Thanks again for all the suggestions.
As I was thinking about this thread on the way home from work tonight, it dawned on me what has happened. I was divorced about 5 years ago, and at the time was an unemployed grad student living in an apartment with my kids sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags (turns out they thought that was fun...anywho...). I can be a fairly goal oriented person, so I made a list of financial goals for myself. Then I stuck my nose to the grindstone.
5 years passed.
I wake up now to find that I have accomplished nearly all of those goals (I'll be at 15 out of 18 in about a month). But I'm so used to having my nose to the grindstone that to take it off seems a tad unnatural. And for the most part, I like my job and my life. So I guess I ended up successful in the sense that I never wanted to feel trapped by monthly payments or by a lack of savings. Obviously I still have a few years to go, and things can always go wrong, but for the most part, I'm where I want to be.
It's a bit like climbing that mountain that I did last year. You keep climbing and climbing and when you get to the top it's a little disorienting to get there...Isn't there more climbing to do? Of course there's always stuff to do, but it does feel a little surprising to wake up and realize you're there.
I'll probably have to set more goals for myself, but they just won't be financially-oriented. Health, travel, relationships, and giving back all seem like good options.
Not interested in 20 year olds. They're cute but I appreciate a more mature viewpoint on life.
Already do a detailed budget, as those who know me well can attest.
@FD, the math works out to 28. Depends on what my relationship goals are as to whether that makes sense.
@jayc, no earned income by the kids yet.
@W2R, not really a pay off the mortgage kind of guy. And currently the taxable account is all in VFINX (I swapped out of VTSMX to do some tax loss harvesting fall 2008.
@freebird, I think you're supposed to ask Mr. Boston about that ;-)
@NWBound, teardrop trailer is still on the list, and being happy in one is probably going to get added to the list for the future ex-Mrs. 2Cor521 :-)
I have a full-fledged bucket list.
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.