You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore. It's all about the things 'you' don't do anymore. I've had reason to think about how things change as we age.
When I was in my forties, I led an extremely busy life. My children were at the teenage to young adult stage. I worked full time. I went to school full time. I played taxi-mom full time. And when my parents were able to visit us (a long trip from Texas to New York), I enjoyed spending time with them. We were too broke to work it the other way around, so we saw them when they came to us. I talked to them on the phone. Called on their birthdays. And, with my busy, busy life, took them for granted.
Then we entered a new phase. Traveling became more difficult for them. I retired and started a new career as a writer. We traveled to see them--and our children (who are spread out over half the country). Travel was a novelty for me and an opportunity to see the country. Royalties helped pay the expenses. And we had a great time. It was lovely while it lasted.
In the last couple years, travel has greatly diminished. Part of that is due to the precipitous drop-off in royalties. There's no longer money for travel. A bigger part is the great discomfort of travel itself due to ill health and arthritis. And my parents chide me...you don't visit us anymore. And my children chide...you don't visit us anymore.
When we are young, we're all tied up in the busyness of life. There's always going to be another day, another month, another year when we can do all the things we dream of doing. And then it's gone. When I was forty, I climbed a mountain near where I lived every weekend. I stood on the top and looked out over the Hudson Valley and considered the emotional mountains I was dealing with every day. It was a difficult time in my life, but expending the effort to climb that mountain afforded me thinking time. And time to ponder the fact that I COULD climb it. Time to prove a doctor who had predicted I would be in wheel chair by that time was all wrong.
Now, I'm happy to walk around a couple parking lots, cane in hand. STILL not in that wheel chair! But I admit with great sadness...I don't travel anymore.