The last few months (ok, years) have been rough.

Since July 2015 my husband and I have been dealing with a string of unemployment, underemployment and job changes, his herniated disc/chronic pain and subsequent surgery, various family health crises, and tremendous amounts of stress.

And while I knew it was having an impact, I don’t think I realized the depth of that impact until this morning.

Yes, I’ve gained 20 pounds in the last few years. Yes, I’ve been having trouble sleeping. Yes, my skin has been terrible: my face simultaneously breaking out and shedding flakes, no matter what lotion, oil or mask I try. I’ve had more days of feeling genuinely not nice–hearing words coming out of my mouth and thinking, wow, that was super bitchy–that’s not how I want to be.

But this morning, for the first time in ages, I woke up… happy.

It’s been so long and I’ve been so overwhelmed/hurried/anxious/busy that I didn’t ever really stop to think about happiness.

Things are starting to smooth out–I have a new job that isn’t toxic. Better yet, I have a new job I enjoy. I’m getting to yoga regularly. Tim’s back is healing and he’s able to move normally, bring in groceries, empty the dishwasher, pick up our cats. I’m slowly starting to take better care of my body and release the anxiety that’s been squeezing me tighter and tighter for the last few months.

This morning, realizing that I’m actually HAPPY again left me breathless for a moment. Then I took a deep inhale and whispered “thank you.” Because I’m so grateful that things have finally shifted, I want to build all the momentum I can to keep it going.

Today also happens to be the first day that feels like spring. After weeks of rain and snow and chill, it’s finally sunny and in the mid-60’s here in New Hampshire. Do I think it’s coincidence that my shift in mood aligned with the change in weather?

Probably not. As much as I know I control certain aspects of my life, I also recognize the deep-seated natural forces that influence us all. I’m grateful to be feeling the spring energies of hope, rebirth and rejuvenation–wherever they come from.

I’m off to light a candle to keep that hope burning bright.