Dear Norwood-Fontbonne Community,
Like most everyone this time of year, I am reflecting on the year that has past and preparing for the year ahead. In these dark, cold, wintry days it’s nice to turn our thoughts to renewal and new beginnings. Perhaps this is the year I will keep all of my new year resolutions. If past performance is a predictor, things are looking less than likely for 100%, but I’m ever the optimist and welcome the goal setting. After a hectic December, I’m eager to put my house in order, both literally and figuratively. The new year is the perfect time to simplify and focus on the core. I recommend keeping resolutions simple too and limit to one each for mind, body, and spirit. Educating the mind for personal and professional fulfillment is a life long journey. Discern what skill or interest you wish to develop. Take care of your personal health. Set a fitness goal. Get those elusive eight hours of sleep and drink those eight glasses of water. Most importantly commit to a daily faith practice to enrich your prayer life.
The anthem of this welcoming of the new year is shared around the world in the song “Auld Lang Syne”. The song is based on the poem by Robert Burns. While the Scott poet added much of the song we know today, the base of the poem comes from what Burns described as “ancient” oral tradition, which may be part of what makes it so timeless. It’s grown beyond the Hogmany New Year’s celebrations of Scotland to be the ubiquitous song of the season. You are probably humming it with the image of Jimmy Stewart from the last scene of It’s A Wonderful Life in your mind’s eye.
For me the song is the perfect balance of celebration and reflection, being nostalgic but not melancholy. Many of us, myself included, bore sadness and lost loved ones in the year that has past. “Auld Lang Syne” reminds us to remember all the times that have gone by with love and affection. Central to the song is the importance of friendship and honoring friendship. Most importantly we are called to find joy and peace in each day and welcome the new year with hope, strengthened by the camaraderie of those we love.
To you, my friends, I toast your health and success in the new year and all the years to come. May your families be blessed and filled with faith and may the love of our Lord fill your homes and your hearts.
Ryan Killeen, Ed.D.