July 4, Invisible Day, was created to encourage alone time and to appreciate the invisible things in life, think about your values, beliefs, and relationships that make you who you are, but how much did we learn from the past three years of pandemic-induced alone time? / Photo by Majestic Lukas/ Unsplash
July 4th holds another one of those funny, “observed” days that happen all the time but we don’t really know about.
I’ve definitely never heard of this one: Invisible Day. What? According to generic searches its, “An encouragement to take time off your work schedule and have some alone time.” As well as, “Taking some time to appreciate the invisible things in life, think about your values, beliefs, and relationships that make you who you are.”
Let’s dissect this a little. If one were to even learn about this supposed holiday, would one actually honor it?
What cracks me up most about this day — and the question of whether anyone would actually want to observe it — is the fact we just honored Invisible Day for the last fucking three years in a pandemic and I’m not sure how much we’ve actually learned from that enforced self reflection.
As a mostly professional introvert who can be very extroverted when I feel the express desire, I didn’t have much of a problem for a good long while. I was already used to long term, self-imposed solitude. But it was a little disturbing seeing how people lost their shit fairly quickly. Humans are social creatures who need each other. Without the hustle and bustle of regular, daily life and outside sources of entertainment and activities, people were alone with their own thoughts. The worst kind of haunted house, apparently.
The demons weren’t kept quiet by outside noise. Drinkers drank until they had a hobo’s prize worth of recycling. The emotional and dramatic ones cried until their tear ducts turned to jerky. The complainers groused to the heavens. The problem communicators had more concentrated blowups. Couples broke up when they were actually face to face with their significant other for an extended period of time.
Things need to be addressed. Examine the flaws and the cracks and the discomfort. Just you and your own shit. If there was any time to revel in it and explore it, it was then. Make the “invisible”, visible.
But no one used their time effectively, for the most part, save for learning how to make sourdough bread, and maybe cleaning out that garage. I realize we were all just trying to survive and adjust to the new norm. Maybe just surviving was enough.
Perhaps I’m the asshole here. Lots of people died and we were held hostage under the constant threat of death. People lost their businesses and livelihoods. That can put a pretty big damper on ideas of self improvement. But what do I know, I worked a series of grueling — and I mean grueling — bottom of the barrel jobs through the pandemic just to keep afloat.
And I had to put my cat down. I broke a major bone and a tooth. My terrible estranged biological father died (not from COVID) and I was tasked with having to handle his remains and effects.
I relished going home and being in the quiet again, away from the deafening machinery. I managed not to fall apart, so I guess I don’t have a lot of sympathy.
We’re still recovering and fragile. But there’s the same old bullshit, except maybe a little sadder. A little more numb. And a little more impatient.
Did we learn anything from those 1,095 Invisible Days?