Are you being selfish? You’ve had many life experiences. Things have changed in your life, you’ve grown. You’ve matured. Now you think of life and you see it a different way. Nothing that you’ve written says to me that you are approaching this in any type of unhealthy way. People grow and change throughout a lifetime and that is very healthy.
You’re different from your mother and father. You’re different from your husband. I would not expect it to be any other way. Each person is unique and each person has his own destiny. Are your goals unrealistic? They certainly do not appear that way to me.
Everything that you’ve written seems very logical and very reasonable. If anyone has been selfish it appears that your husband is guilty. He had 12 different cars in the time that you’ve had one. He doesn’t help in the house. He wants a tidy house but he doesn’t really help. He puts things away, not in an attempt to produce cleanliness but to hide the mess that he has made.
Your children are also individuals and what’s right for them, each of them, is completely individualistic. Each child differs from the other, just as you differ from your husband and parents. Never think that what you went through as a child was normal. Your mother may have meant well but she certainly did not treat you well.
I think it’s very important that you also begin to think of yourself. As you have pointed out, your husband and you have saved the money for your children’s education, paid off your home, and have very little debt. You both have good and secure jobs. It’s time for you to begin to enjoy life. In no way do I believe that anything that you have suggested in your letter is selfish in any way. You seem to be a very responsible person, you seem to understand finance, you have saved ample amounts of money and you have maintained very little credit card debt.
I would encourage you to move forward in your life. Never feel guilty for wanting to find pleasure and meaning in life. What you’ve asked for is in no way excessive. To ask for less would be to deny yourself the very essence of life.
Good luck and if you have any other questions please write back.