Darlene Foster's Blog

A year older, but am I a year wiser?

Posted on: March 12, 2013

“I believe that everyone else my age is an adult whereas I am merely in disguise.” Margaret Atwood

I had a birthday last week which made me think, did I learn anything over the year?

Upon reflection, it was quite the year. I helped my mom  settle into a retirement home, cleaned out her apartment and then sold it. That alone was stressful and upsetting as it meant a huge change for my mom. Fortunately she is handling the change gracefully. My perfect job came to an end and I had to look for another one. We all know how stressful that can be. I worked for a wonderful organization with amazing people and I was doing exactly what I love to do. I managed to get another job in the same industry. But it was a new program for all of us with many changes, the learning curve was steep and the stress was tremendous.  I went on a once in a lifetime European holiday, only to break my ankle on day two. When I got home I needed an operation to pin it all together again. This slowed me down a lot, which I didn’t like at all.

Many good things happened over the year though. My third book was published! I still can’t believe I have three published books. I made some fabulous friends at my new job. I went on a cruise down the Danube with good friends and saw some fascinating sights. I spent valuable time with friends and family throughout the year.

What did I learn from all this?

  • That change can be hard but something good always comes of it.
  • Slowing down can be good for you.
  • People are kind and willing to help, even strangers.
  • I am fortunate to have the most supportive friends and family.
  • I have the best husband ever!

I have been treated royally this past week. Flowers and dinner with hubby. A birthday party and cake at work.


My daughter took a ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay where I met her  for lunch on Saturday. We had a great time as always. She gave me “Sky” the Eagle Bear Totem puppet. He is part of the Storytellers puppet collection and was designed by Coast Salish artist Doug LaFortune from Victoria BC.  On the tag it reads “Standing tall, sharing stories of our people of how we are connected through vision and strength.” A perfect gift from a thoughtful daughter.

"Sky" the eagle bear totem puppet.

“Sky” the eagle bear totem puppet.

I had tea with a good friend and her six-year-old on Sunday. I received countless messages from friends all over the world. which made me feel so special.

I have been given many lovely gifts including a Sheaffer fountain pen, a note-book, a British tea caddy and many more wonderful things.


I think the quote on this birthday card says it all


I learned that I am one lucky girl.

53 Responses to "A year older, but am I a year wiser?"

Yes, you are! Contentment is a rare thing, so treasure it Darlene – you are where you are supposed to be!

Thanks Barb! I am indeed where I am supposed to be.

What beautiful gifts and a very positive look back on your year. Good and bad things happen all the time, but it’s what we take from them that counts. It seems to me that you’re an optimistic and grateful person, and being that way allows you to get the most out of life. I really love your fountain pen and tea caddy, not to mention that magnificent cake!

Congratulations on the publication of three books, I think that’s a tremendous achievement.

Thanks so much for your kind words.

Moving forward, learning as we go. No doubt you get it Darlene. “Life is Always Now,” can’t say it any better than that.
blessings ~ maxi

Happy belated birthday Darlene. You certainly had an eventful year – but it sounds as though the bad things were far outweighed by the good, and I guess that’s all we can ever ask for.

There are always good things if one looks for them.Thanks Barbara!

Congratulations on another success trip around the sun! The cake looks beautiful. Almost to pretty to eat. But I bet it tasted delicious.

It was so good, filled with freshfruit and real whipped cream. (not to sweet, just right) Thanks Diane.

Love all your photos: the crayola candles (how cute is that?), the storyteller puppet (I have a few from the SW US but they aren’t puppets!), and how handy will that pen be when we read about your 4th book signing next year. Happy belated birthday!

THanks for the good wishes Georgette!

Darlene, I think you are the only one who can honestly answer your question, but my guess is that yes, you ARE a year wiser. 🙂
May you have a fantabulous author year! Get that pen warmed up!

Thanks so much Lynn. I think I may be a bit wiser.

It sounds like you had a lovely birthday – the quotes are wonderful!

It was lovely,thanks so much.

Your cake is almost too pretty to eat. 🙂 What a joy to have so many to gather and celebrate YOU. You did have quite a year, can’t wait to see what adventure this one holds.

Life is always an adventure! The cake was so pretty but we ate it anyway as it as also delicious! At least I have apicture of it.

A belated Happy Birhday! Beautiful cake and I love the quotes. Actually, I found your post quite refreshing as you focused on what you learned in the last year, instead of all of what you accomplished. Finding those nuggets of wisdom are so important.

Thanks Patricia. I feel we can learn from both positive and negative experiences. Something I learned from my wonderful Dad.

Happy (late) birthday! 😀

Oh it’s not late. I celibrate all month. Thanks Erik

Another event-filled year, with ups, as well as downs. Such is life. Enjoy!!

The ups included spending time with you my friend. Hope we have more adventures together.

Happy birthday! I enjoyed the recap of your year and the bullet points of what you learned. It was a great post.


Thanks Nancy. It is good to look back and see what we have learned. Now to look forwrad to learning more.

What a wonderful assessment of your past year and HAPPY BIRTHDAY and CONGRATULATIONS ON YET ANOTHER BOOK!

PS forgot to ask – how is the ankle now?

The ankle is slowly getting better.I still need to use a cane and there is still some pain. Still not at full speed. But it is improving daily. Thanks for asking. XO

Learning to be grateful is something we do learn as we grow older.,,isn’t it? We become less spoiled and appreciate the small things that mean so much in the end.

Oh yes. I didn’t appreciate the wonderful life I had on the farm when I was growing up. I thought it was boring and out of date. Now I realize how fortunate I really was.

Happy Birthday, Darlene! I’m sorry to hear you aren’t working where you used to, but I’m glad you’ve faced the challenges of a new beginning with courage and perseverance. 🙂

Thanks so much Steven. I have many good memories of the Kerrisdale office but am making new ones. Hope all is well with you.

Are you still in the same line of work? You were really good at it.

Yes, Steven I am still a job search facilitator and career advisor. I am now with a Work BC office at 41st & Oak. Thank you for the compliment.

Happy Birthday Darlene. I am so glad you came by to comment on my blog because now I have found your blog and it is quite wonderful! I will visit frequently. Your report on the recent conference is so interesting and such a resource. Thank you!

Loved your optimistic piece and will share it.

Thanks so much Lois. Are you working on a new book?

Happy birthday, Darlene. You are very fortunate. But, you know, you have to be someone special in many lives to receive this embrace.

Thanks Leanne. I do feel very fortunate indeed.

Happy birthday, Darlene! Yes, life does have a few ups and downs, but all in all, you are a very lucky girl. Here’s to many more wonderful years.

I feel so blessed with all these wonderful Birthday wishes. Thank you so much. This year has certainly started out well.

Happy Belated Birthday! It’s seems that your positive take on life has taken you far and you are one happy and lucky person. Perhaps you get that from your mother. Congratulations on your third book, Wow!, your wonderful daughter, very thoughtful, and a great hubby, very caring. Hope your next year is as good as the past one.

Thanks for these kind words. Both of my parents came with a positive attitude. My Dad also had a great sense of humour that got us through any bad times. I was blessed with great parents, super children and a wonderful husband. What more can one ask for. (and amazing blog buddies)

Hi Darlene, Just learned that you are in BC and wanted to let you know I have a sister and brother in law in Bellingham WA. almost next door!

What a great wonderful year you have had! And Congrats on your third book. That is a super achievement. I loved this post and learning more about you. Thanks so much for sharing your self with us. 🙂

Thanks so much. Bellingham is very close to us and we often fo there to shop. Let me know if you are ever in the area visiting, we may be able to meet up. I will contact you off line with my address to send the book.

From one Pisces to another – one more time: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DARLENE! Wishing you much happiness and success, many smiles and magical happenings. 🙂


Thank you so much Lada. There are so many wonderful Pisceans out there, I feel honoured to be one of them. I am so looking forward to a magical year ahead!

I love the quote you started this post with Darlene. It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday – I’m still going to send wishes for the day even though they are very, very late. I also enjoyed reading your year in review and your wise council and interpretation of events. It made me realise how much we all have to contend with in any given year – and as you say change can bring blessings with it – it just sometimes takes a while for us to recognise them. It meant a lot to me getting your comment last week – thanks for being such a fabulous friend – I’ve missed your ‘company’ and wonderful positive approach to life these past couple of months.

Thank you so much for the good wishes. I actually celebrate all month so you are not late at all. In fact I am off to meet two friends for lunch in celebration today. I have missed you as well and many thanks for being a great cyber friend. XO

Charming post. We are often so busy getting on with the next thing, that we do not take the time out to look back and count our blessings. Enjoy your birthday month. Bet all that cake’s disappeared!

Thanks so much Lindsay! The cake was gone by the end of the day to be sure.

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