Now it really doesn’t matter what celebrations you might have had over the past month or so, there are always leftovers.

When it comes to any religious celebration, birthdays, anniversaries or weddings etc, the leftovers are going to almost always be about food I think.  And then we spend hours trying to work out new recipes or what can and can’t be frozen for another time.

I do think the “leftovers” stage though often also includes some reflections on how things went, or what happened in a specific conversation or relationship to turn it so good...or bad.

You know the process well, I’m sure.

There’s often leftovers with therapy too.

As a therapist, there will be countless times when we don’t know the outcome for a client.

We may recognise that the client wants to end the process but feel a huge potential inside for much more work that could be done.

Or the client may simply not return after the holiday break, and we are left with the process of finding an ending for ourselves within unfinished business.

Or we may even feel we need to review the whole process in supervision because we feel that somehow it simply didn’t work, for us as therapist, or for the client, or both.

Managing those leftovers is not always easy.  It takes time and care.

Managing leftover food from parties takes up fridge and freezer space.

Managing leftover process from therapy takes up head and heart space.

One of my leftovers from recent family gatherings is working out my feelings about receiving a gift of a small book from a distant family member.  We have little contact through the year now, and we don’t send cards or texts, so suddenly receiving a present took me by surprise.  And it was a strange choice of book....”what’s this all about?” is the question in my mind right now!

So often we view leftovers as just that, something left over and perhaps worth very little.  And we might simply drop everything in the bin.

But I’d always suggest a pausing on the way to the bin.

Leftovers might, of course, teach us to buy or make much less food next time.  Or they might help us decide which battles are worth engaging with and which we can simply let go.  Or, if we let them, they might teach us something new about ourselves or a relationship.

So manage your leftovers with care won’t you?