This is a good thing. Otherwise the world would be filled with selfish hedonists. Indeed some of these commitments bring meaning and joy to a lot of peoples lives (after all we are only here to raise and nurture our offspring).
However, most commitments tend to morph over time, or fade to nothing. Depending on your outlook on life this can either mean the loss of meaning and fulfilment (empty-nest syndrome) or it can lead to the opening of doors and the breaking of metaphorical shackles. I think the second option is for me.
With the kids growing and becoming independent we will soon have a geographical limitation removed. We no longer need to live near a good school, or any school come to that. Soon I will no longer need to live in a particular town but, unfortunately, I will still need to live in a town within commuting distance of London. My chains will be loosened, not removed.
With this in mind we are starting to trawl the internet to find a more convenient place to live. Probably south-west of London, letting us strike west more easily, bringing Oxford and Bath closer. This planning for a fundamental change in life is exciting. What is even more exiting is that we can position this move in an even longer term plan to move even further south west 5 or so years later when I envisage escaping the rat-race.
Its like playing an end-game in chess. It make you feel in control of your destiny.
(The photo, by the way, is looking west – see what I did there? – from the seafront in Sidmouth, Devon. Strangely no filters were used or changes made in photoshop. It was just really weird light)