A quick glance at the calendar indicates this is a brand-new year. But I’m not so sure of that. Quite frankly, I think we’ve been stuck with a used one.

Think about it for a minute. What college team won the football national championship? Uh-huh. Georgia. The same as last year.

What’s the biggest news story right now? Classified documents found at the President’s personal residence. Tell me you haven’t heard something very similar (if not exactly like that) happening before.

Russia is bombing Ukraine. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall many, many headlines and news reports publicizing that same information throughout all of 2022.

Covid is running rampant in China. There’s talk of a new variant spreading across the world with the epicenter being somewhere in that Asian country. Masks might come back in vogue, and the six-foot rule is a definite possibility. Deja vu?

Iran is using draconian measures to quell protests. The masses have been revolting in Tehran and other locales, which is upsetting the powers-that-be. And the Iranian nuclear warhead development continues. Again, nothing new there.

There’s talk of a major recession. We might as well just reread the news from 2008. And the cost of living continues to rise. Tell us something we don’t know.

Immigrants are pouring over the southern U.S. border. There’s lots of complaining about the issue, but the mass influx continues unabated. When have you heard that lament before?

There are books on the current best-seller lists by James Patterson, David Baldacci, and John Grisham. That’s hardly the first time the trio has shared the literary spotlight.

Major League Baseball team owners are spending stupid money on free agency players, some of whom will not be the answer to pennant prayers. Not a new phenomenon.

NBC is launching a “new” show this week called “Night Court.” Wait a minute. That show was done back in the mid-to late-80s, wasn’t it? And what about comic book heroes brought to life on the big screen? No ground-breaking concept there.

California is experiencing another natural disaster-in-the-making. It’s rain and flooding (and lots of it) this time. But droughts and earthquakes and dust storms and even other water events have plagued the Golden State before.

I’m telling you, I think we’ve been stuck with a used year. And I don’t think it’s the first time that’s happened. Think back to, say, the 1950s. Several years in a row the New York Yankees won the American League pennant. The Soviet Union was always threatening to blow up the world (well, mainly America). The Middle East was in constant turmoil. There were a lot of similarities in a few years that decade.

What about in the early 1900s? It seems there was a lot of same ol’, same ol’ back then. Ours was still largely an agrarian society. People got up, slopped the hogs, plowed the field, milked the cows, and ate what they grew. Then they got up again the next morning and did it all over again. Day after day, year after year. Kind of like that Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray.

Oh, sure, there have been many years that have stood out with something big happening. History books are full of examples. The Battle of Hastings took place in 1066. William of Normandy came across the English Channel and beat Harold the Saxon. That was a pretty big deal.

King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. Yet another year when something definitely new occurred. As was 1776. Events then are well documented in historical annals. And there are many others throughout the centuries.

But for the most part, the years rolled by without events that would forever mark them as turning points. And I’m thinking 2023 might be one of those. I know the new year has only been with us for a short period of time, but we’ll see what transpires. For now, I think the evidence is pretty conclusive that we’ve got a used year on our hands.

Who knows? A used year could be a good thing. When you buy a used car, especially a late-model one, you frequently get one loaded with extras you couldn’t afford on a new one. And, honestly, we really don’t need any fresh disasters that come with a new year smacking us in the face during the next twelve months, do we?

So, maybe we just wait and see. Perhaps having a used year will allow us to clean up some of the messes created in previous years. Now that would make for a memorable 2023, wouldn’t it?

©MMXXIII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer