The April Pop Culture Mashup was a challenge in which participants were each sent a list of 10 random pop culture entities. Each person then had a week to create something that incorporated at least 2 of the 10. Here is the list of 10 that Ashley Farnsworth received: Breaking Bad, The Blues Brothers, Josie and the Pussycats, Gilligan’s Island, Kill Bill, The Godfather, Monopoly, pro wrestling (WWF, WWE, WCW, etc.), Melrose Place, and Dennis Rodman. View the rest of the results here.

I think that a well-balanced life has predictability as well as spontaneity.

I notice a big difference in my ability to handle life and accomplish what needs to be done within routines and regular schedules (especially while parenting five young children–it doesn’t matter what problem you have raising kids, the first question you’ll get asked when you go to an expert to address it is, “What’s the routine at home?”) and that’s been true from a young age for me.

Heck, I even had a routine to playing Monopoly with my sister when we were kids. I bought all the orange, red, and yellow properties. She got the purple, light blue, and green. Railroads and utilities were generally up for grabs, but I tended to get the former and she the latter. The only variation was the race to get Park Place and Boardwalk–those were always in the air.

Seriously, our games of Monopoly were as predictable as episodes of “Gilligan’s Island.” Just one trip around the board was enough to know how it would end. And just like how “Gilligan’s Island” never saw those people off that rock, our Monopoly games just kind of sputtered out until we were bored and there was no real winner.

But life is more enjoyable, more interesting, and quite frankly more likely to develop one into a person of character and substance with a few surprises throw in. I sure as heck want to be a person of character and substance. I don’t want see the time I spent in my life as a loop of Monopoly games or “Gilligan’s Island” episodes at the end of it. I mean, I don’t want it to be so unpredictable and out there that it’s totally tragic and damaging and ripping lives apart in its wake like “Breaking Bad” either, but I want my life to mean something and make the lives of those with whom I come into contact better for it.

So while routines and predictability allows us to accomplish much, I think it’s the twists and turns that allow us to really reach our full potential.

My husband I now proudly own a fairly non-trivial collection of table top games, and Monopoly ain’t on our shelves.

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