Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Lost Art of the Phone Conversation


“The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink.” ~Fran Lebowitz

You know what I miss? Phone conversations. Remember those? I remember talking on the phone for hours on end with friends during my teenage years. Such a good way to catch up with people at the end of the day.

In the day and age of texting and IM messages, it seems as if good old-fashioned phone conversations have become a thing of the past. I have several friends that I mainly only correspond with via text-messaging. We all get so busy with our day-to-day lives that it seems the most convenient and preferred method of conversation/correspondence.

Now I am well-aware that many people have a complete aversion to telephone conversations (my dad loathes talking on the phone), but I have always loved them myself.

Perhaps we can start a revolution and bring phone conversations back from the brink of extinction :-)

What about you? Do you feel that phone conversations have lost their importance in the age of texting?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Contolling Only What we can Control...


“Why worry about things you can't control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.” ~Wayne Dyer

One of the more irrational things that almost all of us do (myself included) is worry about things outside of our control. Why spend our time and emotional resources on something that we literally have zero control over? We should only worry about the things that we have control over….right? Even though the rational side of ourselves is well aware of how pointless it is to worry about such things, we do it anyway. After all, we all know that rationality is much easier in theory than in practice :)

I think it’s human nature to want to control things…when we cede control we become vulnerable, and vulnerability is sometimes scary.

I have been making a conscious effort to refrain from worrying about things that are outside of my control and I must say that it has definitely made a difference. Is it easy? Of course not. It takes the same practice and effort that any lifestyle change takes. But as long as you’re committed to it, the mindset of worrying over things outside of your control can be changed.

Do you find yourself frequently worrying about things outside of your control?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Home is Where the Heart is...

My hometown of Maysville, Kentucky

Oliver Wendell Holmes said "Home is a place that our feet may leave, but not our hearts." There's a lot of truth in these words. I will be spending a couple of days in my hometown during Easter weekend. I am so looking forward to being able to see my adorable niece and nephew, my mother and father, and my best friend in the world – my sister.

What is it about returning to our hometown that makes us feel that way? Perhaps it’s the nostalgia that seeps into our senses from the moment we step foot back on the soil of our origin, the secure familiarity of a family member’s hug, or the sense of calmness that comes from being surrounded by the sights and sounds of yesteryear. Whatever it is, it’s one of the nicest feelings that I’ve ever known.

When I travel back to my hometown, memories begin to flash back, fun times passed are talked about, and moments that were once embarrassing can now be laughed at (thank GOD). I love driving around to places where memories were made and seeing what places have changed and what places have remained the same.

Do you get to visit your hometown often? What are your feelings when you do?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Comfort Zones...


"Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone" ~ Neale Donald Walsch

I have been making a conscious effort during the past year to step outside of my comfort zone. There is a lot of "comfort" to be found in one's comfort zone. Comfort zones are safe, secure, and familiar. They're also low risk. The problem with comfort zones though, is that they are easy to get stuck in. An overreliance on the familiar leads to a fear of the unfamiliar...and that's never a healthy thing. For this reason, comfort zones can often act as an obstacle to growth and development.

When we step out of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to a world that had been previously closed off to us! Also, it's not nearly as hard as it may sound. You can start with little things like listening to different types of music or starting a random conversation with a stranger. After work, take a different route home. You can even make your next trip to the grocery store something completely different by buying things that you've never tried before and spending entire week eating new entrees (something I definitely need to do). Although these are relatively little things, they can be invigorating because they free you from your routine and they allow you to experience things that you had previously been hesitant to experience.

These small changes should make you feel more energized and mentally refreshed. At this point, you can even take things up a notch. Do you have a phobia? If so, perhaps you should work on finally conquering it (I am slowly but surely working on my fear of heights). Is there a person that you've wanted to approach for a while but haven't been able to get up the nerve? Approach them for goodness sakes! And you know what? If you make a fool of yourself...who cares? At least you are living life fully! Stepping out of one's comfort zone is not an easy thing for any of us, but it's the key to maximizing your happiness.

Do you have trouble stepping out of your comfort zone? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why I Love Springtime


“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.” ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
Ah springtime. The season of new beginnings. Suddenly you can feel the pulse of life returning. The mornings are brighter, the skies seem bluer, and the air just seems...fresher. It’s as if the earth is coming alive after taking a long winters nap. The grass is getting greener and the trees are getting fuller. There is a feeling of rejuvenation in the air that is not present in any other season. Nature is rejoicing and it’s impossible not to rejoice with it!

With spring drawing near, I feel it’s only appropriate to muse on the myriad of reasons that I love this time of year.

Warmer Weather
The warm sun on your skin is such a great feeling.  On warm spring days Mother Nature is literally inviting you into her house by drawing you out of yours :)

Flowers
The colors are everywhere. From yellow daffodils, to red tulips, to purple hyacinths, to white lilies…the colors are endless and amazing.

Rain
There’s nothing quite as soothing as the sound and sight of a warm spring rain as it nourishes the earth.

Lighter Clothes
It’s nice to finally break out the shorts for the first time in months!

Picnics
Is there anything more romantic than a spring-time picnic?

More daylight.
The days become longer and longer…allowing us to revel more and more in the amazing sunlight. 

Awakenings:
As spring enlivens the earth, it also enlivens us.

Leave the window open at night
There are few things I love more than to fall asleep to the sounds of mother nature.

Smell of freshly cut lawns
I love Saturday afternoons with the sounds of lawnmowers in the distance and the smell of freshly cut grass in the air.

Optimism:
Isn’t there just something optimistic about spring? It’s as if there is an extra “pep in our step”, an extra dose of enthusiasm!

Birds!!
There are few sounds on earth as wonderful as the melodic sounds of all the different springtime birds singing in unison…makes for an unbelievable start to the day.

Green here, green there, green green everywhere!
I love seeing the grass and the trees brought to life by endless spring rains resulting in a beautiful hue of rich green.

Spring Holidays
I know we usually associate the Holidays with late autumn and winter, but springtime has quite an impressive list of holidays itself!  St. Patrick’s Day , Good Friday, Easter, Earth Day (great cause), and Mother's Day.

Spring Cleaning
Springtime is great for de-cluttering! I love spending a random spring weekend airing out the house and cleaning it from top to bottom. Great way to start the spring!

These are but a few of the many reasons that I love springtime. What's your favorite thing about spring?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rural vs. Urban Living



Rural vs. urban. So many pros and cons to each one.  As someone who lives in a rural area but commutes 35 miles to work in an urban area, I kind of have the best of both worlds. I can appreciate both.

I was recently approved for my first home loan. I probably won't buy until June or July but one of the things I will need to decide is whether I will remain in a rural setting like the one I currently live in or move to an urban area closer to work. Decisions decisions…

Rural living offers peace, tranquility, scenery, nature, and safety. Urban living offers convenience, interaction, and a multitude of things to do. I enjoy both for different reasons; though I believe my heart was made for a rural life.

How about you. Do you prefer urban living or rural living?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Favorite Sound on Earth...




I sometimes think our sense of sound is the most “underrated” of the senses. We often talk of how wonderful fresh apple pie smells, or how beautiful an ocean sunset looks, or how delicious a homemade lasagna tastes (all true by the way), but it seems that we rarely talk of how amazing some things sound.
Today I would like to talk about my favorite sound on earth...the sound of rain on leaves. If I were to think back to the most beautiful thing I've ever heard in my lifetime…it was the first time that I truly “heard” this sound. I used to frequently hike to a large wooded area behind the house that I grew up in…usually hoping to come across some rare bird that I had never seen before so I could mark it down in my bird journal ...I was 12 don’t judge :)
One afternoon in particular, I was relatively far into the woods when a steady rain started and slowly grew into a torrential downpour. As long as I live, I’ll never forget what that sounded like. The sound of the pouring rain hitting the treetops was like a symphony…rain against leaf multiplied my millions. It was truly beyond description. The treetops provided ample shelter which allowed me to just stand there and appreciate what I was hearing.
That’s how the sound of rain on leaves became my favorite sound on earth.
What’s your favorite sound?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Art of Forgiveness...


“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~Lewis B. Smedes

Through introspection, I have been thinking a lot about forgivenes of late. One of the hardest things we’ll ever do is forgive someone who has wronged us. We’ve all been wronged and we’ve all wronged other people. What separates those who are able to move on from those who are unable to do so is the ability to forgive.
Forgiveness does not mean that you’re freeing the other person of their wrongness…it means that you’re freeing yourself from their wrongness. Does that make sense? Think of it in these terms: The longer that you hold onto resentment, the longer you’re allowing yourself to remain in a vicious cycle of negativity. In essence, by being unable to forgive you are punishing yourself every bit as much as you’re punishing the other person, if not more so.

Have you ever had trouble forgiving something? If you’ve granted forgiveness, has it made you feel better?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

More Than Just Words...


"Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure." ~Edward Thorndike

I love quotes...I collect them in fact. Whenever I come across a thought provoking, inspirational, or uplifting quote, I save it. To me, a powerful quote is more than just words. In fact, history is filled with inspirational words that created defining moments for human civilization.

I like to use these quotes to center myself. I feel that we can almost always attribute any given quote to at least one aspect of our lives or to a particular emotion that we have been feeling. Gandhi, Martin Luther King JR., Socrates, Mother Theresa, Robert Frost, and Hellen Keller are but a few of the sources of the most thought-provoking quotes known to man.

For a little over a year, I've been sending out an inspirational quote via my "thought of the day" email. These quotes come from the collection of various quotes that I have collected over the years. I know some of my blogger friends already receive these from me, but for those who do not, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to ask you if you would like to be added to this list.

If so, please email me at keith_wynn@hotmail.com and let me know if you would like to be added to my recipient list! You can also follow me on Twitter here. I look forward to connecting!

Do you find inspiration in quotes? Is there a quote that you find particularly inspiring?