Bye Bye to Spud (For Now)


Spud is here. This is our goodbye night since I probably won’t see him again before I go. It’s going to be very hard to say goodbye to him. He’s been a very important part of this year home in Alabama. There’s a part of me that would like to take him back to New York with me. It’s the same part that would like to make him fifteen or twenty years older. I’m grateful for what we’ve had, our special friendship, and I know that it’s not really goodbye. He’ll come see me in New York and when I do eventually meet the man I want to marry, I hope my Spud will be by my side to help make it official on the day I get hitched.

The final item on the list of “Symptoms of Underearning” that my friend sent me (I know y’all are probably glad I’m coming to the end of the list) is:

Stability Boredom. We create unnecessary conflict with co-workers, supervisors and clients, generating problems that result in financial distress. 

To be honest, I don’t really know if I have this one or not. I mean I do remember throwing my trumpet one time during rehearsals for The Eyes of Babylon because I was so pissed at Yuval (my director whom I love madly still) but I don’t really think that was the same thing this symptom is talking about. Since neither of us ever made any money off the play, (there’s the detail that needs to be examined) our artistic feuds didn’t result in any additional financial distress. Incidentally, while I’m talking about it, I learned so much from the process of making and performing that play— probably more that I did in my entire BA in Theatre. I also have to admit about half the time, Yuval was right about what we disagreed on and we usually found some happy medium that ended up being a more effective product than either of us textbook Alpha Males had in mind. Wow. How did I get off on that? Oh, conflict with co-workers. I think I’m pretty easy to work with as a writer, director, actor, producer. At least that’s what I’ve heard from people I’ve worked with in my chosen field.

So that’s the end of the list of Symptoms of Underearning. And I have almost all of them and I’m willing to admit that I may be in denial about the others. The phenomenon of underearning, all the things that factor into that (which I’m continuing to learn about) is something that predated, continued through, and lasted long after my active alcoholism. When I look back, I had symptoms of underearning from a very early age. I think a lot of it plays into a low-self opinion rooted in being in an unhealthy social environment during my malleable developmental stages. That’s not an excuse to let it kill me— now that I know it, I can do something about it. But it is useful information. It also helps me to back off with some of the extreme self-recrimination I’ve heaped on myself for years around these issues. The fear I’m experiencing as I move into a life of recovery from underearning lets me know that I’m no track and on time purpose. I remember the early days of recovery from alcoholism. It hurts. Problem drinkers quit drinking and things get better; alcoholics quit drinking and everything goes to shit— and then it slowly gets much, much better. Perhaps the same is true of recovery from underearning. Foundations that are built slowly are often the strongest foundations.

Some people who are living in recovery from underearning have been very generous with their time and good counsel. One of the first thing that has been suggested to me is to start tracking my time. Man, is that an eye opener! If you really want to know what’s important to you, start keeping up with how you spend your time. I went to a time budgeting workshop today. I’m ready to get serious about allocating appropriate time to the things I’m determined to manifest in my life. No wonder I haven’t been achieving my life goals, I haven’t been giving them an appropriate amount of time! That changes now.

But for right now….

This is my last night with Spud for a while— and he’s finished with his homework. We have popsicles to eat and vis’tin’ to do.

See y’all tomorrow.

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