Whenever I think I’ve tightened all the loopholes in terms of cancellations and payments and covered all my bases in terms of materials and additional assignments, something unexpected comes up. This past week, I was planning on attending my regular tutoring session before dashing off to make cookie dough with my family. Midway through my morning, the parent of my student emailed me saying that his daughter had to meet with a teacher after school and couldn’t make the session. He closed the email by typing, “Reschedule. K, thx.” I was livid.
Not only is this family incredibly gifted and talented when it comes to making excuses for their cancellations, but this was finals week — a season renowned for last-minute cramming and extra tutorials. I had turned down other clients who asked for this spot in order to honor my standing commitment to this flaky family. I quickly churned out a nasty-gram, and then I clicked “save as draft.” I emailed my mom a recap of my woes, fully expecting her to be just as annoyed and aggravated as I was. She’s my mom. Back me up, right?
Wrong. I clicked open her replied and my stomach sank. Two sentences. Two lousy sentences. I had penned a veritable diatribe. Where was the sympathy? Where was the support? There was nary an exclamation point to be found in her response. Instead, she simply typed, “This season is about cookie dough, not green dough. More time with us.”
After first I thought, well, she just doesn’t get it. This is my side hustle. This is about paying off my mortgage early. This is about financial independence within the next decade.
Soon after, an overwhelming sadness settled in. For nearly three decades, I looked forward to holiday baking with my family all year. The tradition started way back when with my grandma and me. Then, my mom joined in one year. Pretty soon, we invited my cousin and her two daughters. When my grandma passed away right before Christmas two years ago, we still got together and baked in her memory. Love and saturated fat – the two constants in my family. And this year, I had become so focused on an extra forty dollars that I couldn’t see the gift I had been given: an extra hour of time with my family doing what I love.
This post isn’t to say that I’ll stop pursuing my side hustle or that I’ve decided not to reach for financial independence. Money matters. But some things matter even more.
So Tell Me…Have you had any Scrooge moments this year? Care to share any gems your parents have dropped on you?