Tuesday Morning Coffee Chat

photo credit: @gaellemarcel via Unsplash

I am loosely borrowing the ‘Coffee Date’ post idea that I’ve seen on other people’s blogs to give you a little life update (I’d give proper credit if I knew where the post idea originated but I’ve seen them on so many different blogs that I don’t know who came up with the idea first. Let me know if you know!).

If you feel that I haven’t been around here much lately (not just due to the stupidity of a non-functioning feed reader), you’re not alone. I feel like I haven’t been on a good blogging schedule in a while because the last few months were very travel-intensive for me. Nicole said it very eloquently in her recent post, it doesn’t take me long to get back into the rhythm of things, but it does take a lot of effort to catch up on life after a week away.

I feel 100% the same lately, only that I am trying to catch up from six trips since the beginning of the year. I haven’t traveled that much in a long time and honestly don’t know how people, who travel regularly for work, do it. I would constantly feel behind in life. 

Here’s what 2024 looked like so far:

Jan 13-15 women’s retreat with my friend Susi
Feb 15-19 at my mother-in-law’s in SoCal
March 8-11 at my mother-in-law’s in SoCal
March 17 – April 5  in Germany/Italy
April 27 – May 6 in Germany
May 10-12 meet up with Tanja in SoCal

I realize that this might not seem like much for some, and yes, at least these were all mostly “fun” trips to spend time with family and friends (minus the visits with my mother-in-law while she was going through chemo, although I was happy to be able to help out and spend time with her) and I enjoyed every minute, but it didn’t make the reentry to daily life any easier (I almost wanna argue it made it harder).

And in that moment of overwhelm, I could also very much relate to Stephany who recently shared that she’s struggling to find time for chores and errands and exercise and blogging and reading blogs and reading books and podcast work and knitting and maintaining my friendships and dating date night and playing with the cats and goals I set for myself each month. I wanted to scream “Yes!”, but like Stephany, I also feel silly complaining about this when I am single married, childless, and have a fairly flexible work schedule

Many of you guys make it look so easy to fit all of those things into your 24-hour days. I am sure you’re ready to tell me that this is not true but it’s hard to change my perception that others seem to know a secret that I don’t. Of course, rationally, I know that we all have our own realities, time perceptions, and time management strategies and we simply can’t – and shouldn’t – compare our situation to others. I know that what I see/read online is only a fraction of people’s real lives. Same here. Why do we fall into this mind trap then?

Anyway, this was supposed to be a little coffee chat life update. I am hoping to write more of these kinds of posts in the coming weeks (not just Weekly Run Downs, which were the only posts I was able to keep up with. They were fairly easy to write but I also – mostly – write them for myself if I am honest.) 

If we had a coffee chat today…

… I’d remind you that I traveled to Germany over Easter for a family vacation in Italy and then returned home for three weeks before heading back there again for about a week. We had a wonderful celebration for my parents’ golden wedding anniversary. 50 years is a long time to spend with another human being and I am so happy I could go and be there for this amazing milestone. 

… I’d complain that food – in general, and take-out in particular – prices have been insane lately. I know this is not the first time I am mentioning this topic but paying $30+ for two burrito bowls at Chipotle recently made my eyes water. (Tanja can confirm.)

… I’d be happy to report that my mother-in-law wrapped up her chemo treatment in March, had a lumpectomy at the beginning of May, and the pathology report came back clear. So she is officially cancer-free as of last week. Jon (and I) are so relieved!

… I’d tell you that I’ve had a couple more meetings with my mentor since we last spoke. He’s a really nice guy, I feel so comfortable talking to him and it’s just so nice to talk to someone (outside of my own office) so freely about work-related issues that I wouldn’t necessarily share with my supervisor or direct co-workers. The best part is that I already feel I am benefiting from this partnership so much. One of the things I want to work on is feeling more comfortable giving presentations. My strategy is to try and speak up more in (all kinds of) Teams meetings. It’s so easy to stay muted and off-camera and not participate, but I realized that this is great practice for me to feel more comfortable speaking in front of an audience.

… I’d confess that I haven’t done any work in my backyard (yet) and that I am really hoping to get at least the patio ready and set up soon (maybe next weekend!) so that I can enjoy the pleasant, moderate weather before the inevitable heat wave kicks in.

If we had a coffee chat today, is there a piece of good news you would be able to share with me?


  1. I love these casual catch up style of posts as you can share a lot of tidbits about what is happening in your life. I’ll tell you what I told Stephany – I told her that I don’t feel you need kids in order to feel “busy.” My life was very full when I was single and childfree and I actually had way more things going on in the evenings/weekends so I felt busy in a different way. But whether you have human dependents or not, we all have the right to say that we are very busy. I don’t like how sometimes people with kids are like – “oh you think you are busy…” or kind of have a “hold my beer” perspective on being busy when talking to people without kids? I do think it’s far easier to run a household with a partner, though. Phil does A LOT for us (groceries, most of the cleaning, etc) but mostly he is doing that because he refuses to outsource anything (and I feel strongly about outsourcing).

    You have been gone a lot and a lot of those trips were over weekends! I think being gone over a weekend is a whole different ballpark from a week day trip. I have been traveling a lot, but being gone Tues-Thur is very different from Fri-Sun because of all the adulting that tends to happen on weekends, at least in our house. I do not have time to do laundry or meal prep, etc on week days so if I am gone over the weekend, I feel so behind when I get back! That’s why we always come back with a one day buffer before returning to work, especially now that we have kids. We need that day to do laundry, get groceries, etc.

    One piece of good news I would share is that I see my doctor this week and I am so glad because my RA is just terrible right now and I’m so over being on a high dose of steroids… it’s not exactly ‘GOOD’ news, but I’m hoping she has some suggestions/ideas on what we can do to improve my disease management.

    1. Thank you, Lisa for what you said here (and on Stephany’s blog) re: being busy. I appreciate your perspective so much!

      I also agree, it’s very different if you are traveling during the week or on the weekends. I also take care of a lot of adult responsibilities on the weekends and if you’re gone over a weekend, it all seems to pile up. I do hope things slow down a little bit in the next few months.

      I am keeping my fingers crossed for your appointment with your doc and hopefully he can help you with your current RA flare.

  2. I have a trip of my own coming up, first time in a while, and this will sound backward, but I would tell you about how relieved I am that my mother has caught a “bug that’s going around”—we’re both relieved because she wasn’t sure what was going on, and neither of us wanted to think she was having another new and possibly serious health concern. But it’s just a bug! I can leave for my trip Saturday as planned, and not freak out. Well, not too much, anyway!

    1. Happy to hear that your mother “only” caught a bug and that you’re able to travel. Have a great trip!

  3. You’ve done some fun adventures so far this year. I related to what Stephany, and now you, are saying about not having the time to do all the things I want. Busy, but sometimes I wonder with what? As for good news to share, of our newly planted rose bushes, 10 are doing great, 1 seems to be waning. Seems like a good percentage to me. I’m calling it a success overall.

    1. Ally, I also wonder what exactly we’re busy with.. haha, I guess it’s LIFE! ;)
      Happy to hear your rose bushes are doing treat. Yay!

  4. I have struggled with blogging lately, and feel like everyone else keeps up so much better than I do. I don’t have a young child, and I work from home and get my chores done during my workday, so why do I not have time for reading and commenting? I’ve been trying to be more present when I’m with my husband and daughter, even if we’re just watching TV. And I want to read my book in the evening. So blogging falls by the wayside, and then I realize I’ve missed things, like I didn’t know you went back to Germany! EXCITING! And even more exciting is the great news about your MIL! YAY!!!

    My good news would be that my daughter started a new job on May 1st, in her industry of choice, and she is liking it so far. That’s big, she was pretty miserable at her last place, sort of a toxic environment.

    1. I totally get it… time just gets away from me especially during the week (with a full work day, exercise and making dinner)… I never quite know where the day went, even though I have flexibility.
      So happy to hear about Maya’s new job and how happy she is there. That is indeed great news!

  5. This isn’t to make you feel bad, but gosh I have really, really missed your voice online. Posts like this are such a pleasure to read.

    It is…hard…to fit things in to 24 hours. I think especially for the personalities that tend to be in our blogging circle? Namely, Type-A people who care deeply about others (you’ve done a lot of travel to be with people you love, but that takes a lot of time, financial commitments etc). I think feeling like there aren’t enough hours is often just a product of you filling your time well. You exercise, you have a great community, you invest in friendships, you cook great food, you appreciate nature, you invest in your marriage, you’ve been travelling, YOU WORK FULL TIME!!!

    I also relate to what Stephany said; obviously my life circumstances are a bit different, and I LOVED how you adjusted her quote to fit your life. Our activities expand based on the responsibilities we have, regardless of what those responsibilities are!

    I loved this post. And what wonderful news your MIL is cancer-free.

    Happy news? My husband just texted that our daughter did a fantastic job at the first performance of her drama production. We’re all going together to see it tomorrow evening and am even more excited now that he has given it such great feedback.

    1. Thank you, friend. I really want to show up here more again… I feel more connected to all of you when I do.
      I also agree with you that there seem to be some similar personalities in our blogging circle who just try to DO IT ALL.. and you’re right, many of us have very full lives (even if they look different from day to day!). I appreciate your kind reminder about that.

      So exciting that A is enjoying her drama group and I can imagine how excited you must be to go see her perform!

  6. I love these posts!
    You have done a LOT of travelling – that is a lot, plus working, plus everything else…it takes a while to catch up for sure.
    I was at lunch with some girlfriends last week and I had a salad and a club soda – with tax and tip it was $37!!! And the salad was NOT that good. So that was disappointing, but what else is new, food prices are insane.
    I’m so happy to hear about your MIL! Great news!

    1. Thanks friend. I knew you could relate ;)
      A salad and club soda for $37 – gasp! I don’t even know what to say. And then it wasn’t even good. Yikes!

  7. I agree with you about travelling it really is hard to get back into routines and catch up. I’m glad working with your mentor is going well. It is such a good idea, and good on you for making it a priority. My good news is that I will be away in Noosa this weekend, which should be fun.

    1. Thanks Melissa, so nice of you to check in. I am excited for your trip to Noosa. How’s your foot?

      1. Still in the boot. I won’t really know until I go back to the physio and she prods the bone to see if there’s any pain. I’m hoping all OK because usually it’s a pretty standard recovery time.

  8. Travel definitely throws off routines, but (at least when it’s for fun stuff) it’s so worth it! And if it’s any consolation I can’t focus on anything right now, though my excuse is the puppy.
    Yay for your MIL’s good news! Bye bye cancer & good riddance!

    1. I am glad you feel the same (if for different reasons ;)).

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one struggling to get everything done and constantly feeling behind! It’s just hard to fit it all in sometimes. We can only do the best we can. <3

    That's a lot of travel, especially some of it being overseas and some of it involving caretaking duties which can be EXHAUSTING, so it's no wonder you're struggling a bit right now. That is such great news about your MIL, though! What a relief!!

    What's getting me through this week is that I have 8 days off work and I am looking forward to the break!

    1. You’re definitely not the only one … but we do the best we can, and I am happy to hear that you’re having a break coming up!

  10. I need weekends to catch up on the things that slide during the week and I haven’t had a weekend to do that in a month and my life is spiraling out of control. I think I’m going to write a post about it on Friday about what our dining room table looks like as a way to demonstrate how insane I feel. But it’s fine. This is the life I’ve chosen and everything will get done.

    Good news. Hmmmm. My co-worker and I worked on a handout and our boss recently approved it? Oh, this is a hard question. I need to ponder it more.

    1. Yes! I need weekends too to catch up and I think that’s what’s been throwing me off the most…

  11. I can relate to the feeling of trying to catch up with things. I have not been around online much lately but only following along quietly on most blogs. No matter what it’s always nice to read about what is happening in your life and it sounds like you had a lot good things going on in yours this first half of the year.
    I would share with you that I started going to a bi-weekly German coffee date on Sunday mornings what has been really lovely. It has been good to use my German a little more outside the house besides the family phone calls.

  12. Congrats to your MiL! That is wonderful news! And congrats to your parents as well. 50 is a huge deal. I love that you got to see them in person twice so far this year.

    I totally related when Stephany wrote that too. We all prioritize different things! I love my fun trips away and it also takes me a week or two to get back to things. I mean, I haven’t read blogs in well over a week now. That is one thing I don’t do when I travel! You’re living your best life though and making this hobby work for you!

  13. I like coffee chats! I enjoyed reading this. A lot of traveling is a great reason to take a blog break! Going back and forth to Germany must be an exhausting and long trip. Does the jet lag get to you? I think it would really mess me up, and I’d be so confused! 🤣 I’m glad you had some fun and your MIL is doing well!

  14. With all the trips, while fun, they can derail us from the routine. I totally get that. It’s the “cost” we pay for the fun, which is totally worth it.
    I love talking to my mentor too, he knows in and out of our organization but we don’t work in the same country anymore. I get so much insights from him who climbed up the career ladder very successfully, and still reminds me that the most important years are the years spent with the kids.
    I used to be stressed out before presentation. Then with practice and preparation, the stress is gone. Preparation is the key and practice.

  15. It is so good to hear that your MIL is cancer free. Good news. Reading your travel list I felt like you were in SoCal much more though. So many beach pictures and runs in your IG feed. But that only shows, that RL and OL are two side of the same coin and always depending what is shown and can be seen.

    Also congrats on your mentor and that it does help you and makes you step out of your comfort zone. So cool.

  16. Oh, San. I feel this down to my soul. Thank you for opening up and sharing with us. I have a lot of thoughts of my own – not sure if I will share on my blog, but I think about these things all the time. <3
    I am so, so glad, though, that you have so many GOOD things happening in your life! I was hoping that your MIL would soon be through treatment and would have a good prognosis. What wonderful news for you and Jon to receive. I hope there was celebrating. You all have been through a lot this year.
    And it's also fantastic that you and your mentor have made such a strong connection in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes, those "blind date" mentor/mentee relationships just… don't work out. But other times, they do! And I hope you continue to reap the benefits for a long time.

    1. You’re so sweet, Anne. I am so, so happy about my mentor and how quickly we’ve made a connection. I feel like the feeling is mutual and we always have a great time when we get together.

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