Welcome to the May 2018 instalment of “My Good Life”, a monthly series in which I interview different people about their lives. This month’s interviewee is my dear friend Belinda Calderone.
I knew I had to ask Belinda to do a “My Good Life” interview because she is so good at living life well. She puts such intent into getting enjoyment out of life: from her passion for working with words, to her daily delight in breakfast, to her careful attention to health.
What part of the world do you live in? What do you like about it?
I live in Ocean Grove – a lazy seaside town on the coast of Australia – with my husband and my crazy pug, Norman.
Our house is very close to the ocean, so I like that I can go for morning beach walks and that I can often hear the waves in bed at night.
I also like the small town vibe: I know many people on my street by name, the postman always stops for a chat, and it’s not unusual for people to leave their doors unlocked.
How do you spend your days?
I have adored words since childhood, and I now work with words for a living as an academic editor, helping researchers to express their work clearly and engagingly. Since I work from home, life is pretty flexible. During the day on a weekday, you’ll usually find me typing away at my desk (with a big cup of tea, and Norman curled up on my feet) or out with my laptop at a cafe or library.
What about when I’m not working? Well, sadly, I am an 80-year-old trapped in a 33-year-old’s body. But I don’t let that stop me from living my best grandma life: going to bed early, staying in on a Saturday night, reading, experimenting with different types of tea, labelling the jars in my pantry… Yeah, baby!
What makes (your) life good? What do you enjoy?
In a word? Breakfast. A beautifully prepared, delicious breakfast is one of my greatest joys in life, particularly if it involves eggs. And the good news is that breakfast happens every day!
Aside from my lifelong obsession with breakfast, I also adore embracing the Danish concept of “hygge” (or the art of cosiness). Pyjamas, fluffy socks, hot beverages, blankets, pillows, and cosy lighting. Could there be anything more heavenly? Small pleasures have always brought me such joy.
On a deeper level, my 33 years on this earth have taught me that a few things are pivotal for my happiness:
- Positive, loving relationships – both romantic and platonic
- Maintaining good physical and mental health through living a healthy lifestyle
- Managing my stress with things like a regular yoga practice
- Having a cosy home where I can take time to rest and rejuvenate (I am a classic introvert!)
What are some personal goals or projects that you have at the moment?
Health is a big priority for me, and at the moment I’m focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables. Once I actually worked out the amount of fruits and vegetables I need to buy each week to hit my 2 and 5 serves, I was shocked! Quite the reality check. So at the moment, you’ll find me munching mandarins, chomping cucumbers, and gulping grapes like it’s my job.
My husband and I have also begun a 30 day yoga challenge, so my goal is to finish this series together!
What tools or techniques do you use to stay organised or productive?
I’m your typical type A, perfectionist, list-making, labelling fanatic (yes, a label maker was the best Christmas present I even received!!). That means that I love finding new tools and techniques for organisation and productivity. Here are a few favourites:
- The Pomodoro technique: Years ago, when I was doing my PhD, I discovered the Pomodoro technique. That’s 25 min of focused work, followed by a 5 min break, and repeat. It’s a great way to stay focused and on task, and it gives the brain frequent, refreshing breaks.
- A morning routine: Having a regular morning routine is something I absolutely love. It makes me feel organised for the day ahead. I’m actually obsessed with morning routines, and I would peak into people’s windows like a creep if I could, but instead I settle for mymorningroutine.com to gain inspiration.
- My “Habits” app: I have recently discovered the app Habits, and I’m finding it really useful to track whether I’m ticking off the things that matter (e.g. exercising once a day, flossing, hitting those 2 and 5 serves, etc.)