We’ve made it through another calendar year. Some combination of joyous, fatigued, inspired, bruised, cautious, or hopeful, on any given day. Stories to tell and plans still in the making. Intersections of work life and “real life” (can they be the same thing?). And though I have no idea how many read this blog, I feel an energetic connection to you, the professional who is also a combination – of conductor and singer, teacher and leader, parent, child, spouse, partner, colleague, neighbor, and most of all, human with a spirit and wisdom that are still not fully realized.
I admire you, for what you do and how you strive to “bring it” every day, despite all the perfectly understandable reasons not to. I am grateful for you, for choosing compassion over policies when it was most human to do so. I am hopeful on your behalf, that you will remember what music feels like when you make it, so as you guide others, you can help them feel it, too. And I am confident that the gifts you have been given can be grown and tailored to greet each year, each era, each challenge, and each opportunity that comes your way.
Endings, like the end of the year, are also beginnings. Once you gain some perspective on the past, leave the murkiness and the regrets behind. You are not that. You lived, experienced, learned, and on your best days, made someone aware of what they can bring to the world. You will continue to create a ripple effect through what you do and say, in how you teach and live.
May you be well.
May you experience joy.
May you trust your instincts.
May you know you are loved.
And may you know, in some small way and in the not-too-distant future, just how powerful that ripple effect has been for the many fortunate souls you have impacted for the better.
Dr. Ramona Wis is the Mimi Rolland Endowed Professor in the Fine Arts, Professor of Music, and Director of Choral Activities at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and the author of The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium. Dr. Wis is a 500-hour CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) and a certified Brain Longevity® Specialist, a research-based certification on yoga and integrative medicine for brain health and healthy aging. Reach her at: