Re: Stuck newbie
As I read your entry, it very much reminded me of where I was at 20 years ago. I was a very well paid, well educated health care professional, pretty much hating every work day. I wanted to get out of my line of work, but my training was so specialized, it did not "transfer" well to other career paths. So, I worked even harder and longer to try to amass enough money to retire. That caused even more stress and unhappiness.
Result: Mononucleosis for about a year, and a severe bout of depression. I also had the big house, etc.
What I learned: Happiness is more important than chasing the dream. I have not yet been able to separate myself from my job, but since I am self employed, I began experimenting with a reduced work week, i.e. 3 -4 days a week MAX...NO more than that. I took up fly fishing and oil painting. I literally started to not only smell the roses, but prune them, and enjoy them, etc. We moved to a less expensive area, and downsized from 3,500 to 2,300. Guess what? We didn't lose any self-esteem in doing so. Also, less windows to wash!
I could retire soon, so I hate my job less than ever, knowing that I can thumb my nose at it in 3-5 years (and possibly even sooner). I have a lovely supportive wife who supports all of this. This year, for the first time in many years, we decided to live in a budget to see how little we can live on. Even though I make over $300,000 a year, we rent movies rather than go to the theater. We limit restaurant meals to twice a month. We have stopped giving gifts to each other (who need them?), except for nice cards and expressions of love, of course. We shop at Target instead of Macy's. I love it! Bottom line: We need less than we think. Best of luck.