Maggie Rants [and Raves]

The "R" Word

by Maggie Franklin | August 11, 2010

I started doing nails when I was 22 — PFFT! Who am I kidding? I started doing nails when I was 15! But I started my career as a nail professional when I was 22. Either way, I started when I was young. You know, young = immortal and invincible.

The very notion that I would ever find myself old and achy and ready to retire was barely even that — a notion.

Now here I am, almost half way through the big 4-0 and I've been ignoring those times I wake up in the middle of the night with my arm numb for about two years already. That irritating twinge in my right elbow that feels like someone's using a tendon in there as a guitar string? PFFT! Nothin’, I tell ya! And when I occasionally drop something because my thumb just forgot to keep holding on to it? Well, that couldn't possibly be related to work either. Right?

I need to work for 30 more years. And, quite frankly, I'm going to greet my 70th birthday with my gnarled arthritic fingers crossed that all these years of gambling on Social Security will pay off — because I'm a grasshopper, and saving for the future is just not in my nature. Believe me, there's a long, drawn out philosophical discussion involved that we just do not have time for now! But suffice it to say, my retirement fund consists of a jar full of pennies. And it's not even that big a jar.

All those aforementioned little aches and pains have been easy enough to ignore, but suddenly I find the first knuckle of my middle finger on my right hand (All my aches and pains are in my right hand/arm, BTW, but I'm left-handed. Go figure.) hurts in a hurting kinda way. I keep checking to make sure I haven't broken it. On some level, I blame the canoe. (Did I mention the BF and I got a canoe?) After all, that's when it started. But my grandmother has been nursing her own gnarled, arthritic fingers for as long as I've known her (that's been 40 years BTW, since you probably don't think reading my blog should require any math).

I'm sure I shouldn't be expecting to escape my own genetics, so it's just a matter of time before at least one of my joint succumbs.

I still blame the canoe.

But it does have me thinking seriously about what I'm really going to do about making sure I don't have to sit on the corner of a parking lot with a "will work for food" sign when actually working for food ceases to become a viable option.

Financial management and planning should be a required part of the curriculum in nail school. I'm not the only one out there who was hoping to never have to retire.


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