How I know I’ve made it
At this point, your settled down now. Whether you have a wife or not. Your sitting on the porch of your house, probably on a home made porch swing, out in the country, but not too far from town. You have a grill on your patio, maybe a smoker next to it. Your golden retriever or husky/Shepard mix sitting right next to you, just kinda lookin out as you swing.
You have a pond or stream near by with fishing poles at the ready should you decide to fish. You have beers in the fridge, but not too many because your past that now, 3 or 4 should be fine for you. You have a cigar case sitting on your wooden table in your house, maybe a cigar from every duty station and deployment you had in the military (if you stuck to that), but you don’t smoke inside. Your grass is nicely mowed, smells nice all the time. You have a man cave in the basement for the boys, but you take your wife down there too because it’s awesome. It has a pool table, gaming system, weight bench, built in surround sound, and ice cold beer. Maybe a 5th of crown Apple or Jim beam to drink with the fellas. Wachob is over pretty often, he lives pretty close to you if everything worked out well. You guys like to go fishing in the stream, even if you don’t catch anything it’s still fun. Friday’s you and Wachob will grill up some burgers for the kids and/or the boys depending on how things happened. Country music playing in the background. You talk about putting in a pool, but never really do for some reason. You have a side by side or quad in the garage, ready to take out for spotting or plowing in the winter. You also have a nice truck, not too ugly but not too nice. You take it in to town to work and because you don’t seclude yourself, you go out with friends and go to Lowe’s or Home Depot for home improvement projects. You visit your parents often, and you have them over often too. Your nephews and nieces come to fish and eat now and then, Wachobs family too. You, Jacob and Wachob sit their with or without your wives, take a good hard look around you, crack a cold beer and cheers because you all realize that you’ve made it.
Wrote this in my notes, it gets me through. Thought I would share. One day I’ll get there.