Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles. Or a lesson in the economics and wisdom of mid-career retirement

In a first in recent months, I took stock of my finances today, or rather I totted up how much I am (not) making in terms of money.


The color has overtaken the world and seeped into the very ribonucleic acid of my cells. I am now colored indigo AND am poor.

A lot has been written and said about money.

  1. The scent of it is what a good detective follows to solve the crime
  2. It makes the world go round

I, for one, believe that the quantum of money one can possess follows the marginal utility curve. If you, unlike me, have not been inches away from flunking every one of the various economic courses that you have been forced to endure, you shall have no trouble understanding that statement. For folks like me, who may not get economics but are champions at chocolate, imagine this:

You eat your first piece of caramel chocolate, and it is gorgeous. The second piece, even more so; you now know when to expect the caramel and the delicious aftertaste. And so we continue working our way through the bar till we have chocolate smeared all over our fingers and faces and we have gradually become sick of it, and eating one more bite shall cause us to physically throw up.

This is how my high school economic teacher explained the law to us. She was a sterling educator and my lack of economic understanding is solely attributed to a complete absence of synapses where the economics part of my brain is supposed to be (the same bit that governs the grasp over organic chemistry and large numbers).

Money is like chocolate. QED. You can have too little of it, you can have enough of it and you can have too much of it, all with varying individual thresholds. Unless, of course, you are Warren Buffet, in which case, the more you give away the more you make and you will never have enough and you will always have too much.

Now forget about complicated dessert analogies and Warren for a moment. Money has value distinct from its purchasing power, right? For some it is a security blanket; for others it means power and status. I fall in the category of those who equate money, or rather the amount they are earning with their self-worth.

A decade or so ago, an ex-boss told me that those who eagerly check their salary receipt statement are ones who don’t like their job enough. Choosing to deliberately misunderstand the cause-effect in his analysis, I studiously avoided checking my salary receipt statement, in the hope that I would like my job. Over the years, though, I kept a mental tab on the salary quantum to determine whether I liked myself enough.

The biggest casualty of my early retirement decision is, hence, the easily quantifiable measure of self-worth: the pay cheque. To those of you, who envy my freedom from the treadmill drudgery, do pause and consider the color of the grass on your side of the fence. Quit, by all means; but not before you have thought through some of the battles with your unique inner demons.

Trying to stand on my own two feet
Trying to stand on my own two feet

Before the terrible stock taking happened, and heady with the success of Olaf, I spent the weekend crocheting an amigurumi giraffe. My fingers have calluses on them and have turned a peculiar shade of red-blue.

So I now have blue fingers and blue RNA.


9 thoughts on “Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles. Or a lesson in the economics and wisdom of mid-career retirement

  1. I love your Amigurumi creations! By the way ; there are certain things in which the marginal utility theory does not apply ! These are exceptions and money is one of them. . I am so inspired by your bucket list ; thought I will do something about it too. Ordered the book War and Peace thru Flipcart. What came however is not War… But Crime and Punishment! I wonder if it is the same?


    1. Lalita Attai! Would love to hear about your bucket list. Perhaps, it is time to plan a trip to Delhi. I have not read War and Peace or Crime and Punishment (Anna Karennina has been on my to read list forever, though!) so I had to google to answer your questions. Turns out they are two different books, but you have picked the right one to read


  2. The Flipkart guy came and took away the Crime and P and my bucket list is again back to square one.🌅 Their excuse was so funny; since War and peace is out of print ; they sent me the Dostoyevsky;s book.


  3. I know of people who have green fingers; some say I am one of them ; but people with blue fingers never heard of. So you are forerunner among them! Keep up the Crochet creations. And don’t even think of mid- career retirement. I did that in my life ; not once but thrice; but in retrospect I still am not worse off. But starting another career from scratch all over again requires grit and determination !


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