An Attitude of Gratitude

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This week I find myself in the lull before the storm that is this up-and-coming dissertation deadline. An essay on nuclear energy and sustainability was completed last week and so no progress was made on my 10,000 words (we’re at about 8,000 right now). With under 10 days to go I can already smell the coffee I’ll be gulping at half past midnight in the library all this week.
Still in the chaos that is third year I want to stay deeply thankful. It’s so easy to get nostalgic about weekend’s off and bedtimes before 2am and miss out on all the wonders that occur during this crazy time. I want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. So whilst I don’t really have the time to go on adventures and share the beautiful photos with you – I do have time to list 10 things I am deeply grateful for in this time of hysteria, hand-ins and the Harvard referencing system.

1. Late Night Chats Inevitably with later working hours also comes late night conversations – which I find to often be so much more significant than your typical daytime chatter. For me late night chats are one of the things lasting friendships are made of.

2. Simple Good Food Specifically breakfasts of rice cakes, mashed banana, seeds, dried fruit and nuts. My desire to spend half an hour before the stove stirring risotto has waned and finger food is my new best friend.

3. Face Mask Particularly a dark grey clay beauty – courtesy of my housemate – to be honest, my skin has definitely seen better days of more sunlight and TLC – let’s just blame dissertation stress and be done with it!

4. Falmouth, Cornwall I never want to lose sight of how insanely lucky I am to be living somewhere so beautiful, so close to the coast and with such a proliferation of pasties. Plus the Sunday Times recently put it in the top 4 places to live in the UK!

5. Sunshine There are few things I find lift my mood more radically, than waking up to sunshine. Maybe I should move to Italy? …Also that feeling of the sun warming your back up – to die for – I swear I was a cat in another life!

6. Kitty Cuddles Talking of cats I’m not allowed one in my current accommodation so I want to say a huge thank you to all the friendly felines in my area. Studies have shown that cuddling puppies can reduce stress, I can testify to this… but with cats… local one’s I may have picked up in the street and cuddled for a little too long.

7. My Housemates Even in this stressful time they cook me dinner, rub my feet, turn up with surprise Easter eggs, spoon me without even asking, put up with my forgetfulness and make this house a home. Seriously thank you guy’s!

8. Flexibility As I’m approaching the end of my time at uni the work is piling up, but my contact hours are diminishing. This means more flexibility in terms of working at home – i.e. duvet dissertation days. I feel I work a whole lot better under such conditions – definitely like the idea of being free-lance/self-employed some day.

9. Magazines and Coffee Table Reads As you may have seen in my recent post all fictional reading for my own enjoyment has kinda gone out the window as I attempt to keep up with my course’s reading list. Still I find myself gagging for a good read on something other than energy policy. And for this reason I am loving magazines such as Another Escape as well as recipe books and simply books with big pictures – presently dying for a copy of Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air.

10. Matt In this time of panic (and PMS) he deals really well with my craziness and occasional irrational meltdowns. He saves up 50p pieces so we can play pool in our lunch breaks and often turns up at dinner time with a tub of ice cream or my favourite pizza. He takes me to Cornwall’s secret coves when the sun shines, and holds my hands and listens, when life is more stormy. Matt is my best friend and my beloved. And I am beyond blessed to have found my home in the hand of another.

P.S. Anyone else wanting to pull their hair out due to encroaching deadlines? If so what’s getting you through? What little things are making your day? What is it that helps you cultivate an attitude of gratitude?


  1. Reply

    Emily Benton

    18th March 2014

    Hi Alex!

    Thank you for sending me your link on the #fblchat. Absolutely loving your blog – massive photo envy!
    Would love it if you could also check out my blog, at: Beleza by Ems

    Looking forward to future posts!
    Emily @ Beleza by Ems

  2. Reply

    Allie Davies

    18th March 2014

    This post is beautifully written and I really like the message behind it. Focus on the positive things you are grateful for and you will attract more of them to you 🙂

    My work is piling up more too and I'm so grateful for my family and friends, helping me out with photoshoots, lifts to and from uni and getting the food shopping in, I love them 🙂


  3. Reply

    Alex Barker

    18th March 2014

    Seriously thank you guy's! Means so much to me to hear your encouraging words! xx

  4. Reply

    Lisa S.

    19th March 2014

    What a beautiful and true post!
    I am approaching my final exams now and I feel you! There're too many things to do and too little time to squeeze in free time. Rememberin little things that make you happy is pretty important an can be totally motivating. For me it's bloggjng and my friends and family that keep me motivated right now.
    xx Lisa