Those are words that Don Henley of the Eagles said in an interview in around 1976, when he was about 27 years old. He meant it in the sense that they are getting older, that success changes people, but the sentiment remains the same in a whole bunch of different ways. For me, as I have had a modicum of success, some failures and a whole bunch of stuff in the middle, I see it in the ways most people see it, with kids, with family, work, a golf game that is up and down and middle aged rock and roll fantasies.
I had the chance to go visit my daughter in her college town on the east coast two weeks ago. While she was certainly mature and great when she went to college, there was a palpable change in two months, which she will only know if she reads this….It was not her hair color, which I swear is darker, she seemed taller, but i know that is not true, but there was a sense of maturity in the way she walked and talked and how she interacted with people It was something only a parent could tell, to most she will seem like herself, but it was amazing to me that time had passed, all of two months and the change in her was beyond noticeable.
I see it in my son, a senior at a small midwestern college, which one i obviously if anyone reads these. He is more distant but not in a bad way, more of an independent way, that he is able to act on his own, start making some decisions on his own for his future with only a modicum of input from his parents. I saw it when I took him grocery shopping (of course I still paid) but that he was not buying cookies, crackers and snack food. He and his roommates had meals planned, like adults, he bought two bottles of wine, and one case of fancy beer, but the rest was like what adults do. He also likes duck confit and craft cocktails….not cheap for dad, but cute.
I see it in parents who are getting older and the residual issues that go with that although thankfully for now not catastrophic. I see it more though in myself, now living basically alone, with two lonely cats who are still getting used to an empty house. It’s very quiet, and after I purged the garbage in both kids’ rooms it just feels like a house where the kids used to live. I thought I would change habits, but except for having literally no food in the house, I have offend that while things change, some change has to be forced a little. A conscious effort to read a book,go play in a bar, take a trip, or become stagnant, I can see how empty nesters who are not married can get bogged down in morass of depression or loneliness. 21 years of habits, of going to events, or just checking in and seeing when they will be home crafts a history that can’t be a future.
So we force change, force those new habits, get a part time job, make some more money, who knows, but otherwise I can see becoming something that no one would be happy with. As time passes, and things change, the real issue than is, do we?