I had the following article published in our local paper last month
If 2022 were a movie, I’d call it 2020: Part 3. So far, it’s the even worse sequel to 2021, which was the bad sequel to 2020. We all know why: the pandemic, socio-political unrest, supply chain issues, and (ugh) masks. “Happy New Year!” is the darkly ironic tagline for the B-movie horror trilogy of 2020 parts 1, 2, and 3.
But the pandemic and all that jazz has only made us feel the weariness that is always there. There are no truly “new” years. Whatever is happening in the world, December 31st and January 1st look about the same.
King Solomon reflected on this in his book, Ecclesiastes: “All things are full of weariness. […] What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.” Case in point: We’ve had pandemics before. Influenza, bubonic plague, AIDS, and many more. During past pandemics, church services and other gatherings were suspended, and people wore masks (even in America). So it turns out 2020 parts 1, 2, and 3 are just knock offs of other knock offs. What truly plagues us is existential ennui as we circle the drain of the same old thing.
And it’s not just bad things that are wearisome. It’s getting our favorite coffee…again; brushing our teeth…again; watching another movie, celebrating the next birthday, mowing the lawn or shoveling snow…again and again until life is a wheel that blurs as it spins in the mud.