There’s a Korean word (I believe) used to describe that outer circle of people in your life that are not quite family members or friends, but they are essential in providing the support system that helps your life to function. This outer circle includes the warm and friendly lady that rings you up every week at the dry cleaner and asks about how your kids are doing, the cashier that you see every single Monday morning at the grocery store who patiently accepts all of your coupons (and asks about your kids), and the exterminator who has been coming to your house for the last 10 years who nods understandingly (and then heads down to slay the beast) when you tell him about the trauma you endured because you saw one of those big hairy ginormous spiders in your basement last week. Oh yes, and he asks about your kids too….
Thee people aren’t family… and you probably wouldn’t invite them over to your backyard BBQ because they aren’t exactly friends either… but you can’t imagine your life without them.
This outer circle extends to the teachers, learning specialists, speech therapists, soccer coaches, and other instructors that your kids learn from each and every day. And it certainly expands to include every doctor, nurse, and physical therapist that touches your life.
My son Spencer has had a bit of a difficult recovery from a knee injury that he picked up during the fall football / soccer sports season. He’s been diagnosed with an osteochondral defect which basically is a lesion on his bone that won’t properly heal. He has been completely restricted from all activities and sports since November, which is a pretty frustrating situation for an 11-year-old to be in.
Recently we are referred to a new doctor to help us figure out how to handle the situation. And Spencer was fitted with what we are now referring to as his “bionic brace”. We might still be looking at surgery- we’re not sure exactly where this is headed yet, but I feel really grateful that we have access to such great support and guidance from a team of doctors, nurses and therapists where we live. And that we have the benefit of pretty decent health insurance to help us pay for all of it. I know that we are indeed very fortunate.
So for this month’s happiness project, I am reflecting on the gratitude that I feel for all of those people that make up my “outer circle” of support. And I hope that I have given you some pause… to think about your own outer circle and do the same.
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