Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘retirement

It is coming up to six years since we packed up and moved to Spain. Recently at a writing group, we were given the prompt of – Screw it, let’s do it! I decided this would be a good time to write about the trials and tribulations we had as we prepared for this huge move. The group enjoyed my story, so I decided to share it with my blog followers.

Screw It Let’s Do It!

Retirement loomed. My husband and I often talked about retiring to a warmer climate. Many of our friends had bought property in the southern United States, Mexico, Central and South America. But hubby wasn’t keen on living in any of those places. His parents retired to Spain from the UK a number of years earlier, and we had visited them there a few times. We both liked Spain.

This will do.

It was a long way from Canada, but it had the appeal of being in Europe and close to other countries we wanted to explore. I loved the history, the beaches and the weather. It was affordable for people living on a pension., too. Paul imagined riding his Ducati on twisty mountain roads all year round, and I entertained thoughts of writing books and travel articles while sitting in the sun.

We booked a trip, and while in Spain, we found places along the Costa Blanca that could work for us within our price range. Once returning home, we did further research. Retiring to Spain became more of a consideration. When I told my children our potential plans, they said, ‘Do what makes you happy, mom.’ I mentioned to my daughter that I would give her my trusty Honda Civic. Her eyes perked up and she asked, ‘When are you going’?

With the blessings of the family, we began the process of clearing out the apartment and putting it up for sale. Having downsized from a 2500 square foot house to a 1350 square foot apartment fourteen years earlier, we didn’t think it would take much work. We didn’t realize how much we had acquired in that time!

Both of us still working, every weekend was spent clearing out closets, file cabinets and storage spaces, as well as painting and decorating to make the place look fresh and clean. We met with three different real estate agents, and decided to list with the one we felt would represent our place well based on her enthusiasm. There were many showings but no offers. As we had some wiggle room, we dropped the price a bit.

Over the summer, I gave away, donated and sold seventy percent of our belongings. Time was spent with family and friends as it might be awhile until we saw them again once we made the move across the ocean. There was one offer on the apartment. Way too low, we turned it down. There was still time. I knew the right people would come along and love our garden apartment in its great location as much as we did.

Retirement party!

I retired at the end of September and we booked tickets to Madrid leaving the first of November. I made one last trip to Alberta to ensure my mom was settled into her care home and to spend valuable time with my grand and great grandkids. An offer on the apartment came through while I was there. Although low, after some negotiating, we came to an agreement. They were to sign the papers the last week of October. For all intents and purposes, it was a done deal. Things were looking good. We went out for drinks with friends to celebrate.

I sold the rest of the furniture and organized a moving company to pack and pick up the personal belongings we would take with us.

On the last Monday of October, I woke up to a very upsetting message from my son. A good friend of ours had passed away in her sleep at the age of 53. I was devastated. I had just seen her two weeks earlier, a picture of health.

An hour later, I received a call from the realtor. The people who bought the apartment were to sign the papers for the sale the next day. Except, they decided to withdraw from the agreement, forfeiting their deposit.

What else could go wrong! I felt the walls crashing in all around me.

The furniture was all gone except for the bed. The dishes, pots and pans, and everything else were packed, ready to be picked up by the movers the following day. My daughter was coming for my car on Wednesday. Hubby had already sold his car and shipped his Ducati. It was already on the way to Spain!

Even if we stayed until we sold the place, we had nothing but an empty apartment. I was sick to my stomach. We sat on the bed, and in between my incessant sobbing, we explored our options.

Finally we decided. Screw it, let’s do it.

So with very little money and continuing mortgage payments, we flew out to Spain on November 1st, 2014 as planned. Well actually, we ended up flying out on November 2nd, but that’s another story, for another day.

I was invited to be a guest on Jan Moore’s site Work on Your Own Terms

Jan’s site is dedicated to helping women enjoy meaningful work that fits their lifestyle and providing mentorship on midlife reinvention. Check it out, you will find it interesting.

Photo by Donna Cluff

Daydream Believer: You Can Be One Too

by  | Jul 17, 2017

I met Darlene shortly before she and her husband moved to Spain from Canada. I asked her to share a follow-up on her life Abroad and how it came about.

Guest Post by Darlene Foster

I can´t remember when I didn´t have the urge to travel and experience new worlds. My dear grandmother bought me a colouring book featuring children from around the world in traditional dress. I loved that book and wished, with each page I coloured, I could visit these places one day. Studies have proven daydreaming is good for young people because it plants seeds that often become reality. Of course, those dreams don´t come true without hard work and determination.

Read more here

http://workonyourownterms.com/daydream-believer-you-can-be-one-too/

Do you believe in daydreams?

 

“The Times They Are A-Changin” Bob Dylan

On September 26 I said goodbye to a 45 year career. After working in retail management, recruitment, and employment counselling, I decided to retire to write full time – in Spain. Yes you heard correct. Hubby and I are selling our house, car, furniture etc. and moving to sunny Spain. We both desire one more great adventure and what better setting to relax in and write to my heart’s content. Thankfully, we have the full support of our family and friends.

SAM_0741

In sunny Spain last year

I have loved every job I’ve had. I’ve been fortunate to have great employers and amazing co-workers, many who remained friends over the years. It was not an easy decision to leave it all behind.  I was given a great send off by my current workplace with a pot luck get-together. One co-worker even made crepes for all of us! I was made to feel very special.

DSC05249

Farewell flowers

Farewell flowers

Kobo gift certificates. The perfect gift.

Kobo gift certificates. The perfect gift.

 

A co-worker making crepes for everyone

A co-worker making crepes for everyone

 

A boss and a co-worker with the perfect posters in the classroom.

A boss and a co-worker with the perfect posters in the classroom.

We have been talking about this huge change in our lives for awhile now. We have weighed the pros and cons and decided we need to do this now while we still can. If not now…when? I want to share this wonderful poem by the amazing  Christine Kloser.

 

If Not Now… When?
By Christine KloserStuck like a bird in a cage.
Infinite potential, wings of glory.
Beauty to bestow, blessings to bring.But a voice that says,
Conditions aren’t perfect… yet.
It’s not safe… yet.
It’s not time… yet.
I can’t fly… yet.

Believe that voice of fear?
Or believe the truth.

You’re ready when you CHOOSE to be.
Conditions will never be “perfect” (and that’s OK).
Support makes it SAFE.
It’s time when you SAY “It’s Time!”

Here’s to the voice of the TRUE you.
The ONE who has been called,
To liberate your message,
And fulfill your soul’s purpose.

Not someday.
Not when it’s convenient.
Not when it’s easy and no risk is involved.

Instead…
This day can be THE day.
The day you say YES.
To you.
To your message.
To your life.
To your soul.
To being who you were BORN to be.

Because…
If not now, when?
The choice is yours.

 

Christine Kloser, “The Transformation Catalyst” and award-winning author powerfully combines spiritual guidance and intuition, with nuts-and-bolts transformational writing, publishing and marketing expertise.  The result is a global movement of aspiring authors who unleash their authentic voice, share their message on the pages of a book and make their difference in the world.   Trusted and celebrated by aspiring authors and publishing industry leaders for her down to earth, authentic and inspiring approach, Christine has become the well-recognized leader of the transformational author movement having trained more than 55,000 authors in less than 4 years.   Get her free training at www.ChristineKloser.com.

La Zenia beach

La Zenia beach, Spain

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