Yeah, it's a little hard to explain. Dating myself, but it's David Byrne singing "Well, how did I get here?", except that most choices have been conscious and logical.
Example: I have a friend who recently got tenure in the southeast US. His wife has tenure at the same college. Both worked hard, and got the desired result. Fantastic, right? No adjunct nonsense, stable positions, and their lifestyle is pretty much as they designed it.
But: It's a smaller, third rate academic institution, and no interesting, let alone groundbreaking, work is in the future for either of them. Smaller, semi-rural town, maybe an hour from a mid-level city. Barring a massive (and extremely unlikely) job offer, neither is likely to leave.
Let's be clear: Nobody feels sorry for them. Considering the alternatives, it's a pretty good spot to land. Having said that, they're done professionally, and there's no outlet for the "gotta progress" mentality. They're in a "comfortable enough bubble," but they're also looking at 25-30 years of it.
And yes, it's very "first world problem."