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Every Item On Your To-Do List is a Miniature Contribution To the World

In: Productive Mother

You know, after the Vegas shooting, I thought a moment of silence, here on the blog, would be appropriate.

Every time a tragedy like this occurs, I am reminded of how insignificant everything else is. To jump into your inbox the next day yapping about refund policies and client contracts would be in poor taste. It’s not only indelicate, but there’s a part of me that can’t help but feel that it’s inhumane.

And then the storm hit.

I am at my cottage in Costa Rica, and Tropical Storm Nate, currently in route to the United States, came through this week and destroyed this country.

I am okay, because I live at the top of a hill—but others were not so fortunate. Many are displaced, their homes washed away. The roads are actual rivers. Crocodiles are reported to be floating around in the streets. Bridges were taken out. And in fact, I am actually trapped here, for the time being, because there’s no passable road to the capital in any direction.

I went to the store immediately to stock up on food, realizing that we wouldn’t have any provisions coming in, either—and then walked even faster when I got the national emergency text message saying to conserve supplies. And then as I stared at the chicken breast, preparing to buy, oh, like, SEVENTY, I thought about how many other people would not be able to eat, if I were to do that. So I bought two, and went home, and put them in the freezer. Ditto water and veggies and pasta and tunafish. Because, tuna fish.

And now the storm is gone. Things are being fixed. Everything will be fine. This was not as severe as many other tragedies we’ve experienced across the globe, by any means, but man, you sit here and you think:

What’s the most important thing I could contribute today?

Is it a blog post? (Maybe it is, depending on what you’re writing.)
Is it hitting a deadline?
Is it posting on Instagram?

We forget that every item on our daily to-do list is actually a contribution to the world.  

We readily add things to it, whether it’s important to us or not, because a to-do list doesn’t feel like our life’s work—except it is.

If a life is made up of a series of moments, then your body of work is made up of a series of to-dos, each one helping you do something remarkable, and important, and meaningful to you—or taking you farther away from that.

There is no in between. None of us are merely drifting through life. There’s always a river taking us somewhere.

But, is it where you want to go?

Jul 31


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I’ve stopped checking my emails every day. Before that, I shut down my Behind Closed Doors program. And this past Saturday night out with the girls? I drank…sparkling water. Yet, I can confidently confirm that I am not pregnant, suicidal, dying of cancer (at the moment, anyway) or just having such great sex that I […]

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The Answer To: “Where Do You Get The TIME?!?!”

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Me: I’m writing a book! People: Where do you get the TIME? Me: Every morning! People: WHERE DO YOU GET THE TIIIIIMMEEEEEEE?! Me: It’s in my schedule. Every morning, from 5am to 8am. People: But I could never cooooommmmmiiiiiittttttt to thaaaaatttttttt. Me: So what do you do when you have a client that needs something, […]

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When I first started working for myself, I was like: OH HEY I HAVE ALL THESE HOURS! LOOK AT THEM IN ALL THEIR GLOWY DELIGHT! If the idea was to “be booked,” then great—I would be motherfauxing booked. (Get it? It’s the faux fuck, and it’s coming to a screen near you.) The surprise, of […]

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You’re always going to have fifty million things to do—PLUS that asshole’s bar mitzvah.

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There’s a lot of pressure these days to be perfect. (Says the girl carrying thirty extra pounds and a dysfunctional pouty face.) As someone who used to be very all-or-nothing, over the years I’ve had to make some major peace with the fact that all-or-nothing is a gigantic, sweaty faced fool’s errand. :: How many times have you thought about […]

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Jul 2


Turns Out, You *Can’t* Do it All—So How Do You Pick?

Jul 2, 2015

You know who’s funny? People who try to do everything. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship with time. Contrary to popular opinion, time is not always there for you when you need it. Yet, then you are all cute, telling yourself you’ll just “fit it in”—whatever “it” might be that day. Why does everyone think they’ll fit it in? […]

In: Productive Mother


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Feeling Overwhelmed (And Who Friggin’ Isn’t?): Ask Yourself This Three-Word Question

Jun 18, 2019

There are loadssss of questions I ask myself during the day. Things like, “Where have all the cowboys gone?” and “How awkward was my hello to the neighbor just now?!” And “I’ve eaten two salads in a row—AM I SKINNY YET?” But those are just the kinds of questions you ask yourself when you’re a […]

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The 140 Character Email: An Experiment in Sanity

Jul 31, 2015

You know the email. The one you’re dreading responding to—not because of what it says, but because the second you open it, all you see is A GIANT, LOOMING TSUNAMI OF TEXT lurching at your face as if the sender had taken the entire Sunday edition of The New York Times, reformatted it into one […]

In: Productive Mother


I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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