September 29, 2010 | 05:42 PMLibra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Imagine scientists invented a cheap way to lock humans into the age of their choice, but once you picked how old you wanted to be, it was irreversible. While most of us would probably be more or less happy with our new ages, some people would regret their decisions, wish they'd picked some other age, or simply miss aging. Ungrateful for this medical miracle, they'd still find something to bitch and moan about. Before you scoff at them, though, ask yourself: isn't that a little bit like what you're doing right now? Even though the blessing you're kvetching about isn't as spectacular as eternal youth, wouldn't it be better if you simply enjoyed it, instead of complaining about its shortcomings?
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
I like writing in coffeehouses. They're comfortable, and entertaining without being interruptive to my thought processes. Of course, we can't always create or locate the ideal conditions to do our best work, and must frequently make do with whatever situations we find ourselves in, like it or not. I've discovered that most of my objections to those scenarios are really just excuses to justify my own laziness. If you're brutally honest with yourself, isn't that the case for you, too? If you wanted to, you could adapt to the less-than-ideal conditions of your present circumstances, instead of putting things "on the back burner." This week, why don't you try?
SAGIT TARIUS (Nov. 22-DEC.21)
Last night I dreamt I hooked up with someone who was way out of my league, then, inexplicably, went for a walk. When I returned, I discovered they'd cleaned out my entire apartment, taking absolutely everything of value. At first, I felt like an idiot. Then I began to feel oddly flattered—after all, I didn't have much worth stealing. Of course, when shit goes down, it sucks. But once you've accepted the crappy aspect of whatever's happened, perhaps you'll be able to find the shinier, funnier, or happier side of things. This week, being able to consistently see such silver linings could, unfortunately, come in quite handy.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Imagine you were a witch who could only cast each spell in your arsenal once before it lost its power. Ironically, you'd be at your most powerful before you'd ever done a thing, while you still had your entire spell book at your disposal, and become gradually weaker the more you exercised your abilities. That would suck. Luckily, the exact opposite is true this week (and in general); the more you use your strengths, the stronger and more effective they become. So don't be afraid of working your magic, repeatedly and with impunity. Practice makes perfect.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
When you suffer a minor injury, it's tempting to simply pop some painkillers and get on with your day. Often that works out fine, but once in a while it backfires; you end up aggravating or compounding the problem until it's so severe that you're forced to take some serious downtime to properly recover. This week, it's important to accurately and honestly assess whether or not that's a plausible risk when you ignore your minor (perhaps emotional) aches and pains. If it is, ask yourself this: wouldn't a short, scheduled break now be preferable to an extended, involuntary, and unscheduled one later?
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Gifts can be sincere expressions of generous kindness, but they can also be used to manipulate, flatter, induce guilt, or encourage indebtedness, among other things. This is why you may feel leery about the largesse coming your way soon—because of the invisible strings you suspect are probably there. You have two main options here. You can trust yourself to somehow remain immune to the scheming that may be behind such generosity—but given your track record, I wouldn't bank on that. The other alternative may be a tougher pill to swallow, but safer in the long run: saying thanks, but no thanks.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Play hard to get. I know that's a challenge, Aries—we all know you're actually kind of easy to get (and most of us love you for it). However, sometimes people don't realize how badly they want something (or someone) until they feel like they can't have it, or must at least work hard for it. Help them have that realization about you, my dear—which means taking a few steps back and not making yourself quite so approachable and available. Don't let such a thing become a habit, of course—your openness and enthusiasm is one of your greatest strengths—but practicing cheerful, friendly unobtainability could be a fun (and fruitful) exercise this week.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Everyone's familiar with the cliché of the popular kids peaking in high school; according to that sad tale, they never quite top the glory of their football/cheerleading days. Of course, it's a cliché because it makes a good story for all the people who were miserable (often because of these very people). Actually, it happens to anyone who gets "stuck" in one particular phase of their existence. It could, in fact, be happening to you, Taurus. Have you failed to acknowledge or adapt to your changing circumstances? If so, that could be the source of some of your dissatisfaction. It might be difficult to accept some of life's natural changes—but doing so is the only way to move forward.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Have you ever met someone with an irritating habit and convinced yourself that it was endearing, only to recognize—much further down the line—that it actually annoyed the hell out of you? In retrospect, wouldn't it have been better to have been honest (with yourself and them) early on, before you got more involved? Try not to repeat that kind of mistake. The next time a little red flag goes up, heed it. Is this something you can actually get over and tune out? Can it be changed or toned down? If the answer to either of those questions is "no," it's definitely better to figure that out sooner than later.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Just because one dog bit you once doesn't mean all dogs are to be feared or reviled. Just because one person screwed you over doesn't mean all people should be met with suspicion, guardedness, and anxiety. In fact, giving every new person the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many times other people have proven unworthy of it, is the only way you'll find those who deserve it. If you treat honorable, trustworthy people as if they're criminals, they'll most likely move on, swiftly leaving you to the kind of people you unfairly suspected and expected them to be.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
I'm living with a cat who is at times the neediest creature I've ever encountered, but, like most cats, can also be loftily aloof and snootily independent. That is, although he desperately wants affection, he only wants it on his terms and timeframe, not necessarily when others are ready to give it to him. Sound just a little familiar? Of course some lucky Leos can behave exactly like that and still be loved; most housecat-emulating Lions, though, are lonely. Learning to bend and accommodate others' desires is necessary to most relationships. Be a good kitty and try harder in that department.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Don't try to be subtle here. While dropping hints or making a joke is an excellent strategy for addressing this kind of situation 90 percent of the time, in this particular case it's unlikely to be effective. You need to channel your fiery Leo or Aries brethren and just tackle the situation head-on. Don't be put off by how often their direct, tactless approach backfires on them (quite often indeed!). You must admit that sometimes brute force is the only thing that will get results—and that this may very well be one of those times.
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