December 28, 2011 | 08:00 AMCapricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Respecting someone's decision means abiding by it even if you strongly disagree with it. Undermining or contradicting it (secretly or otherwise) is about as disrespectful as you can get, so if you're determined to go that route, do so openly rather than sneakily. You are allowed to speak out against someone's decision while allowing them to make it; just shut up once your point's been made—harping on it won't accomplish anything. Got it? Speak your piece, then either dig in your heels and stick to your guns, or shut up and let things play out. Anything else would just be pointless and annoying.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
People are naughty; by nature, most of us tend to at least occasionally enjoy breaking or bending the rules. It can be thrilling great fun, and very satisfying when those rules are nonsensical or purely arbitrary anyway. Don't be too much of a stickler this week; that's not really the best role for you, and we both know you'll have much more fun flouting authority than sticking up for it. Stand aside or join in, whichever you'd enjoy more. Trying to be the enforcer is just a sad, tedious, and ultimately pointless task; skip it.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Setting boundaries with unreasonable people is no fun; perversely, those are the people who most require them. Therefore, you've got to be courageous and firm, regardless of the drama that may ensue, when illuminating and enforcing the lines you've drawn. This duty rests entirely on your shoulders; no one else is going to step in to make sure you're respected and valued (and even if they did, it wouldn't be worth nearly as much as you doing that for yourself). Let 2012 be the year where hardly anyone steps on your toes—starting right now.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Sometimes the story doesn't play out in a way you find satisfying or pleasing. Loose ends do not necessarily get tied up, villains don't get their comeuppances, and the good people don't come out on top or get rewarded for their virtuous behavior. That's life, which is a far cry from your average movie or novel. However, occasionally you have a chance to at least nudge the tale in the right direction, closer to the conclusion you'd have wished for it—this week is one of those times. In fact, 2012 is likely to be rife with such opportunities. Imagine how wonderfully rich and fulfilling your life will feel if you make a point of taking advantage of them.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
It's funny how something you find tremendously enjoyable could be torturous to someone else. Whether it's attending a cocktail party, watching a football game, or going to a fancy restaurant, one person's bag is another's drag. When you're in a relationship, sometimes you have to just suck it up for the sake of the other person, but occasionally it's nicer to simply accept the other's differences and let them off the hook. That's your best bet right now. Sure, it doesn't fit the story you had in your head, but since that was never actually going to happen, realistically, why not make the best out of the situation at hand?
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Who said you couldn't take a break? You did. Most everyone else would actually like it if you chilled for a bit, because persisting as you have is only likely to make you jaded or burnt out, if it hasn't already. Your dual nature means you'll always see the good and bad in everything, but when your exhausted frustration with the negative aspects of your situation starts to outweigh your sincere appreciation for all the good things in your life, you know you've pushed yourself too far. Since keeping an optimistic, mostly happy outlook on life is the key to success this week (and in general), do what you've got to do to recharge yours—even if that means taking yourself out of the picture for a while.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Many people make the mistake of imagining grand, life-changing New Year's resolutions, ones that would be nearly impossible to live up to. Although aspiring to evolve and change is laudable, I'd counsel you to choose something small but significant that would still have a powerful impact on your day-to-day life. It needn't even be a tremendous challenge to achieve—just something that, for whatever reason, you're not doing already. Taking one huge leap from here to the finish line isn't realistic. Challenging yourself to complete one hundred baby steps that'll get you there just as well—now, that's more like it.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Being honestly authentic means acknowledging that you're not fully evolved and enlightened yet, and yes, you're sometimes downright shallow when it comes to your desires and opinions. Denying what you're actually feeling or thinking isn't necessarily the answer, but consider keeping it to yourself for now, and allowing for (or inventing) the possibility that forthcoming, as-yet undiscovered information could end up altering or overwriting your current attitudes. That's more likely right now than it's been in the past, so be open-minded. Expanding your world and what (or who) you let into it would be a good thing; do your best to try to stop resisting it.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You're a giver by nature, but sometimes it feels like you don't necessarily have a lot to give. Regifting is your answer. You don't necessarily need everything that you've received (or already had), so count yourself lucky and expend a little energy this week to figure out who might enjoy or need some of this stuff more. Obviously, those who'd be prickly about such a gesture aren't the right people for your generosity—but the right people are out there. Even if you have to venture a little outside of your immediate social circle to find them, please try to do so. The holidays may be over, but generosity can and should be a yearlong value, don't you think?
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Turn up the sensitivity, Libra. Often, it's the words behind the words that matter most. Figuring out where someone's coming from is much more important than your immediate knee-jerk reaction to whatever they've said or done, no matter how compelling it is. Since that knowledge is sure to powerfully influence your response, arming yourself with it is of paramount importance right now. Failing to consider someone's intentions will surely lead to you saying or doing something you'd later regret. Try to start this year on the right foot, instead of sticking your foot in your mouth, okay?
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Here's my New Year's gift to you; being close to you is what many people desperately (if secretly) want. They want to be close to anything exciting and dangerous—but might not have the courage to step up themselves or say anything about it. They will, however, be pretty thrilled if you're adventurous enough to make that move (if also slightly frightened). So discard any traces of shyness or coyness you might still be clinging to and own your own exciting (and slightly scary) nature. You'll be surprised at how swiftly your world expands once you do.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
When someone who trusts you asks you a question, you have an obligation to tell them the truth. However, much may rest on the way you word and present your honest perspective. There's a way to do so without lying or omitting anything important, but also without dispensing an unnecessary load of hurt or embarrassment. Instead of impetuously blurting out the blunt, uncensored truth, please try to find the words that will help you deliver your message as kindly and respectfully as possible. Tact is overrated, most of the time—but this week it will serve you very well.
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