Join me for a little fall 2020 coffee chat

Sometimes I just feel the need to chat with you, my friends. And this post is going to be just that. So grab your beverage of choice, get comfortable, and let’s hang out.

Truth be told: I started this post a couple of weeks ago and it turned into a major journal entry. I had to put it aside, wait a bit and come back to edit down … it was a lot. It was more than I tell most people in my life (outside of Dave and my Mom), so I had to trim it for obvious reasons.

Anywho, it means so much to me that you come here to visit the blog, and because of that, I feel like sharing with you, just like we we’re sitting together as friends on a coffee chat catch-up date … 🙂 

Join me for a little fall 2020 coffee chat

The month of September is significant to me/us

This time of year is actually a pretty significant one for us. It was September of 2012 that Dave and I officially moved across the country from Orlando to San Francisco, which was one of the biggest decisions we’ve ever made that changed the trajectory of our lives. We’ve had some amazing experiences because of our move. But we’ve also had some equally hard times (and still have them regularly). It’s a mixture that has made us incredibly strong, as individuals, and as a couple.

Moving on, September is the month that Brady was born in 2017. And that day was the most significant life event for us both too. It’s almost hard to remember what life was like before Brady was in it. He’s our little man. He’s the light of our lives (as well as Rudy, who can’t go unmentioned). Brady is a complete carbon copy of me. He does everything I do. He has nearly my same personality. He has many of my same features. And I love him even more because he’s my mini me. I wish you guys could meet him. 🙂 

Our September 2020 coffee chat by A Lady Goes West

On another note, it was also September two years ago that I joined Beautycounter, which is something I had never expected or planned on doing. But it’s brought me closer to some friends that I love, and it’s also introduced me to some new amazing women who have become friends. I’ve never worked on a project where women are so supportive of each other instead of competitive. And that’s been a major breath of fresh air. 

But I digress: Like I said, we’ve had several life milestones and changes around this time of year. But this year … well, it’s different. No changes. No news. No milestones. No gym. No restaurants. No travel. Things just feel weird. Like we’re just waiting for something …

I’ve felt like I’ve been ready for some change for a while. Have you?

But then it hit me why: Fall and September often mean change. And then I was listening to a podcast last week from Brené Brown all about how September is actually the real new year and we expect things to be different when we hit September. It’s when summer ends. It’s when the temperatures begin to drop significantly in many regions. And it’s when you have to truly get back to work to finish off the year strong. You are re-energized and ready to roll.

However, this year, we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic. And although we may have gotten over the hump, this thing is far from over. We’re all poised and ready to start fresh and to feel change, but that’s not really the case right now. I feel this so hard. I’m ready for improvement; I’m ready for new; I’m ready for a better normal. But I think we’ve still got a ways to go until we get there. Perhaps September of 2020 will be significant too, as we look back on it, because it was when we really stepped up to see this thing through.

Here in the Bay Area, we’ve been dealing with some stuff. In addition to still having many businesses closed because of COVID, we had a full month of poor air quality from smoke from nearby fires. Then, two weekends ago, we had what may have been one of the hottest days on record here, hitting 111, where a bunch of homes lost power for rolling blackouts. And then last week, it was orange, smoky, dark, and in the 60s and the sun barely came out all day. The ebbs and flows of terrible weather, being cooped up indoors and having nowhere to go is less than fun for us. Weird stuff. Challenging conditions. And so, we wait.

What doesn’t kill us will … make us stronger. And I’m guessing that’s a motto we all need to take into consideration right now. Happy September.

September coffee chat by A Lady Goes West

I have two fitness projects that are still in the works

I feel like I’ve been saying that I have a new project coming out to share with you for months. As these things do, both of the fitness projects I’ve been working on have been significantly delayed, and both are out of my control at this point. That’s why I haven’t shared them with you. I am working with others on both projects. One of them is super close to being ready to share though.

It’s been a big learning curve and a transition for me to become a solely virtual fitness instructor right now. I haven’t taught a live in-person class in more than six months, and I really don’t know when I will teach one again. My gym is still not open, and even when it does open, they won’t offer classes right away and they won’t have kid-care either, so I may not be able to go back anyhow. That’s a heavy and sad thought for me, so I’m trying not to dwell on it. If I think about it … well, I get really down.

The good news is that instead of heading to the gym to teach Les Mills or POP Pilates classes, I’ve gotten into the habit of live teaching virtually: moving my furniture, setting up my many pieces of equipment, creating freestyle workouts and going live or filming my classes for others to do at their own homes. It’s something I never expected to do. And it’s certainly gotten easier as I’ve progressed. But I will always try to keep improving. 

I truly hope that I can share my projects with you soon, because I think you’re going to like them. And I really want you guys to be able to work out with me! But until then, as usual … we wait!

A September 2020 coffee chat by A Lady Goes West

The beauty of and truth about TV during quarantine

Before quarantine, Brady had only ever watched maybe one full “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” show on my phone over the course of a week. No TV. That was it. We never had it on around him, he never watched it. He only caught some shows while at the gym kid-care when I was teaching classes. TV just wasn’t a part of his life.

Well, thanks to quarantine, our routine includes a lot more TV now. And I’m NOT ashamed of it. We watch about an hour of TV every morning while sitting together. This is a great time for me to get some work done, and Brady sits right next to me chatting and watching. His favorites are “Octonauts,” “Puffin Rock” and “Noddy: Toyland Detective” from Netflix. He watches them on repeat. I feel like he’s learned a lot from these shows. And boy it keeps him busy. 

I don’t want him (or us) sitting around watching TV all day, but I will say that I’ve seen the advantage of a little screen time over the last six months. So it’s fine by me! It’s life. And if you judge it, well, whatever.

Other random thoughts I’d like to share with you …

  • Our new front door is bringing me a lot of happiness. Last week, we got a new front door. And every time I walk by it on the inside of our home, I smile when I see the light reflection from the off-white door interior (whereas the last door was a depressing dark brown). I know material things shouldn’t fill us up, but this front door is even better than I had hoped. Three cheers for a material thing!
  • Pumpkin spice lattes are more than just a drink. I’ve always loved the holidays and fall weather. And when the pumpkin spice lattes start popping up on menus, it’s a signal that it’s heading in that fall-weather-holiday-season time. This year will definitely be different, because I don’t know if we will travel to see family, but I’m still excited about it. I’ve been having two PSLs a week — no more, no less. Also, here’s my current pumpkin spice latte order: Venti, oat milk, two pumps of pumpkin, no whip. What’s your order?
  • RBG’s passing is huge. I’m not going to get political, but I have to mention this: RBG was there for women, and we need more people in positions of power like her. This is a huge loss. Also, are you registered to vote? Will you be voting? Hope so.
  • The new Facebook is the worst. Have you switched over to the new Facebook desktop version? I understand they needed to upgrade the design, but it does not function well for me at all. Especially with my blog business page, nothing populates, and I can’t post. Every time I’m forced to switch to the new editor, I immediately go back to the classic editor for 48 hours until Facebook makes me switch to the new one again. I hope they work the kinks out soon. When I said I wanted change, this wasn’t the change I was hoping for.
  • TikTok is over. Speaking of social media, I’ve never downloaded TikTok, and I don’t plan to, especially now that it’s banned and its use in America is in limbo. Now that Instagram has the Reels feature, who needs TikTok anyhow? Were you using it? What do you think? I just don’t need another social media platform to worry about, so I’m happy to be staying away.
  • A slight stall in my reading habit. I’m currently reading a nonfiction book about movement that is a tid bit boring and is taking me FOREVER to get through, because I keep falling asleep. I really want to finish it though. And I don’t like to have more than one book going at once, so I just keep trying with it. I usually get through about three pages a night before I fall asleep, so it’s a very slow process. I feel like, in the end, I will have appreciated the book for what it stands for. But it’s not the most exciting read. Are you reading anything good right now? I’ll be back to fiction after this one, for sure.
  • The sadness of retail experiences. I’ve ordered a few things online lately that haven’t fit or I haven’t needed them any longer (because everything gets cancelled). Instead of sending the items back through the mail, if I can, I usually go to the store to return them in person. And I have to say, it’s really depressing to walk through stores right now. There are less people shopping, less people working and everyone is masked and awkward and unsure. Every time I’ve gone into a store over the last few months, I’ve come out feeling weird and come out empty-handed. It’s like … stuff is strange, so why shop? I used to enjoy a stroll through a store, but right now it’s not so fun. I’m having luck with ordering activewear online, because I always need that. But I just don’t need regular clothes.
  • What does a blogger do when they grow up? Do you know something that crosses my mind sometimes? What does a blogger do when they get old and don’t want to blog any longer? I feel like I’m pretty much part of one of the original generations of “bloggers,” and as far as I know, there’s not a real exit plan. I don’t intend to stop writing any time soon, but I’ve often pondered what retirement looks like heheh! What do you think?

Let's have a September 2020 coffee chat by A Lady Goes West

Okay, my friends, that’s the end of our coffee chat! It’s time for us to carry on with our respective days. I hope you have a good one! Thanks for hanging with me!

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

What would you like to talk about if we were having coffee?

Do you have a goal for 2020 that you’re a little behind on achieving?

How was your weekend?

What’s your beverage of choice?

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  1. No! Way too early for blog retirement! We would all miss you!

    And, I think each of us wishes we could meet Brady (and Rudy,) too! ❤️❤️

    Happy fall, and here’s to changes and new beginnings as we enter this beautiful season!

    1. Hi Principal J! hehehe (I will have to call you that for forever!) I’m hopeful that this season ends up having some improvement for us all. And don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Happy Fall and Happy Tuesday!

  2. Happy Fall Ashley. I used to read blogs and enjoyed blogs. Now I only follow 2 , yours and Reading my Tea Leaves. I would definitely miss you but everyone has to do what is right for them. After the fire and 12 day evacuation I am reassessing priorities and busy purging for fall, organizing and hopeful for all of us the next 3 months are peaceful as possible. Looking forward to your classes! Stay well.

    1. Hi Laura, I’m SOO sorry to hear about your evacuation — I know you had it bad in Santa Cruz. I’m hoping that you can regroup and come out stronger. Also, I truly appreciate you coming here to read the blog! 🙂 Stay well, friend!

  3. Thank you for being real! This is such a hard time, and it gets overwhelming and scary not knowing when or if things will ever be back to “normal” (not sure what that even means anymore?!). Your part of the country has sure been through a lot recently, as if the covid pandemic wasn’t enough! On a lighter note I wish we could meet Brady! My daughter Charlotte is just about his age (born August 2017) and I’m getting ready to have my second (a boy) in October. My pregnancy anxiety and hormones have not been a good combination with the craziness of the world right now, but it truly makes me feel better that we are all in this together and I’m not the only one that feels down about it sometimes, so thank you again for sharing your heart. Here’s to brighter days ahead!

    1. Hi Erica! Congratulations on your pregnancy, and I’m heard from many women that this hasn’t been the most fun time to be pregnant, that’s for sure. We are DEFINITELY not in this alone, and that’s a comforting thought. I truly appreciate you reading and saying hello and being a blog friend! 🙂 Take care, lady!

  4. I love chatty posts like this, literally made a cup of tea to have while reading on my break hehe.

    I feel exactly the same, this year is a real slog and just as things feel more “normal” we go backwards, here in the UK the government held big press conferences/addresses to the nation last night and we have lots of more strict restrictions back in place. We are due to get married next week after postponing from March and right now every day we are just praying it doesn’t get cancelled again – it is already now a tiny, socially distanced ceremony, no party!

    Anyway we keep slogging on and focus on the good stuff – the weather change, PSLs, good books… a recommendation is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – lives up to the hype!

    Take care over there!

    ps I cannot believe Brady is gonna be 3, so sweet!

    1. Hi Iona! I’ve heard of that book and will need to add it to my list, thank you. WOW — so sorry to hear about the wedding troubles — I’ve seen some of this with friends here. I know two couples who are doing a small parents-only ceremony after originally planner bigger things. I hope that you can look back at this and laugh hehehe — right? 🙂 Thank you for being a friend, lady! Take care!

  5. Hi Ashley! I really, really enjoy posts like this ♡ as for bloggers growing up, I think as a blogger grows older, so would their audience (typically). So I think it would be fun to keep writing because your readers would still be able to relate! In South Africa, we are still in a lockdown. I agree with your shopping experiences – there are so many shops closed down, beggars asking you to buy them some food and the like. I try stay away as much as I can, but I also remind myself that this is a reality and I can’t hide in a little bubble forever. Our government has stolen SO MUCH money meant to be used for COVID relief which is so infuriating. Anyway, as you say, we wait. I’m looking forward to looking back on this time and celebrating that we made it through. I hope you have a great day! X

    1. Hi Shelby! You are SO right that we grow older together hahah — that’s a good thought. And wow — dealing with corrupted or poorly functioning government seems to be the norm for us right now too. What is going on in the world? All we can do is try to be healthy, stay safe, do as much as we safely can with our lives and hope for better times ahead. Thank you for reading, my friend! 🙂

  6. Coffee chats are the best, this was a fun read! I had a hot coffee ready for sipping as I read through 🙂 . I have a virtual chat scheduled today with a couple really close friends too, can’t wait! I have a little mini me also, it’s so sweet to watch. Happy September, enjoy all the fun September moments you and your family get to look back on!

    1. I love that you’re keeping up with friends chats virtually, lady! Enjoy all that virtual connection — we need it. Thank you for reading! 🙂 xoxo

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