I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This but…

I’ve been seeing this statement everywhere lately, followed by words of encouragement, criticism or humor. Where did this trend come from? On snarkier days, I stand solidly behind the notion that if you don’t know who needs to hear something, you should refrain from sharing rather than subjecting strangers to your hubris.

However, given the social distancing most of us are (hopefully) engaged in right now, maybe it’s just as good a way as any other to spread positivism.

Once, I was the person who needed to hear something. I was stressed out about some things and not talking about it, as is my wont. My brain was a squirrels’ nest, and the pressure was mounting but I marched on through the motions of work and family, ignoring the squirrels gnawing away up there, not wanting to give negativity too much space in my head. You can guess how that was working out.

One morning, I left my office just off the hotel lobby to speak with the front desk. It’s my habit to scan the lobby area for trash whenever passing through and that day I noticed a piece of paper on an end table. It was folded a couple of times over. I looked around for a possible owner and, not seeing anyone, I opened it, like the Nosy Parker I am.

It said, “It will get better”. That’s it. Just a simple message on a small slip of white paper written in neat script using a blue pen.

I still have that piece of paper. Not only was it the message I needed, it captured my imagination. I’ve thought many times over the years about who wrote it and to whom and for what reason. I’ve imagined a wife tucking it into a worried husband’s suit pocket. Sometimes, it was an encouraging message someone’s mom wrote. Other times I’ve conjured a lonely, weary Road Warrior attempting a self-soothing technique picked up in an online counseling session or a Brene Brown video.

Mostly, I’ve marveled at how the Universe delivers the messages we need when we manage to keep the lines open.

And so, in these disquieting times, I don’t know who else needs to hear it, but my tea bag had this to say…. 

Yogi message

If you need me, I’ll be at home learning to simplify. And I already know it will all get better.

What messages have you received lately?

Stay safe my friends.

Chicken out



  10 comments for “I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This but…

  1. March 26, 2020 at 1:56 am

    Well, I guess not. I’ll try again.

    Messages I’ve received lately: Stay home. Wash often. Stay two metres away from people you don’t live with. Don’t argue with your mother; it won’t help.

    That last one didn’t come from outside; I had to wrestle it out of my own brain.

    So sorry you were laid off (per your comment on my blog). But it is a relief, isn’t it, to feel a bit safer at home. Glad you posted. Stay well.


    • March 26, 2020 at 2:02 am

      HI Jenny, it did go through and I knew it was you:-) I do that too. And I tell myself the same thing (don’t argue) quite often. I am happy to be at home washing my hands every five minutes and am thinking of those on the front lines, as well as those with sick loved ones. Can’t imagine what it must be like at the hospitals and am not sure of the best way to help. Keeping the lines open, though. Waiting for the answer.


  2. Doug in Sugar Pine
    March 26, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Yay! The Chicken posted again!
    In the early ’90s I was saved from homelessness by someone who would become my friend JT. While the situation was still up in the air (it wasn’t, but I didn’t know that) he took me to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and the fortune in my cookie said to try a different approach.
    I was like “Ya think?”
    I don’t know exactly why it rattled me, but it did, and after I went “home” to the house I was to live in and help JT remodel for his daughter, I dug a notebook out of the backpack I was living out of and wrote what became my first journal entry.
    As I recall, the entry was a list of the items in the pack, my immediate worldly possessions, and a verse that went something like:

    Maybe simple and small are the things
    That make today a good day
    But the fact remains:
    Today is a good day anyway.

    Then it announced that my approach was fired, for being dull and incompetent. Actually, the reasoning was funnier than that, but the notebook is long gone and I wrote it almost thirty years ago, so that will have to do.

    Hope you are doing OK. We seem to be snowed in again, and for now that’s just fine.


    • March 26, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Doug! Yup, that was definitely a great message. Also, a great story (per usual). Are you still in touch with JT? I also enjoyed the story you left on Jenny’s blog about how you acquired little beast. After reading your story, I visited another blog I like and read her story about how she acquired her dog. I think you’d like her blog. It’s Jennyslark.com if you are interested. She is one of the better writers in blog land, in my uneducated opinion. I think simple and small are good and today is a good day for me. I’m more thank OK:-) Thank you. Hope it warms up soon where you are and that you can continue your walks.


      • Doug in Sugar Pine
        March 26, 2020 at 8:41 pm

        Another Jenny with a blog to read. I will check her out, thank you.
        JT was 64 when I met him in ’92 or ’93, and he died in 2005, if I have the dates all correct.
        It can keep snowing here for as long as it will as far as I’m concerned. There will be plenty of time to walk later on and we need the snowpack to stay out of the drought.
        This is wildfire country, and evacuating wouldn’t be as simple as it was in Rohnert Park last year.
        I think it was 2017 when the “Railroad fire” burned right down to the other side of the river here. I remember because Zsuzs’ internet was down at the time and she had me texting her updates from CalFire and Nixle…


      • March 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm

        In that case, Snow On, Sweet Sugar Pine, Snow On. Those fires are horrible to read about. I can’t imagine being caught in one.


  3. Joanne Noragon
    March 26, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    I had my first visual message today; the six foot markers at the store. Visual messages are all the cars in driveways, As I’ve learned, it will pass.
    So, I see you are laid off. Please enjoy it.


    • March 27, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      Hi Joanne-my grocery store has them, too, now. They are helpful. I am laid off and am going to make the most of it. Except for a couple years when my girls were young, I’ve always worked outside the home. I’m not used to an abundance of this type. Hoping we can all do what we need to do right now and we turn a corner in a few weeks. Sure not looking like that right now, is it?


  4. March 28, 2020 at 7:12 am

    These are strange times but the clearing, the time for simplicity and appreciation, that is the positive bit. Good luck and wishing everyone happy survival xx


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