in: Mindful Moment

Mindful Moment #33 – Scraps and Leftovers

Take a deep breath
What’s Left Over?
As I am eating my way through the first batch of holiday leftovers, I find myself pondering the nature of scraps. In the way of food, some recipes get better with a little extra time to marinate and mingle with its spices and seasonings. Am I the only one eating this sweet potato casserole? Yes. Is it because on Turkey Day the casserole was too sweet despite my best efforts to make it savory? Possibly. Has it gone through refrigerator alchemy after three or four days and developed into the savory sweet potatoes of my dreams? Definitely! Not that I dream about sweet potatoes all that often, but as someone afflicted with a most unfair allergy to regular potatoes, sometimes I just want NOT sweet sweet potatoes, you know?
Is the casserole pan taking up too much space in the fridge? Indeed, it is. Should I just fill up one of the empty Cool Whip tubs with whatever will fit and toss the rest? I mean, I could, but why waste the bit that won’t fit and dirty another container? Are there other leftovers that are aging less gracefully? Certainly. I’m looking at you, Jell-O salad. Have I already amalgamized the other leftovers into franken-dishes that my family dutifully ate without (much) complaint? I have! That turkey tortilla soup was really quite tasty. Especially with the last slice of pecan pie for dessert.
Which brings me back to scraps. Isn’t it interesting how some things get better, and some things get worse, and some things get transformed into something new? I went through an old journal last week looking for an homage to Thanksgiving I had written about ten years ago. As I was reading, I was struck by how I am different than my younger self. Some parts of my personality have changed into something much more mellow, secure in myself, and funnier. I used to be fixated on certain aspects of existence that I just couldn’t navigate without a bunch of drama and self-pity. I also used to have a spectacularly different job with a massive load of stress that I was really, really good at. But in the past ten years, I have taken those job skills and turned them into a creative application with much, much less stress. Am I still me? Yes. And no. And that’s okay. And normal, I think, as we age. 
One thing I have learned in the past ten years is that it is okay to let go of things. Just like the soupy, mangled Jell-O salad, some things are not going to make it through the entire journey as planned. It is also okay to throw it out. It is also okay to let things sit on the back burner until you are ready or able to address them. Not everything can be put on hold, but things that need pondering can usually sit for a minute while you consider your next step. Some things are going to need longer consideration than the back burner can bear. Put that stuff in the freezer. It’s going to keep until you are ready. And other things demand to be dealt with in the now. You must have the wherewithal to know when something is a freezer item and when something is sushi. Sushi is not waiting for you. Seize the moment when you have sushi.
Ever needed in these ramp-down days to the shortest day of the year, let’s take a moment to consider what is on your plate. 
Sit down in a comfortable spot. Relax, drop your shoulders, soften your face. Breathe.
I want you to consider what is different in your life today compared to 10 years ago. 
How have things changed? How have you changed?
How have things stayed the same? In what ways are you similar to your younger self?
What is better about today? What is more complicated?
Is there anything happening in the here and now that feels like Jell-O salad four days after Thanksgiving? Maybe it started out just splendidly, but now, it’s not what you wanted. You’re probably tired of it taking up space in your life, and you know it is time to get rid of it. You don’t have to keep it until it’s covered with mold. You can go ahead and release it to the Universe. Mentally do that now. Take a deep breath, hold it, and release.
Is there anything happening in your life that feels like it is time to transition to the next step? Do you have a set of skills that can be applied in a new or different way? Are there opportunities presenting themselves to you that feel like you should give it a try, but you know you will need to rise to the occasion? Give yourself permission to mix those stable “knowns” with new elements of the “unknown.” Trust the Universe to work its alchemy so that you will find yourself with a plate of new experiences. Take a deep breath, hold it, and release.
What in your life is better now than it used to be? What has grown more deeply and more satisfying for you? Maybe you had started with something basic and bland, but you have developed it into something rich and sumptuous? Allow yourself to relish how that marinade of time and work created your deeper reality. Give yourself a heartfelt congratulations on making this corner of your life better. You did it! Give gratitude to the Universe for the inspiration, the support, and guiding you to the pathway that led you here. Take a deep breath, hold it, and release.
Continue breathing and pondering what may come next. Make plans. Give yourself permission to follow your dreams. Write down anything you want to remember from this meditation.
Here’s to feasts, friends, and the magic of the Universe! I hope the season is as nourishing to your soul as it is to your body. 


We’re feeling inspired by these incredible and thought provoking pieces:

  1. Pregnancy causes dramatic changes in the brain, study confirms Pregnancy caused women to lose gray matter, and reshaped the brain’s “default mode network,” a set of brain regions that are most active when the mind is wandering.
  2. Two Minerals Never Seen Before in Nature Discovered In an Asteroid That Fell to Earth An analysis of a huge chunk of space rock that fell to Earth in Somalia has revealed materials never before seen in nature.
  3. Oldest Known Dog Bone Hints Our Best Friends Were With Us Earlier Than Thought An ancient bone is helping scientists refine the timeline of humanity’s relationship with our best friends – the canine companions that have brightened our lives for millennia.

That’s all for today, y’all – remember, taking time to focus on you is an act of love.

We hope you found this helpful – don’t hesitate to reply with any feedback on how we can improve future Mindful Moments! We can’t wait to hear from you.


See you next time! 


Made with  in the Rocky Mountains.

© 2022, MINDFUL, LLC All rights reserved.

560 S. 100 W. Suite 21

Provo, UT 84601


Join our Mindful Movement!


Sign up today, and we'll share bi-weekly Mindful Moments, full of helpful tips, tactics, and content to improve your life!


"Without a doubt, the most engaging written piece on mindfulness!"

- a Mindful Moment Subscriber


(We'll never sell or share your information, either.)

You have Successfully Subscribed!