anxiety · Book of the Week · Generalized Anxiety · paranoia · Reading · SAD · Social anxiety · Sunday Book Club · Uncategorized

Sunday Book Club: American Gods

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Well, obviously, I missed last week.  Lots of things have been happening, most of which have been out of my control.  Life has become hectic and messy, which causes me to be sort of at loose ends.  I’ve discovered, however, that my mental sharpness and health is heavily dependent on my environment. If my house or office or inbox is not organized and put together, I am out of sorts.  I’m all over the place and feel like I can’t get control.  I discovered several areas in my life that I need to rein in.

  1. Improve my eating habits. I’m not eating nearly well enough.  I need to get back to no sugar, no carbs (well, no white carbs), no carbonated drinks.  The difference I feel when I eat healthier is huge.
  2. Work out moreI’ve really cut down on my workout time, and that is effecting me physically and mentally.
  3. Get back to nightly meditation. I’ve gotten away from this as well, and I see a marked difference in my ability to handle stressful situations during my day.
  4. Nightly check email. This may not sound like a big deal, but I have a bad habit of not clearing out my inbox.  I was up to 2500 emails in my inbox.  Clearing those out today did wonders for my brain.
  5. Reading and not watching TV. I’d gotten away from my nightly reading, and TV can really just rot your brain. (*Note: I am not against TV completely.  Sometimes it’s great to just sit and watch an episode of Friends without thinking about it.  But I like to have the balance of reading more than I watch TV.)

So here’s the plan: I’m setting a goal to get back to each of these things, knowing that they make me feel significantly better and help me handle those things that are out of my control better.  And when I feel physically and mentally stronger, I am physically and mentally stronger.  I will post nightly on Instagram how I did that day.  Did I hit all my goals or not? Am I feeling better or not?  If you aren’t already, you can follow me at displacedsouthernmom on Instagram and follow along.

Okay, so on to this week’s (well, really last week’s) book: American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Fascinating story, and the symbolism becomes more important than the plot almost.  The basic story is this: A young man, only known as Shadow, is released from prison and stumbles upon a too-good-to-be-true work opportunity as a body guard for a nebulous figure named Mr. Wednesday.

If you know ANYTHING about mythology, and I mean even the very small basics, you know that the days of our week are named after gods or planets.  And in the Germanic tradition, Wednesday is actually “Woden’s Day”.  Woden is the Germanic god Oden (or Odin), and he was the head Anglo-Saxon god. Did you figure out who Mr. Wednesday is?

In Shadow’s lucrative albeit strange job, he meets eccentric characters and goes to curious places, all setting up the juxtaposition of the old American gods and traditions, which were brought over from the old worlds and old traditions and the new American gods of media, television, drugs, money and power.

The plot can stand alone; even you don’t know much about the gods and ancient traditions of America you can still follow the story and be intrigued.  It is, however, even more interesting if you have some knowledge of early mythology and religions, or are willing to have google close by (as I did). Gaiman does an amazing job of weaving the stories and beliefs of the countries that came to America; it is fantastic to see how this has influenced our culture today.

Next week’s book: No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

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