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This is my bed now 

I'm going to warn you, I'm very random right now. But I should mention my livestream on Wednesday, January 26th at 7:30 pm ET right here: Lisa Jeanette Every Wednesday But One

My singer-songwriter friend, Brian Theoret, posts pics of his dog with the hashtag #thisismybednow because, Porter . . . at least I think that’s his name, likes to make his bed from whatever he decides at the moment might make a nice bed. 

That phrase “this is my bed now” came to mind this morning as I had a bad night health-wise, not knowing if I had a reaction to my meds (likely) from eating some of the wrong things (even more likely) or maybe I had COVID (less likely). Like most, I live in fear that the dreaded disease isn’t glomming onto me and I try to keep it at bay for as much and as long as possible. 

Still queasy, exhausted and sleep deprived, I took time off from work today to recover. Looking around me at all the things left undone, processing once again this constant feeling of being in some limbo state for an indefinite amount of time but knowing full well that this isn’t limbo. This is life. 

I love the imagery from Dandapani, Hindu priest and former monk, who says that the mind and awareness are two different things and that the mind doesn’t wander, awareness does. He imagines awareness as an orb of light that illuminates the part of your mind you send it to. 

My orb of awareness tends to want to disengage with whatever takes me the furthest at the time, whether it is binge-watching Succession on HBO, pretending I’m an interior designer playing Redecor on my phone or eating comfort food. This often keeps me from living my best life, i.e. writing songs.

I must interject that Wordle is probably one of the healthiest diversions as it is not an app, it only lets you play one game, and then it doesn’t let you play again for 12 hours or so. You cannot binge on it. It is a one and done 3 to 10 minutes of distraction available to you twice a day. Finito.

Speaking of distraction, I have spent quite a bit of time and resources of late to better understand focus, which is where Dandapani's course Unwavering Focus is helping. I am practicing focus every day - I really have to at this point. Quarantine life has exacerbated my ADHD/ADD, and it is a priority to understand it and battle the effects. The podcast "Hacking Your ADHD" is something I've been listening to a bit as well.

For now I’ve concluded, as my song Portrait says, that “this is the frame I belong to”. Or as Porter thinks, this is my bed now. It might not be my choice of bedding, but it’s what I’ve got available. 

We all have our struggles. I wonder if you have also found ways to cope over these past two years, and how you are dealing with it. Let me know in the comments and share any tips you have found. 

In the meantime, please enjoy my hippie nutcracker - yes, it's still Christmas at Casa DeAngelis!

 

#hippie #hippienutcracker #wordle #ADD #ADHD #Dandapani #Focus #Succession #Covid #BrianTheoret #Portrait #Songwriter #SingerSongwriter

Cover you, cover me 

Every year our local songwriting group to which I belong, the Philadelphia Area Songwriters Alliance (PASA) has a holiday “Cover Me Party” where area songwriters are invited to participate in a concert where they cover their fellow local songwriters. Every songwriter covers another in the group, and everyone gets covered. This is accomplished by a herculean effort from the PASA leaders, who ensure everyone gets the gift of hearing one of their songs performed by another songwriter. 

This is hands down my favorite holiday event of the year. Not only do I get to hear one of my songs performed by someone else, I get to hear lots of other peoples’ songs unwrapped just like a precious gift should be, sometimes in a very tender fragile wrapping one would give a blown glass ornament, sometimes in a big red bow one would put on a new sports car. It is really a spectacle for the ears! 

I covered my dear friend Nancy Huebner’s song, “What Music Means”, and covering Nancy Huebner is no small feat. Her songs are indescribable and are events of their own making that you just need to experience personally. You can check out her music here: https://www.reverbnation.com/nancyhuebner 

I want a do-over, and it looks like I will get my chance since PASA is letting us re-record our songs. I will share that when it’s ready, but also will play “What Music Means” at next Wednesday’s livestream.  I was covered by Two of a Kind, i.e. Jenny and David Heitler-Klevans, who did a better version of “Never Been To War” than I do, and Rusty & Jan who covered “Portrait” which was sung so beautifully by Jan Alba, and by the inimitable Heidi Wolfson, lead singer of Cubizm, who gave a passionate and searing version of “You Don’t Look My Way”. I felt like I was being honored at The Kennedy Center – it was intense! 

I am so fortunate and proud to be part of such a supportive community of artists in Philadelphia. Each member I’ve connected with has truly taught me the meaning of being in this sort of community. As a self-subscribed misfit, I somehow fit here. 

Here’s some highlights from 2020: 

Here’s me covering the wonderful Heidi Wolfson’s song “Harvey” in 2020.

And here’s Neal Philips covering my “Like You’ve Never Gone” in 2020 – I was completely crushed.

If I had  more of them to share, since each one of them is a gem, I would, but this is the best I could find. Check out PASA’s YouTube, PASASongwriters, to hear others. 

I hope you receive wonderful gifts and heartfelt joys this season. I sure have.