Good morning everyone! I hope that this post finds everyone in good spirits (if not good then at least decent:wink. I just wanted to start a thread talking about our different professions. When I look at someone's listed occupation by their avatar, I wonder to myself if that person is happy with what they do? When I was growing up, I used to think that the "American Dream" was to be rich or well off. After getting out into the world and joining the Marine Corps at 17, I started to learn that for most, the "dream" is more geared towards being able to live life on your own terms and being financially sound in the process. Once when I was a young Lance Corporal, I met a fellow Marine who was on his way out from active duty. I asked him what his plans were once he got out and his reply was that he had no plans...just gonna collect unemployment and take some time off then wander around the country doing whatever. To me at the time, that was about the worst idea possible! I asked him "How can you do that? Dont you want to make some money so you can have nice things?" His reply to that was "Nope. if I never make a million bucks, I will be okay with that. I dont need money to be happy." I thought about that conversation for a long time. I still think about it today because it kind of changed my life and the way I viewed things...I have started to realize that for me, the "American Dream" really is about doing what you love to do and being able to make a living from it! If you love what you do for a living, does Monday morning come as a dread to you? Do you look forward to Friday and Saturdays as "time away from that place"? After almost 17yrs of service, I am slowly starting to realize how close to retirement I am. I love being a Marine. I have worked with some really great people. Some I consider family. I am tired of some things though. I have deployed more times to more places than I care to mention. Some great memories and some I try to forget. Lord willing, soon I will be 37yrs old and looking for another job here in Az. Kind of scares me a little when I think of what I will do next with my life. My wife says that I can take some time off and kick back but I know better...there is no way that I can sit back and not do anything. Gotta keep going to make the monthly bills. She asked me what I want to do and I told her that I really dont know...kind of the same look that I gave my mom and guidance counselor in my last year of high school:smile2:. Seriously though, I have a few things Im looking into. I just want time to be able to do stuff my family more than anything...and maybe be able to afford a nice boat with all the lastest gadgets:smile2::wink:. Anyhow, how many of you out there are doing for a living what you really love to do (it's not a question of how much money you make)? How long have you been at it and most importantly (in my opinion) how does it affect other aspects of your life?