Just you and me: Let’s have a chat over coffee

Many years ago when I lived in Orlando and worked at a public relations agency, I would schedule “coffee dates” with one of my girlfriends before work about once-a-week. We would both wake up extra early, forgo a morning workout and meet up at a little coffee shop in downtown in our fancy work attire. She was an attorney, and I was a PR manager, so we were decked out in heels and each had several bags in tow to make it through our respective long days.

We would usually only have about 30 minutes to spend together, but it was something that we both looked forward to every single week. Why? It was time to chat. We weren’t there to scarf down a meal or to accomplish anything other than to talk and to listen. When you sit across from someone with a hot beverage in your hand, as the caffeine begins to kick in, you just start spewing your deep thoughts, even in the wee early morning hours. And these meetings were always a great time to bring up things to discuss that we both had to push to the back-burner of our thoughts during a busy workday. We’d talk about dreams, plans and basically everything under the sun.

Those coffee dates are a thing of the past, but you know what, they don’t have to be. This morning, or whenever you’re getting a chance to read this, let’s pretend it’s just you and me gabbing over a beverage. I’ve got a hot green tea matcha latte with nonfat milk, and you’ve got your hot morning beverage of choice …

Let's have a chat via A Lady Goes West

Here’s what I’d start talking to you about …

The blog and it’s importance. I’d let you know how this blog makes me so happy. I’ve never put so much time into something that has instantly begun paying me back in so many ways. The connections I’ve made with fellow bloggers, the connections I’ve made with readers, and even the extra connections I make with friends who text me about things I’ve written about that they are feeling too. I’d tell you that I may be a little obsessed with blogging, and I’d promise not to look at my phone the entire time we were together for coffee. I’d explain to you that I wanted to start a blog for so many years, and I finally started one as I was moving to California, only to casually post once-a-week or so until just one year ago. This past year of regular blogging has been nothing short of amazing. Yes, maybe I waited, but I started, which shows it’s never too late to start something new.

Group fitness and going for it. I sometimes wonder where my life would be if my favorite group fitness instructor hadn’t nearly pushed me into attending a Les Mills group fitness certification training weekend six years ago. I had no idea the turns my life would take, and that even after getting married and moving across the country, one day I would be a personal trainer working in fitness, no longer in a PR agency full-time job. I’d want to laugh with you about the fact that I absolutely hated working out for quite a few years of my life, basically up until college. I’d also tell you that if there is something in the back of your head you’ve always wanted to do, you can still do it, even if it seems far-fetched. I’d give you some motivation and encourage you to start planting the seeds for your next steps, because I know you can do it, even if it is far outside of your comfort zone.

Seeking perfection and falling short. I’d want you to know that my entire life, I’ve always wanted to make things “just so.” I’ve wanted to do everything, know everything, be good at everything and have a constant smile on my face. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized there is no such thing as perfection, and I’m finally okay with that. I’d poke fun at myself for the fact that these days I go out in public in sweaty workout gear after leaving the gym looking like a complete mess. I’d tell you how I used to constantly have my nails done, my hair styled and my weekend calendar booked up, but now I’m a little bit more lax about all those things. I’d probably let you know that I still get mad at myself sometimes for falling short of perfection on so many levels, but I’m getting better at accepting me for me. And of course, I’d want to make sure you weren’t being too hard on yourself either.

Finding comfort outsize the city. I’d tell you I am incredibly surprised at how much I love living outside the city of San Francisco. Even though I was nervous about leaving the urban-hub that Dave and I called home for a couple of years right in downtown San Francisco, I’ve quickly adapted to living in more space, having a car and living a more normal life. I’d admit that my city days are probably over for good, but I think I had my fill, and I’m okay with it. I’d ask you to come check out our new place and join us for dinner, because there’s still quite a bit to do right outside our door. And if you need a ride? I’m game to pick you up, because the thrill of driving again has not worn off yet for this girl. You’d ask if I’m rusty behind the wheel, and I’d let you know you’ll have to wait to find out for yourself.

By the time I finished saying all this, you’d probably have finished your coffee or tea, so then I’d sit back and get ready to listen to you.

Now I ask … What would you want to tell me?

Okay, friends, I hope you enjoyed our little chat. And because I’m spewing my thoughts today, I’m linking up for “Thinking Out Loud,” which seemed totally appropriate for this fine Thursday. If you want to go on a second date with me, let’s do it. Just meet me back here tomorrow for “Friday Favorites.”

Questions of the day

Do you have a ritual with a friend, family member or significant other that you look forward to? What would you want to chat with me about over coffee? Is there something you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t started yet?

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  1. I used to have standing coffee dates and lunches with certain people, and it was always so amazing to know that I would get my “whoever” time at least once a week. Sometimes you have a lot to say, sometimes not so much, but just the option of it is so important! Thank you for sharing your coffee with us! Now it is time to go refresh my mug!

    1. Hi Lisa! I think the thrill of your new house will help you feel comfortable in your new spot. You’re going to LOVE having a bigger place to call your own! 🙂 Happy Thursday!

  2. What a fun weekly tradition. I Just love that you guys did that. I would love to have that with someone, but unfortunately my schedules don’t match up with anyone else’s since they travel pretty far for work and I don’t 🙁 If we were having coffee, I would be telling you how happy it is to visit you and have some warmth 😉 Haha I am tired of this cold weather!! I’d also chat about our weekend plans, as I am pretty excited for a painting date with my mom’s family. It’ll be really fun!

    1. Hi Heather! Maybe you can do FaceTime coffee dates? hehehe A painting date? So funny you mention that, because I JUST bought tickets for a wine and canvas night next month for my husband and I! I’ve always wanted to go to one of those. Happy Thursday!

  3. Aw I love standing coffee dates! As I got older they morphed into playdates for our kids and that was fun too. Now that our kids are in different schools the playdates are over and getting together is hit or miss. It takes effort to maintain friendships over time for sure. Sigh. Glad you’re loving suburban life!

    1. Hi Marcia! Yes, it does take effort to maintain friendships as you get older, and I can only imagine how that changes after kids. Hope you have a wonderful Thursday! Be careful on your bike! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the coffee date! I enjoyed it.

    And I do really like this idea a lot. I am not a big go out to lunch girl, so coffee dates are more my speed and I think I will suggest this to a couple friends.

    Happy Friday Eve to you, Lady!

    1. Hi Courtney! It’s such a great way to start the day! I hope somebody will take you up on it. And if not, your virtual coffee date is right here, my friend! 🙂

    1. Hi Katie! That’s a good time too! I was much better about planning girl get togethers when I lived in Orlando, that’s for sure. Hope you have something fun on the agenda with your friends soon!

  5. I’m a NAVY wife and usually we live in big NAVY towns. For the last 2 1/2 years we have been in a tiny college town in Southwestern VA, and to say it isn’t a NAVY town is an understatement. I miss my fellow NAVY wives and our get togethers SO much! We always had monthly meetings that I really looked forward too, especially when our husbands were deployed! We are moving this year to Japan, so I know I will have that again soon. I would LOVE to chat with you about all your AIM 2 experiences. I have read, and re-read your posts about them multiple times, but I just want to hear about them! I finished AIM 1 (BODYPUMP) in January, it was the best experience! I also teach BODYCOMBAT and have always wanted to start some classes at a martial arts studio to perfect my kicks/punches. But, I just haven’t started yet. Mostly my excuses are my 3 children, one of which is 2 years old. And, a husband that’s never home, and most martial arts studios don’t provide day care. Someday…

    1. Hi Melissa! I know NAVY families and wives become very close, so it’s too bad your current situation doesn’t allow for that. I have a friend who lived in Japan for a couple of years teaching English and is finally coming back to the U.S. I believe she enjoyed it, but it was very expensive there. As far as teaching and AIM 2 — it’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself, because everyone gets something different out of it. I will answer ANY questions you have, but I encourage you to try to find the time to attend and soak it all up! And martial arts classes? Maybe you can do that in Japan?? Sounds like a great way to upskill for BODYCOMBAT:) Happy Thursday, my friend. Hope you enjoyed your coffee.

  6. Great post Ashley! I love hearing your thoughts on blogging, as someone who is four months in. I echo all of your feelings, and I can’t believe the community and connections it has created for me so far! Talk about major payoff. And honestly, I would way rather spend the time researching, writing, and meeting people than watching Netflix or reading magazines. It’s IS my leisure!

    Have a great day 🙂

    Latest post: Hips Don’t Lie! 3 Quick Moves to Keep ‘Em Fit for Life!

    1. Hi Jill! Totally agree! Blogging is a wonderful thing, and I’m so glad we’ve met through the online world. Now, we need to plan that whole IN PERSON meet-up thing too! 🙂 Happy Thursday!

    1. Hi Erin! I know, it’s amazing how much we learn and pick up over time, just by teaching ourselves! I’m glad you kept with it too! Happy Thursday! 🙂

  7. Every morning, my best friend and I start off our day withe exercise! A lot of the time though, it ends up with us just walking on treadmills near each other and chatting about our days. It is so special to us, and I love it. It helps me get out of bed every morning, because I know I get to spend time with her!

    1. Hi Julia! That is so amazing you have a friend to meet you in the morning for workouts. What a great way to spend time together and stay motivated. Keep it up! And Happy Thursday to you! 🙂

  8. I absolutely loved this post!! My two rituals are having lunch (brought from home) with a friend that works for the same company but in a different building a few times a week and taking walks or doing a strength training work out with another friend once a week to get caught up on life and to get in a work out at the same time.

    1. Hi Catherine! Oh how neat that you have a friend at work that you can meet up with for lunch sometimes. As well as a workout friend for your strength sessions and walking. It’s much better to tackle these things with somebody by your side so you can chat at the same time. I love it! Hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday! Say hi to your lunch or workout date for me! 🙂 hehehe

  9. Glad I found your site, I’m loving it. I have a standing walking date with a friend every Saturday morning, and if I have to miss it for reason I nearly go crazy. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be back. 🙂

    1. Hi Carissa! I’m glad you found my site too! I LOVE that you have a walking date on Saturday mornings. That sounds like a relaxing, yet, healthy time to catch up with a pal each week. Hope you don’t miss it this Saturday! Happy Thursday! 🙂

  10. Wonderful post. I’m amazed by how much I love blogging too. I started it just to get some thoughts out that I have trouble expressing. I never thought I would get back so much more than that. The blogging community is so amazing.

  11. Those coffee dates sound like such a good idea! I’d love to go into fitness instructing but I think it would push me way out of my comfort zone and I think that’s what’s stopping me. I worry about what people think about me and I’m trying to get over that first!

    1. Hi Nikki! That is a very common and honest fear about getting up in front of people as an instructor, but you will learn to love it if you practice and gain confidence in your craft. In fact, you may have a double personality when you get up there. I know a lot of introvert instructors that have a way of “turning on” when it’s time to be in front of a group. People won’t judge you, because people are way too worried about themselves hehehe. Maybe one day you’ll be ready to test the waters! But of course, only when you feel like it’s the right time. Hope you have a wonderful Thursday, friend!

  12. I love coffee chats and coffee chat posts! I actually really like the idea of what you and your friend did, by meeting early once a week and getting coffee before work. I might have to do my own spin on it with the BF! I was just in the city and said that there’s no way I could live somewhere, where I’d have to take Bart to Target. SF is fun to visit, but I’m just not that much of a city girl! Thanks for the chat and now I want a soy mocha! xoxo, ganeeban

    1. Hi Ganeeban! Oh Target in the city was always an adventure. I lived about a mile away and would walk with my stuff. Super NOT fun hahhaa. Now I drive to Target, yay! And you should start a coffee date tradition with a friend, because it’s worth getting up early. Hope you have a wonderful Thursday! Enjoy that soy mocha! 🙂

  13. It’s good to hear someone say they enjoy living outside of the city. I currently live in Charlotte and after 4 years, I’m thinking it may be nice to move a bit outside of the city. It’s not nearly the same as San Francisco but sometimes the traffic and busyness of it all it a little exhausting.

    1. Hi Sam! Well, I’ve never been through downtown Charlotte, but I think many major cities have that “always in a rush, cramped, on-the-go, crazy urban” feel, or something along those lines. It’s nice to have some space and separation. And this is the first place I’ve lived in YEARS that doesn’t have tons of sidewalk and street sounds from down below the window eheheh. And there’s plenty to do and just as much entertainment. Maybe you’re ready for a little change too? 🙂

  14. I have a ritual a lot of the time with my husband…we always make something fun for breakfast on the weekend. I do think that I’d like to start a day when we go out for breakfast/brunch on the weekends with my husband…I think that would be fun:)

    1. Hi Marissa! That sounds like a nice little weekly ritual for sure. My husband and I hardly EVER go out for brunch on the weekends, but I was just telling him I’d like to consider doing that more too! 🙂 Happy Thursday!

  15. I love your thinking out loud! Thank goodness you got pushed in to a Les Mills group fitness certification training weekend six years ago. That’s how I got started teaching fitness in college! I hope you have a lot of coffee dates this weekend! xoxo, BA

    1. Hi Bethann! I didn’t know you taught in college. What did you teach? And yes, I need a coffee date this weekend for sure! Hope you have a fabulous Friday and weekend!! Enjoy the sunny SoCal life! (And traffic!)

  16. When I was feeling trapped at my old job, I (the night owl I am) would plan a pre-work coffee date with a friend once every couple weeks. It would give me the positive energy I needed to face the stressful day ahead and freed up my evenings to go to a fitness class and relieve that stress. Now, although I don’t need that same escape, I look back on those early morning dates fondly.

    So glad to hear even more insight into your life! I’m so happy that you’re fully settling in to the suburbs and excited for what’s to come for you two. I’ll have to come explore Walnut Creek at some point!

    1. Hi Catherine! You sure do need to check it out out here, it’s lovely! And I’m so glad you’ve made some awesome changes in your life by moving back to the Bay! Yay!! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  17. Loved this post! I’m so happy to hear you like living outside of SF! Even though we are city folks, the abundant parking in Potrero makes having a car an easy luxury. I love the idea of morning coffee dates. I know coffee is a special morning ritual for pat and I on mornings when I have time.

  18. Love the coffee date posts! Also,that is so great you are loving what you do in your career and blogging. I would love to spend more time on my blog, so many ideas over the past few years and not enough time to do them – how do you find the time to maintain such a great, well-kept blog!? And how did you make local connections with other fitness prof in your area when you moved across the country? Keep up the great work – I LOVE your blog!

    1. Hi Sarah! Yes, it definitely takes up a lot of time! But it’s time well spent, so I love every minute of it. Thank you for the support, and keep up the good work on your blog as well! Happy Sunday!

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