Pieces are like leftovers. You have to decide what is worth saving and imagining how they can be seen in a new light. Turkey pieces can become glorious in enchiladas or crepes. Random vegetables can have new life in a stew or soup. Working with pieces requires giving up a vision of the original.
Sometimes holidays can leave us not only with pieces of an ideal menu, but a feeling of “falling to pieces” over the realization that idealized family gatherings seldom turn out the way we had imagined. Sitting around a table with loved ones missing can feel as painful as sitting around a table with the tension of loved ones who are present but unconnected with each other. Trying to re-create a memory or an image of how we think things ought to be can leave us frustrated and deeply disappointed.
Thanksgiving can be a “warm up” for upcoming holidays if we gather up the pieces that are worth keeping instead of worrying over what no longer works. One of the pieces may be the unexpected one-on-one discussions that we may have found ourselves enjoying. Being open to whomever happens to engage with us, whatever age or circumstance, is a piece worth saving. Concentrating on enjoying what we really like and passing by the oyster pudding without feeling “shoulds” can be a piece worth trying. Entertaining the idea that we are enough without trying too hard can result in a feeling of relaxation that is even better than the pursuit of perfection.