Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting by when times are tough

The economy is in the toilet and a lot of people have been hard hit by job loss, mortgage interest hikes, rising gas prices, reduced retail spending and everything else that goes along with a recession. At these times, major lifestyle changes may be required.

Over the weekend I watched the DVD The Company Men, which followed the lives of three men affected by their company's mergers and layoffs. Each of the men (and their wives too) responded in different ways to the events. It's a film worth seeing more than once, not only for the story and themes, but the dialogue is brilliant and so is the acting. (Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper.)

It got me to thinking about how people use money. One of the characters had spent money like it was an endless stream. His wife told him they needed to cut back, to put the house up for sale, to cancel the country club membership, and he couldn't accept these changes. It made him feel like less of a man to not only be unemployed but to stop spending money.

Anyway, it's an awesome movie and I give it 10 stars out of 5. And it prompted me to write a longer post on this subject over at my website. Where I also included a recipe for salsa. (I was going to give Marcie McGill's homemade cracker recipe but thought Salsa Fresca might be more appealing LOL.)

33 comments:

  1. I saw the trailer for the movie. Sounds good. I make my own salsa too. Nothing beats fresh. One year I planted my tomatoes too late and when a late September frost hit, I picked them all green and made salsa verde. It was the best salsa I ever made.

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  2. I've heard of the movie but didn't know it was about that. Sounds interesting and relevant.

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  3. I'm about to see if I can get the movie through Netflix. Sounds very good.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

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  4. Thanks for the movie tip. Sounds interesting.

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  5. Oh, I'd like to see this. It sounds great! :)

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  6. I like Tommy Lee Jones - I'll look for it.

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  7. I've been wanting to see that movie, but it slipped off my radar~ thanks for this post!

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  8. Thanks for the suggestion. My husband was "downsized" a year ago. It's not easy finding a new job at 61. Going now to read your other post.

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  9. Oh now I must must see this film!!!

    Thanks so much KarenG! Salsa recipe!?!? Yay!

    Take care
    x

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  10. I'll put that one on my list to see. Sounds interesting.

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  11. Sounds great... I can relate. My business was at a standstill for almost two years. It's SLOWLY reviving. Writing kept my sanity.

    Oh, Karen,

    I thought of you a few days ago when I went to the zoo. A mother and daughter giraffe with daddy close behind created a stunning visual. I wish I had my camera...

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  12. Karen, I thought this movie was quite good as well. It spoke a lot about values and how we need to re-evaluate priorities.
    Karen

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  13. It's funny, people and money. I have relatives who had a brush with cancer, and they flipped from saving to spending. They spend everything as it comes in, not thinking about possible lean times ahead or how something could happen and have something set aside for emergency. Their attitude is, 'Live for today.' As a Saver myself, this is hard for me to understand, especially as they have children, but I haven't walked in their shoes. Maybe if I had, I would think differently.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  14. I wondered about that movie. I will have to check it out for sure now! Yes...it is scary how money can end up defining people. Off to check out your salsa recipe. :-)

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  15. I haven't heard of the movie before, but it sounds interesting. Like you said, I think the loss of a lifestyle is often almost as difficult as the loss of a job. People grow accustomed to a certain way of life, and it's hard to let go of that.
    Have you ever seen Up in the Air? It stars George Clooney, who plays a characters who fires people for a living. I think it was interesting because it really showed how central work is to most people's lives.

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  16. I haven't seen that one yet. I was afraid the premise might be too depressing when it was out in the theaters. May have to consider DVD

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  17. The loss of a job is so devestating, especially in these times. My husband was once out of work for 6 months and I thought he would never be employed again. I had 4 children, one of whom was in college. It was so trumatic, but he got a job right before he we cashed his last unemployment check. Since then I have never taken money or a paycheck for granted.

    I make my own salsa also. Nothing better than homemade. I am going to check yours out now.

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  18. Sounds like an interesting movie. My familie complains all the time about the recession but they are still able to go on holiday, drive a car etc etc. It's all about perception

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  19. And here at Occupy Saskatoon, we've been "adopted" by some homeless people. They eat when we eat. They sleep in tents when we sleep in tents.
    We hadn't thoroughly considered the possibility of housing and feeding the homeless. But if we want change, I guess we need to be the change we want to see. At least, that was Mahatma Gandhi's though about it.
    Hmmmm . . .

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  20. I haven't seen that movie. Not a big Ben Afflack fan. But I do like Tommy Lee Jones.

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  21. Thanks for the tip. Sounds like a move for the times, for sure.

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  22. Hi Karen .. interesting how many put their heads in the sand - and don't address the issues. It's easier to do it earlier than later. Does sound like a good movie .. and Salsa sounds good - cheers for now - Hilary

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  23. These times of financial crisis have a great impact on our lives and I think they also have an impact on what we write. Thanks for the post, Karen.

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  24. I haven't seen this movie yet, but I want to. We've always had to be careful with money because I'm a stay at home mom. But now we're more careful than ever. In a way it's a blessing, because it forces us to appreciate the little things, and not just material things.

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  25. When times are tough we need good fiction to cheer us up - sounds like this film offers that and more.

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  26. That did look like an interesting movie...I'll have to see it. I feel lucky, in a lot of ways, that when I was growing up we never had very much money. My dad was in a difficult field and was often unemployed as companies cut "extras"...but it enables me now to know what is really important. And money just isn't.

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  27. As always, well said, Karen.
    Of course, if times are really tough, better wait for the movie to be available for less...

    Come to think of it, movies fared well during the great depression, and books are the best value for $ !

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  28. Mirka, It's like Patsy said, "When times are tough we need good fiction to cheer us up"--And a Netflix membership gives one all the movies they can order for under $10 a month! It's saved us a lot because we used to go out and buy DVD's, the older ones for $5 but still, this is a saving.

    Faith, Love your comment. My husband and I had to scrimp while raising a large family on one income, and one of the worst things about it was worrying that our kids were deprived.

    Patsy, I can't even count the times that good fiction has cheered me, and it doesn't have to be happy fiction either.

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  29. I haven't heard of this film. Sounds interesting! Times are tough in the UK, too.

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  30. I, unfortunately, understand now wanting to accept hard changes. For me, I've had to learn to spend more on stuff like clothes and getting my hair done. Now that I've accepted those changes, I think it would be hard to go back.

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  31. It's a worrying time. I can't imagine spending $ like that. My husband had a layoff scare last October. The first thing I did was make a mental list of everything we could cut. My husband and I discussed it.

    I'm going to add the movie to my Netflix queue. Thanks!

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  32. I haven't seen that movie, but I've heard of it... must check it out. Thanks, Karen!!! :o) <3

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