Torturing Decisions: “The Voyé Shoe”

Blink. Blink. I’m staring blankly at my computer screen. Ok, Fran! Snap out of it and let’s get to it!

I pull out my printed outline, hand written note cards, and my pile of research documents. My mother walks into my room as I’m reviewing notes and asks, “Are you OK in here? Do you want anything to eat?”

“I’m fine, mom. I’ll have something later.” I regroup my notecards and begin to write...and write...and write.

10 hours and 15 pages later, my mother walks in again. “I made you some spaghetti,” she says as she hands me a bowl with a fork. “You need to eat, so take a break.”

I gulf down the food as she watches and hand the bowl back to her. “Thanks mom, all done!” I turn right back to my computer and keep writing. And writing...and writing.

My mother walks into the room at 2am. “Fran, you need to get rest.”

“Please, mom, I’m fine! I need to finish this paper. I’ll be in bed soon.”

That is a lie. I stay up the entire night writing, reading, reviewing, and writing some more.

At 9am, my mom walks into my room again and asks, “You didn’t sleep last night, did you?”

I gave her the “you already know the answer to that question” look and go back to reviewing notes.

She comments, “This isn’t healthy, Fran. Your body needs rest!”

“Mom, I will be FINE! I’m almost done!”

“Mmhmmm,” she murmurs as she walks out of the room. I hear her telling my grandmother to make me some breakfast and make sure I’m eating throughout the day.

At 36 hours and just shy of 80 pages, I let out a sigh of relief. I have 15 minutes before the exam deadline. I open my email, attach the document, and send the paper to my Professor. Just in time! You go girl! I say to myself.

All of a sudden, my eyes become heavy and my head feels light. Oh my, I need to sleep...

I lay down in my bed to rest.

I hear the door open and the sunlight beams torture my heavy eyes. “Fran?” my mom says. “You’ve been sleeping for 14 hours. You need to eat something.”

I try to respond, but my voice is shot and my breath is short. I feel hot and my head is spinning.

My body shut down and I had pneumonia.

True story. This was probably the biggest mistake I ever made in college - procrastinating on a term paper. I had 12 weeks to write it, and decided to do it all in one sitting.

When we look back at decisions we’ve made, there are many moments we aren’t proud of. We think to ourselves, “Gosh, I wish I had thought that one through” or “Man, I wonder what would have happened if I had done that differently.”

The truth is that our past decisions play a major role in what we are currently experiencing. Poor financial decisions may have led to increased debt. Toxic relationship choices may have led to emotional pain. Bad career moves may have led to dead end jobs, etc. Many of the things we complain about point right back to our decisions. And the hardest thing for us as humans is to accept responsibility. It’s so much easier to blame someone or something else for our current situation.

But just think for a moment. What would your life look like if you consistently started to make right and wise decision? What areas in your life would look different if you began to think through your choices?

Yes, I know this is hard and no one wants to do it because it’s so much easier to be led by our emotions and “follow your heart” when facing a decision. However, we’ve gone that route time and time again and it’s failed us more often than not. So, let’s stop doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

This time, I challenge you to ask yourself the tough questions before making any decision. Will this benefit me long term? Does this bring me closer to my goals? Will I regret this in the future?

While the answers to these questions may not be the answers we want at first, they will surely guide us towards better decisions. And, trust me, the time will come when you’ll thank yourself over and over again for making the right decisions!

This post is named after “Voyé,” which is short for “voyager, explorer.”