Ch.32~Go Shawty, It's Your bEarthDay 6.20.2020
In the greatest of transparency, this, by far has been the hardest blog to write. In talking with my Sistas today, it was confirmed that COVID19 has ya girl struggling to fight off ch8se depression.
Ya'll know how passionate I am about the ch8se, but what you may not know is that each ch8se is extremely personal. Each is therapeutic, cathartic even. The ch8se literally carries my soul and energizes my spirit. The ch8se is transformative, and literally enhances my everything. Withdrawal, is an apparent part of this struggle.
Nevertheless, let's do this. Once upon a time, June 20, 1970 to be exact.....nah just kidding.
Pre-pandemic, the birthday plan was a week long Carribean cruise then return to a horseback ch8se in the Great Smokey Mountains. Welp, the cruise did not happen. However, goodness still unfolded. My amazing daughter, Don & her husband Joe, surprised me with the horseback ch8se in the Great Smokey Mountains. It was truly epic awesomeness. It was my first time on a horse and a perfect first. This will definitely be added to the ch8se map, once we are on the other side of this pandemic.
The blog is all about my bEarthdate, so stick with me. I am so sure that nothing I may have planned could have been more perfect than the celebration of this milestone with my beautiful family and friends. There was so much goodness, that unfolded that continues to carry me through it all. I was inundated with love, magical blessings, kindness, joy, laughter, great vibes and an emotional roller coaster that will last a lifetime.
As I prepared for this monumental day, I asked several friends to join me and be creative in helping me celebrate fifty. The pandemic dampened some of the plans, and dismissed/delayed others; however, when I tell you a few of my SiStars came all the way through, OMG!!!
Constantly Killing it Cozette launched an effort to have fifty of my family and friends physically, old skool, snail mail birthday cards to me. I knew she was working on this, and I was truly hoping for 50 cards, I really was. I mean, snail mail takes some thought and effort. You've gotta go buy the card, buy a stamp, address it, write a lil note, and then drop it in the mail. You know, unlike a type it, and hit send email, the snail mail takes consideration. Each day, leading to my birthday, I would be stalking the mailman to see how many cards I would receive. I think there was only one day that I didn't receive a card, and that one day was disappointing, followed by days of receiving three to eight cards a day. The celebration of cards was the perfect prelude to 50. I remained hopeful, fingers crossed, all the while stalking my mailman.
Whoop, there it is, ya'll, I received well over 74 birthday cards. This blew my near senior citizen mind. I am forever grateful for each of you who thought of me enough to send me a card. I received some absolutely amazing cards, and will eventually turn them into a scrap book. Thanks to those of you who actually sent multiple cards on different days to make sure I reached the goal of fifty cards. You ladies are the MVPs. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Whatever you do, get you a friend like Cozette who comes through and coordinates this kind of fun. Thank you Sis for pulling this together for me. I enjoyed it so much. So perfect. I love you babe.
Now what I did not know is that when I asked Energetic Ellen to coordinate an event, that she would bring me to tears. What I remembered asking her to do was to coordinate a girls getaway to the beach. Knowing the state of the nation, I knew that would not happen, so I discarded the idea and focused on the ch8se. Little did I know, my girl Energetic Ellen was still coordinating efforts to get us to the beach. She's such a great friend.
I arrive to the ch8se, in an non traditional manner. Those of you who were there, and have ch8sed before, know that this ch8se champion does not do late, so I was a bit throwed off, and all in my feelings. I pull up apologizing, and the sea of beautiful faces, welcomed me, and encouraged me to focus on the fact that I and my crew had arrived safely and that was all that mattered. I love my Sistas, my ch8sers, my squad, they are the absolute best. I begin giving my lil spill, and begin to lead us into the woods, so I thought. Cozette announces that Ellen has a presentation. Ya'll, she took us to the beach, and left me speechless. Look, I can show you better than I can tell you.
Yep, I cried like a big ole baby. Wasn't that the absolute best, best, best virtual, celebration gift ever. Epic awesomeness. Sis you did that. And to get our #GirlTrek co-founder, the epitome of badassery, T. Morgan Dixon, to close out the video, was priceless, absolutely priceless. Sis you did that! I can't wait to turn up at the beach in 2021. Thank you my Energetic Ellen for pulling this together. I love it, and I love you Sis.
The ch8se, ok, back to the ch8se.
As true ch8sers do, each Sista, my boo, and even some brother's this time, showed up ready to get it in and get'er done! Chapter 32, this bEarthDay ch8se unfolded at the very first ch8se location ever, Vickery Creek, at Roswell Mill in Roswell, GA. We trekked down by the waterside, and up the hill to the area above the stairs. We spent time beneath the stairs, in and on the water. The hike was roughly two, moderate miles, with stairs and rooted terrain.
I believe there were 27 of us, masked, and social distanced ch8sers that filled the park. We #embr8cedthech8se every step of the way. We paused to breath in the fresh air, we enjoyed the sights, the sounds, the power and the beauty of nature. We trekked the trails, and enjoyed quiet conversations. Our time together was purposeful and meaningful in so many ways. We welcomed new ch8sers and new friends. We reconnected with familiar faces, and paused for every bit of goodness in sight.
There were moments of reflection, and opportunities to share. Did I mention, I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful people in the world, and so proud to call them friends? I am. I found myself purely enamored with the beauty of the day, and those who chose to support and celebrate with me. The weather was perfect, and so was the fellowship.
The lunch was another surprise. Remember, I am surrounded by some amazing people. They escorted me to the Urban Trend cafe, a vegan restaurant which was equally as perfect as the morning had been. The patio was all ours. It was decorated with gold, foil sunflowers balloons, and of course the numbers 5-0. I was surrounded with love and more gifts than I could have ever imagined. Ya'll, I had vegan cupcakes from Sweet Rain, that omg, made me loose some weight loss cool points. I can't wait to treat myself to them again. The foil, teriyaki vegan burger at Urban Trend, was the best. My circle is so magical. Thank you, each one of you who celebrated with me.
Afterwards another first commenced. The adventures of Awesome AyJay took us to Stone Mountain park for my first ever kayaking experience. The kids pitched a tent, pulled out the chairs, the coolers, and the fun. We spent hours of fun, chill and relaxation on the water. It was so good. Thanks Sis, for introducing me to a new love, and once again, enhancing my life with this experience.
The day with my family and friends began with the ch8se and ended on the water. It was the perfect celebration for me. Listen, when I tell you, there is nothing, I mean absolutely nothing like a good ole pot of gumbo, there isn't; and that's exactly what I have. My pot is filled with eclectic, beautiful, powerful, simply amazing family and sista's who show up and share their shine in the most meaningful and memorable ways ever. I am humbled and blessed to be surrounded by the best of the best. Thank you truly is insufficient to express my gratitude, yet for now, it is my best.
The celebration did not end there, and truly has not ended, but since this is mostly about the ch8se, we will leave it at that. Just know that my bae day, involved a personal chef, flowers, and a celebratory wine down, plus, plus, plus.
The gifts, the calls, the posts, the hugs, the loves, all of it. I appreciate you all. And, oh, in the midst of it all, I coordinated Deb's 50th bEarthDay, virtual 5K, with medals and t-shirts. Some of the ladies wore their shirts to the ch8se, and others shared their completion posts via social media. This too was a huge success, and yet another perfect way to celebrate my milestone day. There is so much goodness in this life, so much.
The next ch8se happens soon, on a much smaller scale, yet, I have decided, the ch8se will go on. Until we ch8se again, Love, Peace & Waterfall.
Your Ch8se Champion
8.16.2020 -I know, it took forever, for me to get this one out. (whew)