I guess I’m lucky. I’ve never seen the mythical blivet bag. I’ve heard about blivet bags all my life, but never have I encountered one in person. I googled for an image of a blivet bag so I could show you what one looks like, as well as find out for myself. But even Google fails to come up with any convincing likeness.
A blivet bag, as you may know, is ten pounds of shit stuffed into a five pound bag. You’d think Google would have plenty of pictures of that. But nope.
I got to thinking though that blivet bags are actually pretty common. Just not in the form of bags. Rather, they occur in the form of our lives. Imagine we have five pound lives and imagine that we sometimes try to stuff ten pounds of living into our five pound lives. That’s when we turn ourselves into blivet bags.
We sometimes try to live more life than we’re capable of living. We overwhelm ourselves with things to do. And then all kinds of bad things happen.
We get mad and lose our temper. Just like a blivet bag bursting apart. Or we get distracted and screw up. Just like an awkwardly heavy blivet bag, being fumbled and dropped. And we struggle to maintain control of our lives. Just like a blivet bag that constantly spills open, requiring continuous restuffing and packing.
It happened to my wife and me just recently. We discovered that we had termites. And the bugman convinced us that we would have to tent-fumigate our home. After we signed the contract we discovered all the things we had to do to prepare for the big tent.
All food and medicine had to be removed from the premises, or be double-bagged in the refrigerator. And arrangements had to be made to board our menagerie of dogs and cats. Which also meant we had to get them caught up on their shots and licenses.
And we learned that every drawer, cupboard, file cabinet, chest, trunk, safe, and any other enclosed piece of furniture or fixture had to be left unlocked and open.
A crew of strangers would enter our opened up house and do whatever the hell they wanted, while we would be shut out and unable to monitor their actions.
So to counter this security nightmare, we went through the entire house searching for and collecting any and all valuables, embarrassing stuff, and paperwork with social security numbers and other identifying or sensitive information. This was stored in a separate, locked building on our property, that wasn’t being fumigated.
This took a lot of time. Our blivet bag was running over. We were really stressing.
Finally we decided, to hell with it, and left town for a few days on a mini-vacation, while the house was filled with poisonous gas. We took our minds off of what was happening to our home sweet home. We did our best to empty our blivet bag and relax.
Thankfully the house was still standing when we returned. And after a few days we put everything back in its place, minus some junk we decided to jettison. The dogs and cats survived. The valuables are once again secured. And, knock on wood, the termites appear to be dead.
But most importantly, we successfully deflated our blivet bag lives.
Sometimes when my blivet bag life runneth over, I try something I call Slow-Down Meditation. In fact I tried it a few days before the tent went up. I forced myself to do everything very slowly. I could only keep this up for about an hour, but it had lasting effects. It relaxed me. It helped me be more reflective. And it inspired me to clear some of the clutter out of my life and simplify.
We don’t have to meditate. There are many other ways to deflate our shit-packed lives. But the first step is to learn how to recognize a blivet bag when we see one. Google won’t help, but honest self-reflection may reveal just how anxious and overwhelmed we feel. That’s our clue that our life may have turned into a blivet bag.
I advise that as soon as you recognize your blivet bag, take immediate steps to unpack it. Unless there’s a true emergency or crisis happening right now, you don’t need to be doing a million things at once. I advise that you unpack, deflate, and relax. Make your life a pleasure to live, rather than a nonstop race to an ever-receding finish.
I wish your life to always be full. But by that I mean, may it only be five pounds full. For that is the most enjoyable way to live a five pound life.