Darlene Foster's Blog

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Posted on: January 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

In ancient Roman myth, Janus was the god of gates, doors and beginnings. January, was named after Janus in 700 BC. Having two faces, one looking back into the past and one looking forward to the future, he was an appropriate deity to dedicate the first month of the New Year to.

As I look back over the past year I like to revisit the goals I set out on January 1 to see how I did, and share them with you. How did I do?

1. Sell the house in Canada

It took longer than we thought but the house in Canada sold on April 2, 2015

2. Get settled in Spain

We bought a place in Spain and feel quite settled.

3. Finish Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music

Amanda on the Danube -The Sounds of Music is completed and in the hands of the publisher! It should be out mid 2016.

4. Write more travel articles and find a market for them

I am working on this one, have found a couple of markets but need to find more.

5. See Pig on Trial published

I am pleased to say Pig on Trial has been published as a bi-lingual book for kids. 

6. Get connected with writers in Spain

I have met a couple of writers here in Spain but would like to connect with many more so will continue to work on this one.

7. Lean Spanish

Oh dear. I haven´t learned much Spanish at all. So many people in my area speak English including the Spanish folks. I have picked up some phrases but not enough to carry a conversation. Need to work harder on this one.

8. Join a walking group

Oops, didn´t do this.

9. Cut back the sugar intake

I did do this and feel so much better!

10. Explore Spain and write about it

 I did this too and have seen so many parts of this fascinating and diverse country. It is a great place to explore!

11. Make new friends and keep in touch with old friends

I´ve made a few new friends and hope to make many more. It takes time. I have been very diligent in keeping in touch with old friends. Thanks to social media this is easier than it used to be.

12. Go home to Canada for a visit

I was fortunate to be able to go back home twice last year to see family and friends!

13. Find a yoga studio

I didn´t join a yoga studio but have been doing yoga every morning at home, so I feel this is a yes.

14. Write everyday

I do write everyday. This has become a habit.

15. Embrace change and look for surprises!!

I believe I have embraced change this past year, and there has been plenty. Thank heaven I love surprises as there have been many of them too! You can´t move continents without experiencing changes and a multitude of surprises. It wasn´t always easy, but I learned so much and am glad I did it.


Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. - George Bernard Shaw

As this year comes to a close, I wish you all a very Happy New Year with many welcome surprises.

In the next post I will look forward.

31 Responses to "Looking Back and Looking Forward"

Wishing you a very Happy New Year! You had a very busy year! Looking forward to our contact in 2016!

Thanks Patricia. All the best in 2016!

I am proud of your accomplishments, Darlene: 14/15, an excellent score. You will probably do more of # 10 in 2016, exploring and reporting on your travels here. Happy New Year!

Thanks for your support and encouragement! Happy New Year!

You did a great job with your goals. That move was major, and you’ve come through it wonderfully.

Thanks Patti. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Happy new year, Darlene, and well done with completing so many of your goals. I think you’ve had an amazing year, and I look forward to seeing how 2016 unfolds for you. Pig on Trial is a lovely book and you’re doing brilliantly with Amanda. Keep at it! 🙂

Your support has been valuable. Happy New Years to everyone at your house!

Happy new year to you too . I think you have done amazing things to virtually complete your list …well done . I did put photos on face book but I am not good at it …one of my things to learn for 2016☺️

Thanks so much. Have a great start to the New Year!!

Well done Darlene. You’ve achieved so many goals in 2015. Imagine the mountains you’ll climb this coming year. Happy New year to you both.

Thanks! I was surprised at how many goals I met. Happy new Year!!

That’s quite a year – I can’t even imagine moving that far! (or moving at all since we’ve been in our house for 30 years:) But I would like to live someplace different for at least several months. Maybe someday. You did very well with your goals – interesting to look back on them. Maybe I should set some for myself this year. Have a happy, healthy 2016!

Thanks Jan. You had quite the year yourself. Perhaps a six month stay somewhere different might work for you. The world is an interesting place! Happy 2016.

You did wonderfully well Darlene. What made you decide on Spain

Thanks Chris. We wanted some place warm. My British in-laws live here and we visited them often and liked it here. Thought we´d give it a try! Happy New Years!!

Hmm I am thinking of a place to go – maybe – what is health insurance like? My family on my mother’s side originates from Scotland, a place I dearly love.

You have quite an impressive list of accomplishments Darlene – Happy New Year!

Thanks! Have a Happy New Year as well.

Hi Darlene,

I loved this blog. Inspiring to see that it is possible to make such incredible change and then be so happy. 2016 will hold this for me too. I tried to comment on the blog but alas, no luck, so here I am.

This year I am going to focus on my writing, getting peaceful inside, with a potential move in sight myself…but not across the big pond, just a short ferry ride away. Will be doing some exploring shortly, so stand by.

Congrats with all your writing accomplishments. I am looking forward to Amanda on the Danube, and love how you have diversified with the bilingual book and travel writing. I heave a big happy sigh when thinking about how satisfying this must be for you.

So glad you are happily settled. Thanks for sharing your adventurous life!

Happy 2016!


How very wonderful to hear from you. Sounds like you have some plans afloat. I love the pictures of you and your sweet granddaughter. So pleased we keep in touch. I loved your little book too. I wish you a very happy and satisfying 2016.

Brava! Darlene, you have made wonderful choices and changes, and you inspire me. As for writing and selling travel articles, your writing style and life experiences will make this very successful.
You and I are definitely on the same page with our appreciation for Janus!
Wishing you a beautiful New Year!

That is so cool that you also included Janus in your blog post! I wish you a very happy and satisfying 2016!!

I would say overall that last year was a good one and that you met almost all your goals. Making friends is a hard one when you move, I hope that is one thing that happens for both of us this year. Wishing you and your husband all the best in this new year, Darlene.

You would relate to this as you made a big move as well. We will both work hard at making new friends. Have a fabulous 2016!

and you embark on a new and wonderful adventure!! Happy New Year!!

Another year, another adventure. “Life is either one big adventure or nothing at all” not sure who said that originally but I like it! All the best for 2016.

I continue to be amazed and impressed with the way you lead your life – and the fact that you keep track of your goals each year. All the best for a wonderful 2016!

Thanks so much Michelle!! I couldn´t meet some of these goals without you!! Look forward to working with you in 2016. ❤

So glad you accomplished so many of your goals last year! Keep working on your Spanish; I am sure your newly found Spanish friends will be delighted to help you. All the best for 2016.

We only just got back home this afternoon and now that I have decent internet connection, I’m trying to catch up with my mail. Easier said than done!!! 👍👍👍

Yes, I will take my time and learn Spanish a little at a time. It is the best way for me. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip away for the Christmas break. Have a fabulous 2016!! 😀

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