What are you up to today? ” Just chillin” is the phrase the kids in my house say when they are just hanging out, doing nothing really, “just chillin”. I must confess as the mom I don’t have a lot of opportunities to just chill. I’m a little jealous of the “chillin” group. Somewhere along the way I think I lost the ability to chill. Always so much to do… cooking, cleaning, laundry, helping with homework, my job, my relationships, my list – you know – THE TO DO LIST. Do and chill are not usually used in the same sentence and I have become all about the do and very little about the chill.

I like to stay busy and productive. I have always been like this, even as a young girl I had a list of things to do and I loved checking them off one by one. As I grew up and became a mom, my list obviously grew with my demanding responsibilities of being the mom to four awesome kiddos. Chillin’ isn’t on my list.

About a month ago, my college age son had to have shoulder surgery and I traveled across the state to be his caregiver. I brought my eleven year old daughter along too. The first few days were busy with the task of caring for him post-operatively. Around the clock care and pain meds – doing. Then came the chill part… I must admit I struggled with that. I was in a Residence Inn with my two kids, thankfully my job allowed me to take the time off to care for my son, not my normal busy packed day. I checked my e-mail in the morning and checked in with the office, all was well. I checked back home with my husband, the other kiddos were just fine, the dogs were fine, all was fine! I look across the room and my son was in a deep slumber and my daughter was “chillin” watching a movie on her I-pad with her headphones on. What to do? There must be something… I did the laundry, no housework in a hotel really, now what…

I decided to take a long walk and I walked right into a delightful little coffee shop that was housed in an old historic home. The grounds were beautiful with the fall toned flowers bursting with color and golden leaves strewn across the lawn. As I walked up the path the smell of fresh brewed coffee and cinnamon rolls were amazing. Mingled with the fresh autumn air, my senses were awakened. A little sparrow perched on a tree branch looked over at me and tilted it’s little head as if to say hello as I approached the front door. I began browsing the little gift shop and had a sweet conversation with the elderly lady who was preparing my chai tea. She explained to me that all the proceeds helped fund the local hospice chapter. “Isn’t that lovely?” she said. Lovely indeed. As I walked back to our hotel, I realized it had been a long time since I had some free time. Oh how I have missed that, created by my own doing I must admit. The slowing down process is hard for those of us who strive all the time. I missed the all important point of ” just chillin”. When you chill you notice things like little birds and wonderful sights and smells. You visit with kind strangers and notice your own breathing. When I got back to the room my daughter asked the question, what are we doing today? “Just Chillin”, I replied. The rest of the day I enjoyed long talks about life with my now young adult son, enjoyed the movies and the laughter with my kids. My husband arrived that evening and the “chillin” state continued. I then looked at my calendar that night out of habit and on the next day I wrote in big letters ” JUST CHILLIN'”!