Busy is not a Badge

Backstory: the position above me has been vacant since I accepted my current job. Not a big deal. Sure, the workload has been maximized because those job tasks fell on me and another manager. Really – the entire workload fell to everyone. Nonetheless, hiring for that position has been much needed. Typical of the federal workforce, I could churn butter faster than expecting a decision to be made.

Of course I applied for that job, even though I’d only been in my position for 4 months. Because, why not. So when I found out I didn’t get the job, I was a little disappointed for a moment. Now, writing and reflecting on it in the days after, I’m actually very thankful. Prioritizing my own health, fitness, to-do list, school, and a million other tasks has been challenging. Don’t get me wrong: I have an incredible wingwoman and staff that make it all worth it. I enjoy responsibility. However, it sure will be nice when I can unload a few things off my plate.

Minus the week away from school and the return to 124 emails, I was feeling stressed about not “jumping back in” to everything. I found myself leisurely writing the first assignment, forgetting to prioritize my workouts, and generally not trying very hard. Then, I read an article about how society places being busy as a value everyone should strive to obtain. News flash. Even I was guilty of portraying this value to others, specifically my staff. How many times have I said just look busy? Perhaps it’s not the same as to look busy vs be busy but I said it nonetheless.

That week away refreshed me, gave me renewed purpose, and reconnected me to someone I love beyond words. I needed it. Needed. My soul needed it. However, as a type A, it can be so difficult to embrace not being busy.

Often, I must remind myself: the badge of being busy does not equate to value, to actually accomplishing anything, and it certainly shouldn’t define a life with purpose. If busy is indeed a badge, then it’s time to rethink how often I wear it. Maybe just special occasions.


I ask you –

Is being busy also your badge of honor?

Are you a type A? B? Is there a C?

Share with me how you prioritize yourself!

(The post Busy is not a Badge first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

4 thoughts on “Busy is not a Badge

  1. In my many travels: I found it interesting that small talk in the States goes something like this What’s your name? Oh, nice. What do you do for a living? Whereas in other countries, the follow-up to what’s your name, might be something like how do you spend your free time? I think in the States we have a tendency to link our identity to our profession. So, if we are not super busy at work, then we are empty shells. Fortunately, this is somewhat changing . . . Thanks, Gen Z.

    To answer your question: Is being busy also your badge of honor?
    It used to be until I “busied” myself out of a promotion. Essentially, I was told that since I was so good in my role, that it would be better for the company if Employee A took over the more senior role. It felt like a huge slap in the face because I typically worked 12+ hrs days and at least half days on weekends. This other guy always managed to come to work around 9:30 am and leave by 5:30 pm M-F.


      1. The hubby and his European mentalility helped me out with that one. 😉

        For our 1st vacation together when we were dating, he was baffled bc I told him I had to skip breakfast so I could get a couple of hours of work out of the way. He was like so basically you came on vacation to do work. That was the last time, I brought my laptop with me on vacation.

        The only problem, you end up with 4X the amount of work when you return from vacation.


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