Are You Mistaking Busy-ness for Worthiness?

Mistaking Busy-ness for WorthinessBusy. Busy.

We are all so very busy.

Kids. Home. Careers. Friends. Husbands. Parents. Exercise. Family. Projects.

The constant juggling act.

Racing from one responsibility to the next.

Barely stopping to catch our breath.

‘Me time’ an elusive, guilt-ridden fantasy.

Zero time to pause and question our choices.

No time to lose.

Winning First Place

We’ve got to win the competition.

Got to win the acclaimed honour: ‘Busiest Person. Ever.’

Including, but not limited to:

Most exhausted.

Most physically and emotionally drained.

Most sleep-deprived.

Most self-sacrificing.

Got to beat our husbands. And our friends.

‘Prove’ we alone are the worthy winner.

We’re all vying for that esteemed first place.

In our work lives we’re compelled to prove our commitment and dedication.

We clock up excessive hours.

Pushing ourselves to the edge of our sanity, ploughing through ever expanding, never ending To Do lists.

Our stress levels proudly held aloft as a badge of honour.

We’re always ‘on.’

Available to our bosses and our clients and our kids and our husbands day and night; seven days a week.

The Point of It All

But what is it all about?

What are we trying to prove? And to who exactly?

In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown talks about how exhaustion has become a status symbol; productivity the measure of our self-worth.

Will we be ‘good enough’ and ‘worthy enough’ only when we have run ourselves ragged and into the ground?

When we have finally reached that elusive ‘there’ place?

When we’re so stressed and so wrung out that our bodies intervene with a wake up call that, eventually, we can no longer ignore?

In recent weeks the fragility and impermanence of life has hit me once again.

Two deaths.

Two lives ‘gone too soon.’

One, a member of my brother-in-law’s family.

I last saw Steve at my mum’s funeral in January, nine short months ago. To all intents and purposes, fit and well.

Just paying his respects to my family.

Now here I was, at his funeral, giving my condolences to his family.

The other, the popular, vibrant, effervescent actress Lynda Bellingham.

Both, here one minute, full of vitality, getting on with living their busy, full lives.

The next (or so it seems), gone. Forever. Game over.

“I Wish I’d Spent More Time at the Office”

I don’t suppose either or them, in their final moments, wished they’d been busier.

I’m guessing they didn’t wish they’d worked even harder, cleaned the fridge out more often, checked off a few more items on their lists.

Why I wonder, do we only reflect on what is really important in moments like these?

I guess it’s part of the human condition – at some level we’re all in denial.

We don’t want to dwell on the fact our time here is finite.

We want to believe we’re immortal.

That we have all the time in the world.

So we tell ourselves we’ll do what we really want to do, be who we really want to be, ‘later.’

Much later.

“I’ll Be Happy When…”

When we get ‘there.’

Because then we’ll be happy.

Then we’ll be good enough.

And in the meantime – we keep on keeping on, getting shit done, ploughing through our smokin’ hot piles.


At what cost?

Our health? Our happiness? Our relationships? Our peace of mind?

At what cost to what really is important?


Such a tiny word.

Such a massive question.

What If..?

What if we truly believed we have nothing to prove?

What if we’re already worthy?

What if we’re already ‘there’ because ‘there’ is only ever a bullshit illusion we’ll never arrive at anyway?

What if we’re already good enough?

Even if we never achieve another damn thing.

Even if we never clean the fridge out. Ever again.

What if we stopped measuring our worth by ‘what other people think’ about us and our lives?

What if we stopped measuring our success by the stories we tell ourselves about other people’s success?

What if we stopped measuring our self-worth by how busy and exhausted we are?

What if we lived our lives from love, self-love, instead of fear?

What might change?

What might we make room for?

What if we rearranged our lives, and our happiness, to make room for what is most important – right now?

Want Five Secrets to Staying Married Without Losing Your Sanity?

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  1. Beautuful article Julie and a wise reminder to us all to keep an eye on our busyness so we can deliberately and intentionally create enough space in our day /week for the things that are genuinely important to us.

    • Thanks Kelly, glad you enjoyed it. I know you have lots of great resources on your website to help women do exactly this and create that space for themselves. We are definitely on the same page! 🙂

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