I read the word "anomie" today and wondered what it meant. By looking it up, I found that it means lacking roots or the feeling of not belonging. Interesting!
As I approach age 65 and am giving more than a cursory thought to retirement, I am thinking seriously of moving. I mean really moving. Across the U.S. My only sibling lives in Texas and he has been encouraging me to join them in the Lone Star state. It all sounds great. Warmer weather year around, close to my brother in our later years, which we know can't last forever. I have looked randomly at places there, which may be or may not be affordable. I like it there. So what, you might ask, is keeping me from saying "O.K. and going.
I am afraid of "anomie," I guess. Here in the small Midwest town I live in I have roots. Outside of 2 years I spent in the Big City while in college, I have always lived here in this county. My roots go deep into the marl of this tiny blip on the map. Here I know my neighbors. I know the people who check me out at the grocery store. I know the people sitting beside me at church. I can walk down the street anytime and see people whom I know and that know me.
Right now, my children and grandchildren are here. That fact makes my "root system" go even deeper. But, I know, too, that my children will not always stay around here. Jobs are not too plentiful here, and there's really nothing keeping them here if they decide to look for more lucrative opportunities.
My friends are here. What would I do without Curley, my singing buddies, and , of course, my church family. Yes, I could make new friends, but would it be the same?
I fear going where I would be just another number. I fear going to a place where there are 4 to 6 lanes of traffic going in each direction. I fear a place where I have to drive at least an hour just to be out in the "country" instead of one city after the other after the other. I fear maybe living in a place where I could die and no one would care.
Growing old is not for sissies, I have determined. I am used to where I am and what I have. I do know that a house is just a house, stuff is just stuff, and I can live anywhere. But I have to have roots.