How Chinese Medicine Validated My Decisiveness

Some decisions are hard to make and some are easy. Making a decision like ‘where do you want to go for dinner?’ may be easy for someone and hard for someone else.

FYI: This is not me; my first time using stock photos

Last month, I picked up the Instagram bug and I saw one of those pretty pictures with cursive writing, stating, “Do you make decisions with your head or your heart?” This triggered me to immediately comment, “It depends”. And I was fully prepared to provide my advice (if requested, obviously) on whatever decision this Instagrammer was trying to make.

How come I was so quick to talk about making decisions?

When I was in my early 20’s, some of the simplest decisions would stress me out. There were days when I couldn’t decide if I should wear blue, black or gray pants because I honestly thought wearing the wrong colour would ruin my day. Deciding what to eat would often take hours because my head would go into overdrive, weighing all the options, taking into consideration my diet, my cravings, my budget, what I have or haven’t tried, what’s trending, “what was that place my friend recommended again?”, “let me check Yelp” and so forth.
That luxury of having all these choices was actually a burden for me. *Cough*...“First World Problems”. But then as I got older and the more I knew myself, those decisions failed to stress me out. Indecisiveness isn’t a natural trait of mine and during those years, I let what everyone else was doing influence my decision-making skills and I wasn’t being true to myself. I really cared about what other people thought about my clothing and food choices and so decisions were stressful. I mean what if they thought my pants were last season? Maybe they would think I'm cheap for buying my clothes at that discount store? Or maybe they would think I'm not easygoing if I didn't feel like burgers for dinner like they did? I think my mom knew I was being influenced by social expectations.

My mom loves watching those popular Chinese medicine talk shows (Well, popular amongst older, Chinese women who are very ‘8’...which is a Cantonese slang for ‘nosy’). There’s always a segment in these shows that talks about how if you have certain body and/or facial features, it will predict how your life is going to be. Like if you have moles, it means you’re either going to be lucky or unlucky depending on where they are.

Another one is if you have a meaty nose, you’ll be rich. Or if you have long ears, you’ll have a long life or something like that. I guess she enjoys staring at people (strangers, her kids, her grandkids, neighbours, her son-in-laws etc.) and sussing out how their life is going to be or has been.

So back when she was super into these shows (ie. when she had a lot of time on her hands and wasn’t chasing after a toddler 3 days a week), I was her guinea pig and I let her read my palm. On both of my hands, the life line and head line do not touch. According to what my mom learned from those shows, a gap between these lines meant that I don’t take a long time to make decisions, as in I tend to make them recklessly and on impulse. Then she looks at me with that smug face and nods. I roll my eyes and scoff while telling her she’s “Chee Seen” (‘Crazy’ in Cantonese). I guess I didn’t want to give into her quackery (as someone who merely watches these shows does not make them a Chinese Medicine expert).

I’d say most of the time, I am my father’s daughter in that once a decision needs to be made, I quickly weigh the options and pick something. Analyzing options and researching the potential outcomes of each path actually stresses me out. The more I know how each option will play out, the longer it will take for me to make a decision and I know I freeze when that starts happening (my mind is great at creating situations out of nothing). So in a way, my head dictates the speed at which a decision is made since logically, by making decisions quickly, it can prevent the burden of choice and bypass the overanalysis paralysis route. However, this doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to make decisions.

When making a tough decision, I use my head and my heart. And there’s a reason that Instagrammer put that pretty picture up. The head and heart don’t always agree. Like there are decisions when I know what the right thing to do is and my head is pointing me in that direction; however, my heart feels what the heart feels and sways me in the opposite direction. I’ll write more about how I’ve made and am making those tough decisions (Should I have a kid? Should I give that guy a chance? Should I get married? Where should I live? Should I buy or rent? What should I do for a living? What should I study? Should I change careers? And so on) another time.

As for the decisions that I make every day. I go on autopilot and neither my head or my heart is engaged.

What should I eat?

Well, I don’t eat breakfast so that’s an easy one.

I eat the same damn thing every day for lunch. It’s some sort of fruit or veggie. Then a mush of peanut butter, nuts, seeds and fattiest yogurt money can buy. A hot cup of water or tea (if I’ve got time to make one) to down it all.

For dinner, I divide my grocery list into 3 categories: proteins, carbs, and veggies. I pick one item from each and make a meal. I wrote more tips about making dinnertime easy in the Parent Life Network blog

When going out to eat, I usually let my husband decide because he enjoys researching the best restaurants for every type of cuisine. I step in when he can't decide.

What should I wear?

I basically have 7 outfits and I mix and match.
Leggings, boots, and scarves for winter.
Skirts and Dresses for summer and more leggings.

Should I go to the gym today?

Yup, you should go.

Should I get out of my chair right now and go pee?

Yes, you should go even though mom bladders are made of steel.

So did my mom know something about me that I didn’t know about myself? 

Yes. However, I don’t think it’s her amateur Chinese Medicine practice that made her know that about me. She just knows me. I was in her uterus for 9 months and 10 days (Yes, I overstayed my welcome...thank goodness my daughter only overstayed 3 days). I think it was her way of telling me to stop overthinking, to stop worrying about what other people think and to be true to myself, a decisive woman. Palm reading was merely her tool to communicate that message to me rather than directly telling me who I am.

There will moments in the future when I will know my daughter more than she knows herself and I just hope she shares with me when that happens ( I can tell her Na Na Na Na Na Na I told you so).

So Readers, take a look at your palms. Do the head and life lines meet? Do you think decisiveness is pre-determined or does it just grow as we know ourselves more?


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