ToddTalk: Practicing Thanksgiving for those who make life more meaningful

Conway Institute of Music

As Thanksgiving approaches, resist the rush to Christmas and take a moment to reflect on the people you are thankful for in 2023.

I had a professor one time who talked about her gratitude journal. she may have called it something different, but it was a gratitude journal.

She used it to remember times when, as she says, God provided blessings for her and her family.

According to experts, practicing gratitude is very good for our health.

According to an article at the Mayo Clinic Website,

“Expressing gratitude is associated with a host of mental and physical benefits. Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease.”

There are a myriad of effects on our health when we practice gratitude. It’s just a very practical thing to do.

Usually, in November, folks spend the month thinking about and listing what they (we) are thankful for.

That, of course, is because this month is the month for Thanksgiving in America.

However, often, we are in a hurry to get to the Christmas holiday season.

Who remembers the video of Mariah Carey being melted out of a block of ice on November 1st?

The two holidays are pretty close and that provides a very real temptation to just kind of skip over Thanksgiving, but it would do a well to slow down and think about what we are thankful for.

So, what are you thankful for?

This year, I want to think about WHO we are thankful for. Who are YOU thankful for?

I asked this question on my Facebook profile and got a few answers.

Here are some of those answers:

Charlee K Landon
“Thankful for my son, my business, and God.”

Claudia Fountain
“Thankful for my kids and my community!!
🌎🌱🌹 And Thankful for you Todd E. Jones for asking!”

Preston Palmer
“The great people that work for me at Palmer Music Co!”

Phil Fletcher
“My CoHO Family!”

When I think about Conway, I think about the folks that I am thankful for. The new and old friends alike as well as my family.

Thanksgiving: Townsend and Me. I'm thankful for Townsend.
Thanksgiving: Townsend and Me

The Storytellers

I am thankful for the storytellers.

Storytellers are the artists, the musicians, and the authors who tell our stories, their stories or others’ stories.

Storytellers are like artist Faye Hedera and Barbara Satterfield from the Central AR Collective.

Storytellers are like musicians James Skelton and Mike McCullars who teach and make music.

Storytellers are like authors Jean Leffler and Raven Nobles, who share their thoughts with us and help us make sense of our ideas.

Small Business Owners

I am thankful for small business owners because they are living a dream and employing others.

I am thankful for small business owners like Laura Hollway from Blue Barn Bakery who provide options for those with gluten intolerance and those of us cutting carbs.

I am thankful for small business owners like John Keith of T.H.I.NK. Coffee, who makes great coffee drinks and gives back to nonprofits in the area.

I am thankful for small business owners like Shelby Blacksmith of Gibson’s Cat Cafe, who provides a place for me to go hang out with cats.

For every person I mention here, there are hundreds more who make Conway a better place.

The Advocates

I am thankful for the advocates in Conway.

I am thankful for advocates like Rickey Gulley, who celebrates everyone and helps me make sense of the history of Conway.

I am thankful for advocates like Phil Fletcher, who founded City of Hope Outreach that helps kids have a safe place after school and is helping veterans have a safe place to live with their Hope Village project.

I am thankful for advocates like Spring Hunter, who leads the Conway Ministry Center that continually fights for the homeless population in Conway.

And, of course, I am always thankful for Scott Forbush and the entire Round Mountain Coffe family!

My challenge to you for Thanksgiving 2023 is to think about WHO you are thankful for.

Oh, and once you decide that, let them know.

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