We didn't backpack for almost 20 years while our kids were growing up, with the exception of one overnight trip years ago where I turned into a pack mule. Day trips and car camping were the rule.
Then, after reaching 50 years old, I figured it was too late...no way I or my wife could carry those heavy loads again, especially with our aging knees and ankles.
Then I read Beyond Backpacking, and it changed everything.
I updated our 1980's era gear, sewed tarps and other stuff, and quickly got our base weight down to 15 lbs. I'm working on 12 lbs, but it gets kind of expensive, we love to cook, we insist on very comfortable sleeping pads, and we need comfortable packs. We also bought good hiking poles and found them essential.
Now we pore over maps, plan multi-week treks years in advance, etc. If only having to work for a living didn't get in the way...