Swan Song

Yesterday I started working on a post about the possibility of having to let go of a pet project of mine at work so I can take on another very large piece of work. I wrote about my angst at the thought of giving up a something I have devoted much of my time and effort to for a number of years before I was ready to. Today, after a good night’s sleep and a long introduction to this new project, it now seems impossible to me that I could hold on to both

This new one is projected to last 2+ years and, Lord willing, I am planning on retiring in 3 years. The phrase ‘swan song’ kept coming to mind this afternoon and I googled the phrase when I got home. According to WordNet Search a swan song is a “last hurrah, a final performance or effort (especially before retirement) “.  So, in a way, this new project is a sort of swan song for me.

Yesterday, in the post that I didn’t publish, I said that my feelings about letting go of the pet project were akin to having a child leave home before one is ready. I knew I would have to let it go but I was planning on a gradual release over the next few years. I also wrote that when one gets past the emotional impact of having a child leave home, one begins to embrace the possibility of more time to devote to a passion or something put aside during the child-rearing years. It becomes a time of new beginnings.

I don’t believe in coincidence; I believe everything happens for a reason. Therefore there must be a reason for this swan song project coming my way. I didn’t seek it out, I didn’t even particularly want it, but I trust that the fact that I have it means there is something I am meant to learn from the experience. Perhaps it is what I need to help me grow into the woman I need to be post-retirement when I have time to pursue my passion without the time constraints I find myself dealing with now.

The idea of starting out on this project (“career defining” as someone put it – yikes!) scares me, challenges me, and excites me at the same time. I can’t help but think about what I have ahead of me that is meant to teach me new things that I will take with me into my next phase of life. My challenge, as always, is to manage my stress and maintain focus on my priorities.    

I don’t think of a swan song so much as an ending, it seems more of an opening up to a new world of possibilities. Have you sung a swan song of your own in any areas of your life? If not, what do you envision your swan song will be?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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