On this date, our fellow humans on the other side of the pond are annually dedicating the day to celebrate all things ‘backward’. This may seem unnecessary and, well, plainly put, a bit backwards – but bear with them; in times such as these there is method to this madness.
Defined as “towards the direction that is opposite to the one in which you are facing or opposite to the usual direction,” the celebrated word, ‘backwards’, efficiently sums up the current state of the world. Nothing is the way it was, nothing was the way it is: is nothingness the way it will now eternally be?
Under normal circumstances, the word backwards has negative connotations – we use it to describe a day gone wrong, doings done in a less than desirable way or a person who we don’t consider on the same intellectual frequency as ourselves, be that as it may. But since ‘new normal’ is one of the buzz-words of the year, shifting the frame of reference seems imperative.
At this point, many people have spent nearly a year in a groundhog-day-like existence. If you’re not allowed to leave the premises of your flat, there is hardly no telling of what day, week or month of year it is. Grocery shopping has become the highlight of the week, along with virtual hangouts and Tiktok-takes. That’s a backwards normality, in the regular use of the word.
Following not only American’s politics, but also this quirky celebration, could thus be a well-needed relief from this ever-turning wheel of bed, sofa, Netflix and banana bread-baking.
See today as your golden ticket to reverse any of your by-now-extremely-regular habits. Eat your dessert for breakfast, turn your camera on during each of your Zoom-meetings, ditch your PJs for some dressy clothes – or the other way around, have these been your ways all along.
For ruts to be avoided in relationships, change and adjustments are a must. That same theory applies to your relationship with yourself; as humans we are designed to adapt to new circumstances and situations. But with the outside world currently feeding us no such things, no wonder we feel stagnant and empty. So let’s work with what we have to change that.
Brush your teeth with the wrong hand, call your friend for a virtual breakfast instead of an evening drink, spend the whole day offline. Scrutinize your daily habits and deduct what you can do in a completely opposite way, then do it. It may bring a giddy, childlike energy to your day – if nothing else, it’ll bring your focus onto something but the monotonous reality for a while.
The when and the where
Should this pattern-breaking exercise act as a pleasant mood-booster, there is no argument against adopting a ‘backwards’-mindset beyond this day, during this most backwards of years.
With lockdowns across the world persisting for an unforeseeable future, there will not be much harm in reversing then re-reversing your personal habits – since you don’t have to adhere to many schedules or socially acceptable behaviours. Think outside the box, or step inside of it should that be norm-breaking for you: do what you need to do, but try doing it backwards – esuaceb yhw ton?
Featured image credit: Aine Donnellan