@capnmarrrrk Regarding work and happiness: I've personally found it better to aim for work that simply doesn't make me miserable. It's not that I'm against doing what you love for money (by all means do, if you can), but just finding job neutrality is a real success that many of us never achieve. Not dreading going to work is an amazing feeling that I wish everyone could have.
I thought for years that I wanted to do something more "creative" for money (I work in accounting, not sure if you know that), but it was really the work environment I hated, not the work itself. I had a series of terrible, terrible jobs - for real terrible. I developed TMJ from the the stress.
Aiming for job neutrality gave me the margin I needed to enjoy everything else. I have plenty of other things in my life that make me happy. I have a good relationship, I enjoy my writing projects, and all of the other weird things I do. I barely think about my paid work at all if I'm not actually doing it. I like to keep it as low stress as possible.
It's a strange sort of freedom.
I came from the other direction, though. Besides cleaning houses as a teenager, my first job was in the theatre. I jumped into what I loved most with both feet, and it was incredibly stressful and very poorly paid. I was probably too young and immature to realize what an opportunity I had, but I got really burnt out in just a few years. I hadn't finished my degree, so I ended up in retail. I lost all of my theatre contacts during that time, and by the time I had an office job, it was sort of too late to go back.
I know I'm a perpetually damaged cynic and curmudgeon, but "job neutrality" works for me. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Just my two cents.