护。
Don’t cackle if you haven’t laid:没下蛋就别打鸣,没成绩就别扯蛋。
You cannot make anomelet without breaking the egg: 鸡蛋不打碎,怎能炒鸡蛋?(千里之行,始于足下)。
The rooster may crow, but the hen lays the eggs! 公鸡打鸣欢,母鸡会下蛋。
pecking order: 座次。
better to be a chicken’s head than an ox’s rear end 宁为鸡头,无为牛后,(中文中的说法,大家多用用,就进入英文了。)
fuss like an old hen:牢骚满腹。
strut their stuff:像公鸡走路一样趾高气扬,说一个人傲慢也可说此人cocky。
a chicken with its head cut off:像鸡没了头一样忙忙乱乱。





1248篇文章 1次访问 4年前更新

安徽桐城人,现居美国,在美国高校从事课程设计工作,业余从事文学翻译,曾译有《河湾》、《一个唯美主义者的遗言》 、《老谋深算》、《万灵节》、《布鲁克林有棵树》、《两个世界之间:赛珍珠传》、《另类的英雄:萨特传》 、《地之国》、《转吧,这伟大的世界》等。他还是多家报刊的撰稿人或专栏作者。 感谢大家来访。除特别说明外,博客文章均属原创,未经授权,谢绝转载 与引用。如商业性网站或者平媒使用,请支付稿酬(联系地址berlinf@yahoo.com,或在文章后留言告知)。 违者将追究法律责任。