Give Thanks '08

Loved Ones,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, it is that time again, time for my annual message of gratitude and appreciation. This year has presented many highs and lows, in my life and in some of yours, as well. Personally, I am experiencing a metamorphosis of sorts, and it has affected me in ways that I cannot quite explain. However, I will say, that I am meeting a new "me", and reacquainting myself with aspects of myself, I feared I had lost. For this, I say hallelujah!

Last year, I encouraged you to create a list of things you wanted to accomplish for 2008. Two-thousand eight is on its way out of here, so how did you do? I was supposed to learn to swim, in order to conquer fears that grip me when its time to take a next big step in life. Those lessons did not happen, so it will be carried over to my ’09 list. The reasons are not so important, so long as I have not given up the desire to learn. I shall swim! I have begun to face my fears in other ways though, and it’s a process but I see the good in it. It frees me up to maximize my potential and share my gifts.

The Creator will allow us to remain in spaces that are difficult and challenging, and sometimes dark, until we learn the lesson(s) for which he has presented the situation in the first place. If you ever wonder why certain things keep happening to you, look within first. It is our nature, to be hardheaded and stubborn at times, and usually, we stand in our own way. This is "blocking your blessings" and if you take a moment, and look within, you are sure to recall times when you have done this to yourself. I say, please stop. We’d be best served, I believe, to name it, claim it, and then move out the way. I'm done lecturing. :)

I am thankful this day, for my family and friends, near and far. I’ve reconnected with some childhood friends and that has been a highlight for me. Today, my parents are in Chicago, as are my Aunt Day Day, my uncles, my brother, and a host of cousins and life long friends. My Auntie Lil' Mama is in Nashville along with my cousin Bertie and other cousins. I will be spending the day with my L.A. family, and for them, I am SO grateful. They, along with my LA friends, offer a sense of belonging and normalcy.

What I love most about Thanksgiving is that it is a reminder that you are never alone. It is a chance to come together with people you like and love to relax and be comforted. We eat ourselves into oblivion and return home with a smile. It is a time to put your troubles aside and celebrate the goodness of life (and watch some games.)

Although we are living in uncertain and stressful times due to the economy, and what seems like a never-ending war, I encourage you to remain faithful, knowing that this too shall pass. We must come together, and support one another in any and all ways possible. No longer can we afford to live in our own cushy bubbles, as if the world outside, around us, is inconsequential. You see where that has gotten us.

I give endless thanks that I was here to witness the election of our first black president. I know I have not spoken much about it, and there aren't too many things that render me speechless, but this is one of them. I must admit, I am STILL soaking it in. It's a proud moment in our history and for our country, and I can't wait to take this journey with the Obama family! I could not ask for a more shining example of manhood, womanhood and family.

As always, I am honored to know you, and blessed by your presence in my life!

With Endless Love,

RSY aka The Maven


Drop It

In the last moments of my dream this morning, before I awoke, I found myself driving along, when suddenly, my car stopped. No warning, no jerking, no smoke, no noise.

It just stopped.

I got out and began to push it towards a service station, and as you know, dreams can be weird, so as I began to push and guide the car, grocery cart handles appeared on the trunk. Go figure. Anyway, I got the car to the shoulder of the road, which by the way, was very reminiscent of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and there was the gas station........at the top of a hill! So I pushed and pushed, and the car, having a mind of its own, would occasionally, get turned around. I was maneuvering the car by the grocery cart handles (imagine a cart with tricky wheels) and it was turning in all sorts of directions, so at times I was pulling it up the hill. There was a man standing at the top, filling his car with gas, and he looked like he wanted to help, but he was hesitant. Nonetheless, I kept at it, I had to get my car some service. I had places to go.

I finally made it to the top, the service department was closed, and as I was standing there trying to decide my next move, the car rolled back down the hill! I stood there, jumping up and down, yelling, for someone at the bottom to catch it! But it rolled off of, what seemed like a ledge, and crashed. I ran down to the bottom, and there lay a smashed piece of metal, almost compacted. I picked it up in my hand and cried.

I am relaying this to say "let it go".

This is what my dream told me. It told me to let it all go. We can push and pull and prod and sometimes we still lose, but after more reflection, in that loss, there is the victory. Be still! These are trying times for many people and if its not you, its very likely someone you know. Of course, "trouble don't last always" and if you think back, I'm certain there is a time in your life where you felt you wouldn't make it through, but somehow, by His grace, you did.

Listen, we cannot solve every problem or be all things to all people. Sometimes, we can't be everything, even to ourselves. Just take things day by day. Wake up and count your blessings. Choose one thing to be happy about, or ten if you've got it like that. But, by all means, choose to be HAPPY. Choose to smile. Choose to laugh. Choose to help someone else; be an angel in disguise. Choose to accomplish something new, TODAY!

Its all good for the soul.

I love you.

The Maven


Mediocrity Just Left the Building

Believe me when I say.....this has been the most emotional day of my life! I am proud to be an American and proud to be an African-American.

He is our President, she is our First Lady, and they are our First Family.

This is the end of mediocrity and the beginning of excellence!

Get ready to be great!

The Maven

Just one more reason....

I wish my Grandmothers could have lived to see this day, my Aunts Robbie and Rozzie, my cousins, a few friends and mentors.....

I am blessed that my parents have experienced this day so that we may share in these moments and memories together. It would be nice to be home in Chicago today, but I'll be there in spirit.

Entering the polls this morning, I felt so many things.......excitement, nervousness, joy, and sadness. I was so full as I walked home, and the tears rolled down my face, and the sun was shining, and I am happy. I am happy to have experienced this historic moment, first hand, up close and personal.

With love,

Obama '08!


Can you Smell What Nov. 4th is Cookin'?

If you have yet to vote, get ready for a busy Tuesday. Please don't be discouraged by long lines or inclement weather. Take your lawn chair, reading materials, some water and snacks, perhaps an umbrella, and some comfy shoes, just in case you must wait for hours. Charge up your I Pod or get extra batteries for your radio. Take your I.D.; even though it is not always required, have it just in case. Also, know that if you are in line before the time your poll closes, you cannot be turned away! Stay the course!

Wear your sunscreen, take your shades, or bundle up if your city is chilly. Lay low on the political gear, just in case it is an issue. Check with someone elderly or impaired who may need assistance getting to the polls. Be patient and kind with the poll workers, as they will have a rough day.

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you are uncertain of procedure and for goodness sake, check your ballot twice, before submitting your vote, especially if you are voting electronically!

Remain positive and smile to all whom you encounter, be encouraging, as this is a historical time, and we are blessed to be able to participate.

There is no telling what time the results will come in, so get ready to settle in, possibly, for an intense night, and maybe, morning after.

Below is a gift from D.P.


The Maven