My wife and I have always followed the rules and done what was expected of us.
I’m not so sure that I would advise my daughters to live that example.
It’s not the easiest thing to admit but my wife and I both have realized that we did what we were supposed to do much more than what we wanted to do. We got out of college, had good jobs and bought a house with great residential HVAC. Then we started having kids. Soon, our little house was too small. Like most people, we then bought a bigger place and had even better residential HVAC. It was all about getting more and doing better. But we were also pretty miserable. While we were so thankful to be raising fantastic girls, we were paying a price as well. Both of us were over the work we did and we hated winter. The thought of going through one more hard winter being stuck inside the HVAC heating for five months was unbearable. So once our last daughter left for college, we updated the HVAC equipment yet again and sold that house. Thankfully, we sold it right at the peak of the recent HVAC bubble. This allowed us to follow our passion and move south where the biggest worry is getting enough HVAC cooling. We were able to find jobs that interest us and we’re passionate about. The proceeds from the sale of the house are a great insurance policy. But we’ve greatly simplified our lives in order to focus on living them rather than enduring them. And all this central air conditioning and almost zero winter cold sure helps.