The New Year’s resolution joke’s on me

If you’ve been here for a while, you probably already know that I typically don’t subscribe to this whole New Year’s resolution, “new year, new me” bullshit. Hell, I get mad when people talk about what a shit year the previous year was.

Somehow, we’re expected to start every New Year with resolutions. Resolutions to get thinner. To get stronger. To be more organized. To be “better.” Instead, I used to make New Year’s plans. But they still had the same ring to them. They had that “er” at the end as if the me that I was in the previous year wasn’t enough for the coming year.

So I made jokes instead. But really, the year I wrote a teasing month-by-month play-by-play of how to live your life, I was focused on being present in the moment. Sometimes, reflection helps me see that what I was writing was more than just pithy banter. My subconscious knows what I want to say years before I can find the words to say it. When I said to do nothing in January, I meant it. But really, I wanted to bask in the afterglow of the holidays. I wanted to relax. I wanted to enjoy time with Brian without social obligation or other outside forces interfering. I wanted to be present.

I continued to make jokes when I set board game goals as my New Year’s plans/resolutions/whatever in 2018. I played 100 different board games, 25 of which were on my shelf of shame (games that we owned and had never played). That shelf of shame continues to grow. It’s almost embarrassing except that it’s not at all. But still I was focused on being present, playing games, being with the people I love, enjoying my life and time.

These days, it’s all about picking a word, as if you could know in January that a single world will be able to define your whole year before you even know what that year is going to throw at you. I wonder what assholes picked pandemic, quarantine, or reclusive to throw us all under the bus in 2020.

I usually like to do a post mortem in which I label my year with a theme. But last year was weird as fuck. I can’t deny that there were some good things that came out of 2020 for me. But there were also a lot of shit things. So I don’t think I need to do a review of any of it.

We watched the Netflix mockumentary, Death to 2020, and about halfway through, I looked at Brian and was like, “Dude, this is WAY too long. I literally just lived this. I don’t need a recap.”

And here’s the kicker. People changed this year. Majorly. I changed. I know that. And we can learn and grow and change in ways that are both good and bad. And just like my little feminist Grinch heart grew three sizes in 2016 โ€” growth in character and belief which I now realize I never really wrote about โ€” 2020 proved to build so much more of what I believe and who I am.

So this year, I’ve decided that it’s okay to join the rest of you New Year Junkies with my very own word of the year. And I’m actually super excited about it. Sure, I don’t know what 2021 is going to throw at us, crazy continuing pandemic aside, but I think this word is really encompassing enough to manage it (unless we end up in a post-apocalyptic world in which my most useful skill will likely be turning canned food into gourmet delicacies). So here it is.

*Drumroll*

My word of the year is:

gorilla hands on a macbook with a banana

Unsubscribe

At first, it was a joke in my head. As I slowly began the ardurous process of unsubscribing to political emails at the end of November and marketing emails at the end of December. I’d had enough and was ready to simplify my inbox. Clear the clutter so to speak.

I want to expand my focus on being present, and in order to do that, I know that I need to unsubscribe to more than just emails. I need to unsubscribe to my issues. And other people’s issues (as an empath, I suspect this is going to be the hardest). And every unnecessary thing that brings me down. I want to focus on living a life well lived and not a life well-Instagrammed.

So here I am, ready to take on the world, just like my girl Riley. I hope you’ll stick around for the journey.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Most Interesting Girl in the World

I don’t always eat McDonald’s, but when I do, it’s from September through March. When they have a sweet promotion. Or when I’m hungover.

No, for serious, I am a marketing professional’s wet dream. McDonald’s-which I typically hold great disdain for, most of the time-sucks me in for the better half of the end of September through the middle of March. First, they drag my obsessive love-of-the-game/love-of-the-hunt person in for McDonald’s Monopoly. I find this to be much more successful that Subway’s failure-esque Scrabble (regardless of my passion for letters, words, and particularly, Scrabble).

Check out this old-school Monopoly commercial. Don’t you want a Sears Shopping Spree??

Then, when the joy of Monopoly has ceded, McDonald’s brings back that annual November treat known as the McRib. Don’t judge my McRib love. I realize that it’s a disgusting glob of random pork-like meat covered in BBQ sauce, but shoooot…. get that thing without pickles and you’ve got a meal fit for a grade school cafeteria queen.

Of course, McDonald’s never ceases to amaze me, and while I used to disappear from their radar from December through March, they’ve changed things up on me. After Monopoly, Cletus and I will have to WAIT until Christmas for our tasty meat candy. The McRib will be debuted around the holidays to promote sales.

Then comes that beautifully green and minty Shamrock Shake to bring McD’s back into my good graces. Of course, I swear it tasted better before they changed their shake recipe…but who am I to judge? It’s freakin’ McDonald’s. It’s also important to note, that ordering the SS without whipped cream or the cherry makes it inherently better.

So, you may be asking, why is this important? Obviously, it’s not…but McDonald’s started the Monopoly game bright and early this morning, and let’s just say I wasn’t last in line… For those of you who are curious, 24-hour McDonald’s restaurants begins serving breakfast between 3 and 4 AM.

I don’t always eat McDonald’s, but when I do…it’s for breakfast.

Side note: That sugary looking coffee drink. NOT. WORTH. IT. It tasted like overly sweetened whole chocolate milk with a smidge of coffee goodness. I threw it away and got a real coffee. (After I peeled the Monopoly pieces off).

As an old pro (and the winner of a $50 Shell gift card and essentially, a lifetime supply of free shipping on Snapfish prints), I know the ins and outs of this game.

First, Know Your Prize Foods

Don’t worry, I already did the work for you:

4 Peels-Large Fries
4 Peels-20 Piece Chicken McNuggets
2 Peels-10 Piece Chicken McNuggets
2 Peels-Filet O Fish
2 Peels-Big Mac
2 Peels-Medium McCafe Iced & Blended Drinks
2 Peels-Large McCafe Iced & Blended Drinks
2 Peels-Large Iced Coffee
2 Peels-Medium Drink
2 Peels-Oatmeal
2 Peels-Egg McMuffin or Sausage McMuffin with Egg
2 Peels-Hashbrowns
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Second, Cheat the System

I had attempted to cheat the system by ordering the iced coffee with no ice. Big mistake. Huge. (Name that movie) The woman didn’t speak a whole lot of English and had no idea what she was doing… She also messed up my

Ordering medium drinks (preferably something you already drink) regularly ensures that you’re not stuffing your face 3-4 times a day with McDonald’s food. Plus it’s just like a dollar or something for the instant gratification of additional game pieces.

Third, Play Online

Use those game codes and get your butt to the McDonald’s Monopoly website and sign up. Enter those codes to get additional prizes. This is where I’ve been named a winner. Just do it. And if you don’t want to do it, mail those damn things to me. The more the merrier. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you do play online, enter the code super early in the morning (on a Sunday)…This boosts your chances of winning.

 

Fourth, Send Away for Free Pieces

For the cost of 2 stamps, you can get multiple game pieces. It’s been a few years since I sent away, but I think that it was 2 game pieces or 4 peels from each self-addressed stamped envelope. The only pain in the ass with this is SASE inside of a hand-writted addressed envelope to McDonald’s.

2012 MONOPOLY Game at McDonald’s Game Piece Request
P.O. Box 49121
Strongsville, OH 44149-0121
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Fifth, If You’re REALLY Feeling Crazy…

You can opt to wander around the exterior of the local McDonald’s parking lot to locate rogue (err discarded) game pieces. When I was in college, I did this with some embarrassing regularity. Now that I’m a grown up, I don’t do this…much.

You can also pitch a fit about there being no-purchase-necessary when you order off the dollar menu, and if you get a really great/annoyed employee, they’ll just throw a few empty cups at you with a disgruntled look. Not that I’ve done that or anything…

So there you have it, folks, my obsession with McDonald’s Monopoly. And of course, with all of my favorite bits of crazy, I’ve taken the liberty of participating in yet another photo shoot. You’re welcome.

The actual odds: 1 in 6.

The odds that they tell you…

 

 

 

 

 

BC=Before Coffee

AD=After Drinking (coffee)

 

Last but not least, I’d like to thank the wonderful crew at McDonalds for spending hours making those Egg McMuffins, without which I might never be tardy.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!