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There can be so many definitions for a ‘soulmate’ but I feel the one below describes it best…

I am lucky enough to have met my soulmate in 2020, when the world was falling part, we were falling together. Over the next 2 years this connection developed greatly and formed such a strong and unbreakable love and desire for one another.

Having a long-distance soulmate is one of life’s most difficult changes, but by sticking it out you will reap the greatest rewards. The time spent together is unmatched as is the feeling your s.o. can give you from simply just being around them. That soft sweet smile, or the magic in the silence between two people on the same wavelength, quietly comfortable in each other’s company. The two of you not only tolerate each other’s little quirks, but actually quite likes them. The understanding you have for one another is on a deeper level than you ever expected, or ever could reach with anyone else in your life.

I have found out firsthand that when you find someone special like this, it can be difficult to settle for anything less. You may have friends from various walks of your life who you do care about, but you know for certain you would do anything to be in the company of your soulmate. You do not have to explain your quirks, your habits, or your situation because they not only know them, but they understand and can appreciate them.

When I am around you, I simply feel at ease. The limited time we get together because of distance continues to provide some of the best adventures of our lives. This has brought us across countries and cities, proving that love knows no border. This journey we are on together will lead to something magical, something we are both dreaming of and longing for. Our next adventure will be a great test, something that proves our strength and resilience in the toughest of situations. What that time will show is a little glimpse into the beautiful future of two destined soulmates.

Five ways to be physically active regardless of your ability.

Not everyone has the time, facilities or ability to engage in copious or strenuous physical activity. With that in mind I will describe five short and simple ways that you can engage in physical activity so that you can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Is this the Way to Amarillo' - Tony Christie and Peter Kay for ...

Possibly the simplest form of physical activity, yet the most inclusive of all ages and abilities. Even though the heart rate is lower, it is still great for improving cardiovascular and pulmonary. ‘10,000 steps’ is the magical number but do not take this too literally… It can be so stressful to maintain this that you do not do any steps at all. Do as many as you can as that is still an achievement, and will, of course, benefit you more than sitting on that couch playing call of duty.

Yoga, pilates and similar activities are great for not only engagement and relaxation of the mind but the body too. What is great about this is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home with little space. This is great for anyone but especially if you have any insecurities about exercising in public. You can find a long list of exercises and videos on google on YouTube.

Throw and catch a ball
Another one you can do from home if you do not mind damaging your walls… Throw and catch the ball against the wall or another object. Use your imagination. Great for passing time and developing your coordination and motor skills. Also, little equipment required and you can adapt it easily.

Take the stairs
Get preparing for your return to work with copious amounts of stairs, by ditching the elevator for your stairs at home. Stair climbing can be a great aerobic workout and muscle builder, whilst putting less pressure on the body than running. Also, you do not need anything to do this exercise, except to not live in a bungalow!

As long as you have a bicycle and the required protective gear then you are ready to go. Great for building muscle and improving cardiovascular fitness. Of course a great calorie builder also. But most importantly it provides fun whilst exercising (how it should be if I may add!). You control the speed, the terrain and the location. Cycle with company or alone and find a nice spot to take a breather and relax.

Exercising is incredibly important to a healthy lifestyle. Do not over complicate it as exercise can be as simple as this. Do what you can and do not worry what others are doing. Focus on your own exercise habits and developing them positively, towards a better life.

Good luck.

What is an important lesson you learned recently?

LIVE IN THE MOMENT. I mean, I always try to do this. But it does not come without difficulties. It is too easy to get tangled up in the past or to have two eyes on the future, what with all the pressure we face in our everyday lives. This year though, more than any I have started to realise the importance of just enjoying the present day. I guess part of this is due to the pandemic and the realisation that things are unpredictable and can change at any moment.

It is nice to have some kind of an eye on the future though, so you have a rough idea of where you are headed. But as plans change and your interests develop, we do not always know the path we will end up on. We can strive for a certain goal or path and in fact, end up taking off to a different destination. We cannot change the past, we cannot ALWAYS predict our future. I feel that the one thing we can do though is to make sure we enjoy our time right now.

Turned-on Enjoy Today Neon Signage

It is a hard thing to do though I must admit when you feel or know that something can change. But if you are constantly waiting for that change, you are rapidly losing the time and moment. The best thing you can do in my opinion is to enjoy the things happening to you right now for what they are, as they may not last forever. Happiness is the key, and why let it wait?

For me, my plans have changed significantly due to COVID-19 but that does not have to be a bad thing. I never thought I would be studying abroad in my life and I certainly did not imagine being here so long. But the choice to do it and to stay in Sweden has paid off. I now get to experience a Swedish swimmer after braving the cold and windy months earlier in the year. This is just one example of living in the moment and trying to make the most of a different situation.

Be Happy Signage

Underappreciated tracks from Green Day (part 2).

Last year I shared with you six extremely underrated tracks from my all time favourite band Green Day. ICYMI, there is an opportunity to read it here With over 30 years worth of songs with many unreleased or even known to casual fans, there has come a time where I want to share some more of these tracks with you. I hope that you can take the time to freshen your mind by listening to them for the first time, or rekindle your love for them if you have heard them before.

When it’s time

First of all, I cannot believe this track released officially in 2010 did not feature on this original post, but, I can be excused with Green Day’s extensive back-catalogue of songs. This soft, acoustic number is a beautiful track that was originally written around 1992 during The Kerplunk era as “they didn’t have enough sappy songs”. You can find the original, raw version of it here The song was recorded in 2004 but did not make the cut for American Idiot. But this refined version can be found on the American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording. The song was a staple in the set, during most setlists of their 2010 tour. I haven’t quite heard another Green Day song like it, and I just cannot stop listening to it. If there was one main underrated song I would love to share with all Green Day fans, then it is ‘When it’s time’.

Too much too soon

Too much too soon features as a bonus track on the deluxe version of Green Day’s 2004 album ‘American Idiot’ and is believed to have been written for ‘Cigarettes and Valentines’- the stolen album that would have been the follow up to 2000’s ‘Warning. American Idiot is an album packed full of excellent songs that Green Day continue to play live to this day. Too much too soon has not been played live from my knowledge. The song itself will not set the world alight so it is understandable that it was not picked for the main album, but it does offer a simple yet catchy song in the sound style of American Idiot.

Stay the night (acoustic)

Originally from Green Day’s ninth album ¡Uno!, an acoustic version of ‘Stay the night’ was released on the 2014 compilation album Demolicious, for Record Store Day that year. Honestly, it took me a while to like this version it and may take you a few listens too. But this tuned down version of such an upbeat track is so beautiful. It is raw and honest, and it makes me listen to the song with a whole new perspective. A must listen.

Restless Heart Syndrome

Restless Heart Syndrome, the 13th track on Green Day’s eighth album ’21st Century Breakdown’. I feel that this whole album was incredibly underrated, as people seem keen to compare it to the timeless classic of American Idiot. They are both considered as rock-operas and 21CB is the successor to American Idiot, but the tracks must be appreciated for what they are. Restless Heart Syndrome is a song that has not been played live in eight years, so I am not sure how many new Green Day fans will know it. But it is my favourite track from 21CB and I highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoyed part two. Now you have ten amazing Green Day songs to listen to. Please share how many you already knew and liked, or even disliked? I am interested to hear your thoughts as always.

What now and what next? A quick catch up.

Hey everyone. It has been too long since my last blog entry as I have been so consumed with various things but mainly University. I now feel like it is a perfect time to give a little update on what else I’ve been up to and what is next for me this summer.

In the last few days I have finished the final assignment of my study abroad experience and consequently my second year of University. To put it bluntly, my semester abroad has not gone the way I had hoped and I have not seen anywhere near of Sweden as I would have hoped. But still, I am lucky and grateful to be here when many have gone back home months ago. Now I must make the most of the short time that I have left here and build more happy memories.

I feel incredibly relieved that summer is here, as I think I can speak for a lot of students here by saying that studying in a pandemic is incredibly hard. It is one thing adapting to online classes but another in finding the motivation to complete your assignments and studies. With so few classes and with most of them being in front of a computer, I could just not engage that well. It felt like the studying element was dragging on as there little interaction to be had online. With completion of this work it is like a great weight has been lifted on my shoulder and I can finally relax, whilst looking to spend time on things I have been neglecting recently.

Some of these things can be so simple but yet so easy to neglect when you have a lot going on, whether that is depression or if you’re incredible busy. Sometimes I am guilty of prioritizing the wrong things as I want to have good grades. But now I can finally get on with my time without stressing, at least for a little anyway. I feel very relieved.

So now I have a maximum of around two months left here in Sweden with a lot of spare time. There are hardly any restrictions here and some may like that, so they can go out and about. But for me, I am taking a much more cautious approach than most Swedes. I hope I can continue to travel to nearby places safely, as there is still a lot to do and see. I want to go to more nature reserves, parks and beaches. Sweden is a beautiful country and it is quite easy I feel to travel around. Thankfully there has been a lot to keep me busy these last few months.

For now I can just hope that the situation eases up to allow me to travel safely and that opportunities to social distance are possible. I feel that not many people respect the social distancing and that can make it terrifying to be outside – especially on public transport or small and narrow shops. I hope that the sun stays out and I can spread out in parks and nature, etc. There is a world out there to explore and there is a ticking clock in which to do it. I try not to think of regrets. For now I live in hope more than anything.

Being yourself and celebrating individuality

Constantly we are told to ‘be ourselves’ but with such societal pressures, this is very difficult. We each have our own idea of who we want to be. Those wanting to be themselves may seem ‘weird’ to one yet ‘loveable’ to another. Is society actually encouraging us to be ourselves or are we slandered the second that we act out of character? We should not have to try and compromise our integrity or beliefs meet societies pressures, or gender norms and stereotypes for instance.

Stereotypes must be challenged.

man in blue Champion tank top and shorts running at the field

Stereotypes are an important element of celebrating individuality, as people can form prejudice and assumptions of a particular character. For instance an older adult may be assumed as vulnerable or weak, and that they all sit around doing nothing. This is a sweeping generalization though as there any many cases of age not limiting an older adult – such as 100 year old marathon runners. People like this should be taken seriously for their individuality and not just grouped into an ‘old, incapable of physical activity’ group.

Stereotypes aren’t always accurate or appropriate.

Younger people also need to be taken seriously though, as we are all unique and enjoy different things. Not every student wants to ‘party’ and not every older adult wants to be cooped up in their bed or in a bingo hall. Perhaps these interests can actually be contrasting to the stereotype, as an older adult may enjoy getting out more often than the younger person. The issue regarding this is the potential exposure to peer pressure or the fear of missing out – particularly if someone is labelled as’boring’.

Be yourself but free of guilt.

woman wearing black tank top

‘Boring’ just like’fun’ is a subjective word for me, in that we can all interpret and judge what is ‘boring’ or ‘fun’, differently. There is no need to feel guilty for doing what makes you happy, nor is there a need to feel pressure to do what everyone else is. A simple saying that I love to say is ‘you, do you’ which is pretty self explanatory. Always stick by your beliefs and your interests and try not to compromise yourself for the convenience of others. This can be difficult especially through teenage years and it happens to the best of us. But it is worth it to wait around for supportive friend that will accept you.

Who am I?

I am absolutely awful at introducing myself but here goes…

I’m currently a 22 year old male from England, who is guilty of being a little opinionated from time to time. I am here to share my thoughts on just about anything, whether it is something I’m passionate about or whether or not it grinds my gears! Some of the things I will talk about will involve my hobbies which include music and sport. I’m at University studying to become a Physical Education teacher at the moment. Therefore expect some University related articles to help you to survive your studies!

This is my first shot at setting up a blog but its an idea I’ve been contemplating for a while. Despite the shocking sporty pun, this blog will not be exclusively sport content, instead catering for anything I fancy discussing. Although my username does originate from former footballer Martin Laursen who played for my favourite football team Aston Villa. I’m an avid football fan all the way up from Sunday League and Non-League, so expect to hear stories of away days and big clashes!

Throughout this blog I will be open and honest as I can be, as I document my personal experiences and struggles. One huge aspect of my personality and life is living with autism, which brings an interesting journey that I hope you will take with me.

Please do tell your family and friends about my new adventure. It is something I’m excited about and would love to share to a wider audience.

Thank you for reading.

P.S. My Twitter is @sleeeponit if you ever want to get in contact for whatever reason, such as topic ideas or tips you’d like me to discuss.