Despite our high hopes for 2022, this year is not off to a great start for our profession. We can know, like all things, it will get better. But it is difficult for me to negotiate my frustrations with these circumstances that are well “above my paygrade” and beyond my control. As I continue to navigate these strange times, I am determined to continue to learn and grow despite what can feel like a “hold” or “freeze” on my professional growth and satisfaction. I thought I would share with you a concept that has helped me to find more JOY.

Perhaps you are even more familiar than I with the “Circle of Control”. I have found great solace in this concept as it has caused me to better realize my sphere of influence. Placing my relationships, tasks, struggles, conflicts, joys, and sorrows into this sphere works to free me from the burden of frustration that comes with life’s uncertainty.

The concept presented in this model helps me to determine my course of action or thought process when faced with challenges. It allows me to take a deep breath and realize that which I can not control. I am able to discern the circumstances that I can influence. I can better identify the areas in my life where I have control. When I sort out all things in this way, I have discovered that I have more JOY in my life. I find better balance and a heightened ability to focus on positive things and not get stuck in the weeds, as is my tendency.

May 2022 be a great year for you. Regardless of your circumstances, frustrations, trials, and challenges, I hope that you are able to choose JOY!!!

Stephanie Trump
Director of Choirs, Armstrong High School
President, ACDA-MN
MSHSL Music Advisory Committee