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Best Birthday Gift Ever (during the Pandemic)

Are you treating yourself with extra kindness and/or gifts during the crazy time of the pandemic?

I truly hope so.

Actually, what the pandemic taught me is to treat myself extra special ALWAYS. That was a gift, and this story is about the best birthday gift ever, which also happened because of the pandemic.

I may be a little nuts for sharing this post, but oh well

Kathleen Naomi on beach

On Mar 29, my birthday, I gave myself the BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EHH-VEEER! (Todd & I aren't into birthday gifts, but this year I REALLY REALLY needed a pick-me-up), something to stop me from spiraling down that dreariness tunnel that could easily suck me in during this pandemic.

Back up to 1 week before my birthday

The birthday gift MAGICALLY appeared... Branden & James announced that because they couldn't perform around the world as they normally do, they would be teaching voice/instrumental lessons - BINGO! I'd been looking for a vocal instructor for months... why not take lessons from one of my FAVORITE ARTISTS IN THE FRICKEN' WORLD!

In a moment of sheer insanity, I posted a video on Facebook of me singing pre-Branden and challenged Branden to 'see what he could do with my voice', with the promise that I'd share a post-Branden video of me singing.

Dammit that I have to keep my promises!

Meanwhile, my computer crashed so I don't have the pre-Branden video - but trust me... in a nutshell, it was nasally with no breath support. And the free-style moves resembled Elaine dancing in Seinfeld.

Now, after a few lessons with Brandon, I'm ready to share my post-Branden voice. Honestly, I did NOT think my voice would sound different.... I KNEW I felt TONS TONS more comfortable singing and learned the mechanics (though I know I still have lots to learn, this is just the beginning). well I was SHOCKED to hear the difference - the post-video sounds much more grounded, comfortable, there's an ease with my voice and it sounds richer!

And here it is for your listening pleasure (or not), the same song I same pre-Branden, 'All That Jazz' from Chicago.

YOU DID IT BRANDEN!!!! You accepted the challenge and you smashed it!

I still practice almost every day (much to the delight of Todd and the neighbors, haha).

Singing makes me FEEL GOOD, and that's the most important thing in life.... do things that make you feel good, whether during a pandemic or ANY time.

Treat yourself like the special beautiful person that you are, you deserve it!


Kathleen Naomi


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