It makes my heart feel full of joy when my friends are happy. Seeing happiness in a friend reminds me that life in this world can be incredibly joyful — and I need that reminder sometimes.
I just saw a man who I rarely see anymore and I got an update on his life. When I first met Josh six or eight years ago, he was a young man working as an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant. By coincidence, I had known of his father — although his father was older than I was — when I was in high school about 45 miles from here.
Nearly five years ago, Josh married a beautiful and sweet woman and I was happy about that. He worked his way up to the top of management at a very successful restaurant. He was making a nice living, but he was working too many hours. I assumed he would stay on that path.
When I saw him tonight, I found out he had finished his college degree last spring. He had been in college off and on for years, so he didn’t even tell most people he was back in school until he finished his coursework.
He and his wife timed having a baby to come just after his graduation.
On the day his daughter was born, he got a call from a major bank asking him to apply for a job. Three months later, he was a retail banker with a prestigious bank, working at an upscale branch in a nice neighborhood.
The news was all good, but what really made my heart full was to sense just how content he is. He obviously loves his wife and baby daughter. (The little girl is adorable.) He’s happy to be in a job he likes that requires far less work — and it’s a job that gives him a career path he’s happy with.
I’ve been really down this week because I’m unhappy with some of the things life has been showing me lately. It’s easy for me to allow all of my unhappy circumstances to get me down — and it’s easy to wonder whether things can get better for me.
So it makes me happy to see Josh so full of joy and contentment. It makes my heart full to see my friend happy — and it’s encouraging to remind myself that life might still have joy and happiness to send my way, too. That might sound trite, but it’s true.
I’m happy for Josh — and I’m hopeful for the rest of us. Including me.