My good life: “Impromptu conversational literary criticism”

This month’s “My Good Life” interviewee is… me! I realised that while I’ve been blogging for a while here, I haven’t yet really introduced myself on this blog. So here it is, a peek into my good life.


What part of the world do you live in? What do you like about it?

I live in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. I love living in a city with a strong arts culture, and try to make the most of events like the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibitions (such as their winter masterpieces).

I’m a lifelong reader, so I love that Melbourne is a UNESCO city of literature. We have an amazing writers’ festival, the all-year-round-fabulous Wheeler Centre, and independent bookshops galore.

Melbourne also has great coffee, and a host of restaurants and cafés friendly to dietary needs.

How do you spend your days?

Life is for living, and I’m lucky enough to be able to meet my needs with part-time work. On days off, I spend time reading, baking, crafting, and having meals with family and friends. I also embark on adventures to art galleries, talks, classes, and cultural events semi-regularly.

Thursday is “get sh*t done day”, the day when errands, chores, workouts, and household meetings happen.

Workshops involve lots of talking

Most of my working days, I work from home. I generally start the day at 8am with my morning routine, then potter around the house getting small odd jobs done for a couple of hours. At midday, Sam (my partner) and I cook up our main meal for the day, and then migrate to our respective home offices to get the bulk of the day’s work done. I’ll work at my computer until 9, with breaks for walks and cups of tea and soaking up the gorgeous afternoon light in our living room.

That’s unless I have a workshop. On workshop days I am out and about in the world. Workshops involve lots of talking, and lots and lots of listening. Workshop days are marked by drinking enormous amounts of water, smiling until my face hurts, paying attention 100% of the time, making lots of demonstrative gestures, and feeling happily but utterly exhausted the moment I get home.

What makes (your) life good? What do you enjoy?

Whenever I feel too busy, or strapped for cash, I stop and remind myself that I live a life of abundance. I grew up with financial scarcity, so having enough to be comfortable is a blessing I count often. I have the leisure and the funds to indulge in the things I enjoy on a weekly (often daily) basis. That is an astounding stroke of luck, geographically, historically, and socially speaking.

My #FamilyOfTwo at a wedding last year

Among other things, I love good food, good company, good conversation, making things with my hands, and learning interesting trivia. Fiction is, and always has been, a big part of my life. I enjoy many different kinds of fiction (novels of various genres, movies, TV, comics, etc.), and I love thinking and talking about fiction. I love having people in my life (my partner Sam included) who sometimes read and watch the same things I do, and who are up for  impromptu conversational literary or TV criticism.

Speaking of Sam, he’s definitely a big part of what makes my life good.

What are some personal goals or projects that you have at the moment?

Every year I set myself an ambitious reading goal. This year I’m aiming for 72 books (24 fiction, 24 graphic novels, 12 non-fic, and 12 professional development).

I’ve been working more than usual this year (opportunity knocked, and I answered the door). So one important project at the moment is invest in things that will reduce my working hours again (automation, delegation, and forming habits and routines).

My current on-the-go craft project is a leafy cross stitch.

On the back-burner, I have a year-long baking project I’d like to start in November, and a just-for-fun novel I’ve been writing very slowly, on and off, for many years.

What tools or techniques do you use to stay organised or productive?

The tool I use most is Asana – Asana tracks every single little thing I want to do. Every evening, I look at tomorrow’s Asana tasks, and drag and drop them into a to-do list for the next day, in the exact order I want to do things in. (Of course, I adjust throughout the day as new information comes up.)

I also recently purchased a fully customised Agendio planner. Not for to-do lists: my to-do lists are comprehensive, and would never fit in a paper planner. Instead, I use my Agendio to help me track my key priorities for each day and each week.

I’m always playing with my paper/digital balance. It’s working really well for me at the moment to use my digital system to track all the things, and my paper system to set my priorities.


One Reply to “My good life: “Impromptu conversational literary criticism””

  1. What a glorious peek into the life of the most organised person I know! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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