Author Topic: Hobbies for apartment dwellers  (Read 1935 times)

davet77

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Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« on: March 17, 2019, 08:35:40 PM »
I am 47 years old and been divorced for about 4 years.  My kids use to come and stay with me on the weekends and I would see them during the week a few nights.  Me and my ex wife have a good relationship still.  But the kids have gotten older and would rather be with their friends all weekend, and one of them went off to college. 

I seem to have no friends anymore.  Most of our friends were either her family or other married couples.  Seemed to just go away once we got divorced. 

I also work from home at a job where I have to be "on call" most of the day, but really only work maybe 6 hours a day.  I usually wake up between 4 and 5 every morning with no alarm clock and go to bed around 9.  That leaves a lot of free time with nothing to do. 

I am looking for ideas of hobbies and things to do.  I have started reading some fiction again, haven't done that in years and it has been nice.  I do live in a two bedroom apartment so no garage or yard, and home improvements are not really an option.

Does anyone have any ideas of good hobbies or things to do?  I don't want to spend all my time sitting on the couch watching TV. 

Padonak

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 08:55:30 PM »
If you can work remotely, why can't you slow travel or spend some time abroad while working? Work from Costa Rica or Spain or Portugal for awhile. Or, depending on work hours, you could go as far as South East Asia.

diapasoun

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 09:03:50 PM »
For at home hobbies:

Books, of course. :)

Music - listening, but especially playing. No amps for an apartment, and probably no brass, but there's plenty else out there.

Cooking.

Exercise - bodyweight in the home, maybe bands or lighter weights; running outside, or a treadmill or bike if you have space.

Crafting/art - maybe you're not into yarn, but why not whittle? Draw or paint? Do some simple sculpture?

Writing - very portable :)

Podcasting.

What hobbies make your heart sing to think of them?

seemsright

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 09:20:09 PM »

Jigsaw puzzles.

Knitting is pretty cool.

Freedomin5

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2019, 10:56:10 PM »
Not having friends and spending all your time working from home seems lonely. Can you volunteer on the weekends or in the evenings? What causes do you care about? Or if you donít know what causes you care about, what volunteer opportunities are available in your neighborhood?

If you enjoyed spending time with your kids, maybe join the Big Sister/Big Brother organization and act as a mentor for disadvantaged kids. The point is to get out of your apartment and do something, anything, that involves serving other people. There is joy and a sense of satisfaction when you help others.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 05:01:14 AM »
If you have an inkling for hiking, running or biking look for a local club.  I find running clubs are a great networking resource to find friends in new areas.

Holyoak

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 05:16:22 AM »
Hey Dave, 46 at the time of my divorce fella here, who also lived in an apartment.  During my divorce I became a volunteer for a hospice organization, being assigned to military veterans (I'm a former 11Z) as their veteran representative.  Stayed with the organization for several years, until I moved from their area of operations...  What a life changing experience that was for the positive, in a world of never ending hurt.  On the personal finance side, I have been volunteering at a local non-profit to help them get the best terms for their 403b plans, and helping individuals make informed choices as to where they should put their $$$ in the plan.  So much to be done, and I can hardly think of a better use of your time than volunteering.

I like to fancy myself an avid outdoorsman, so a lot of time was taken up with fishing during the season, making lures and tying flies during the winter.  I also like to target shoot, so making my own ammunition is a hobby I have enjoyed since I was a teenager, and I find it mixes relaxation with great precision handiwork.  You might look into putting in some time at raptor rehab shelter, or even helping out with outdoor programs at a state/local park.  I had a great time teaching the ladies of the U.S. Turkey Federation fly casting...  Seems pretty off-the-wall, but hey, it happened.  Posting help to questions on boards for activities you enjoy is something I like to do too.  Of course exercise continues to be a big part of life, and it was always nice that the complexes were kept free of snow, so that even after a big snowstorm, I could continue at least brisk walks...  Nice way to meet a lot of folks too. 

Back to volunteering a bit closer to home - You might ask the office about older residents who may be cut off from the world, if they could use some help with simple, frustrating issues.  Things such as setting up a modem or wi-fi router, hooking up their tv, programming their remote, setting up a new phone or computer, carrying their groceries, even clearing off snow from their cars during your walk...  These tiny things make a huge difference to these folks, many very lonely, and might as well be like asking us to move Mt. Everest with a shovel.  Lastly, if you might like to have a ear to bend, drop me a PM...  I know how rough divorce is, especially with kids involved and as an older fella...  I was married for almost 24 years, my divorce was under terrible circumstances, and it takes all you can muster to get through it sometimes, even after the ink has dried.  Good luck.

albireo13

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 05:23:12 AM »
building models ... something I loved as a kid and I find very relaxing
join a gym or the local Y

Roadrunner53

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 08:15:18 AM »
I would investigate what small things sell well on ebay. You might be surprised what strange things sell well. I have had lots of good luck and some bad luck. First I would do the research on ebay to get a feeling of things that sell over and over and make an excel spread sheet. On the spread sheet list the item, model number and other attributes associated with it. Note the price sold. See what items you might like to focus on. I know a guy who sells model cars that the buyer builds. He finds these things at flea markets, tag sales, thrift stores. He focus's on that primarily but does sell other stuff at times. Another guy I have followed on ebay sells used men's sport coats, suits, ties, trousers, shoes. I think he lives in an area that is located around cities with rich people. He buys these things at thrift stores and resells them on ebay. Prior to that he was dabbling in a variety of things but I think he found his niche and now primarily sells men's things.

I have shopped at thrift stores and found things to sell. I found this collector plate collection that I thought was really nice and bought them. I could not for the life of me sell them! I finally took them to a Picker person who sold them after a couple of months but in the end I think I lost money after the Picker took her cut. So, I was looking at those plates as something that appealed to me not doing any investigation on if such plates had sold. It is hard to ignore what you think is 'good' and will sell. Sometimes you can find a collector Starbucks coffee mug and can buy it for $1 and sell it for $24. I did that one time. To see what some people are doing/selling go on youtube and see what people find and sell.

Other things that sell are parts and pieces. If for an example you have a broken Keruig coffee maker, you can cannabalize it and sell the parts. I did that to my last coffee maker. You will see with certain brand name things, people are looking for replacement parts. Like lids, knobs, cords, blades. You name it! Also, people are looking for game parts. Game pieces are always getting lost. People will look on ebay for replacements. The great thing is that not everyone is selling, for instance, a certain monopoly game piece. If you were to go to the Goodwill and find a game that was missing pieces, you could sell the pieces that were in the box separately. I sold a Monopoly game board to someone in Alaska one time.

My Mom bought a new electric stove and previously had a gas stove. I sold the grates, and the knobs from the stove. I had a dryer that was still running but we decided to replace it. We took off the control panel and it sold! We took off the dryer door but that did not sell. It is best to list the model number so people know what the knobs or other parts work on.

You can also sell stuff around your house that you no longer want.

Between finding your inventory, investigating prices, putting your ad together, selling the item and wrapping it for shipment, this will definitely keep you busy and make a few bucks. You can get a lot of free shipping supplies thru the post office. You will need a shipping scale, shipping tape and you make labels from ebay to apply to the package. If you are shipping Priority mail, you can schedule the PO to pick up your package at your house.

This will definitely keep you busy and keep you on your toes!

leavesofgrass

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2019, 08:55:18 AM »
Adopt a dog and go on lots of walks/drives/hikes.

Rimu05

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2019, 09:56:21 AM »
My hobbies so far when I moved and had no friends was to just find something I've always wanted to learn or do.

1. I learned how to ice skate.
2. I volunteered to Teach English at the local library (I thoroughly enjoyed this)
3. French Meetup. I met most of my friends there. I do go to the advanced group and my friends speak French so that was an easy connection. The problem though is, two of my closest friends are leaving.
4. I started studying for a certification. (This ate up all my time)


Meetup though is a site where you can find people who might have the same interests. From rowing to languages.

SillyPutty

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 02:16:39 PM »
+1 to everything diapasoun recommended.

Also, I say you should start dating again (assuming you aren't already). Download a dating app or attend some local events and start meeting new people :)

Best of luck with whatever you decide!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2019, 03:50:14 AM »
My DH likes to sew. He is self taught in this, by just doing. He makes mostly outdoor clothes.

NonprofitER

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2019, 08:00:46 AM »
It seems to me that you might be asking the wrong question. I'm not sure its a lack of hobbies, so much as a lack of community.

With kids getting older and fewer built-in friendships by way of couple-dom, it looks like investing in developing a strong sense of community/friendships would be more valuable than taking up a specific hobby -- although hobbies can definitely be a way to build/deepen friendships.

All adults can experience loneliness once kids are grown and free time opens up. The early childrearing/ peak career stress years aren't awesomely conducive to investing, deepening and broadening friendships because there's so little time/energy to go around. Many times this area of life can atrophy over time, especially for men. 

Here's a great article I read about this recently:
https://qz.com/1570179/how-to-make-friends-build-a-community-and-create-the-life-you-want/?fbclid=IwAR3qjAHnJ4O9GLl2euPhbs0LT5ZQvzvCbggkLH5asjMAArwrJAcvFU1Iy4s

I would focus on deepening friendships you already have, and looking for avenues to build/invest in more. Filling the social space will reap health, longevity and happiness benefits that a lone hobby likely won't.

Noodle

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2019, 06:22:25 PM »
Totally get the challenge of hobbies in a small multi-family residence!

This is my favorite list when I am trying to think of things to do: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/CCI/Mental%20Health%20Professionals/Depression/Depression%20-%20Information%20Sheets/Depression%20Information%20Sheet%20-%2006%20-%20Fun%20Activities%20Catalogue.pdf I like it because there are some ideas that are very quick and easy, and others that are more involved--and could turn into long-term hobbies if they really catch your interest.

I also bookmark enthusiastically in my browser, because I find that the times when I want to do things, and the times I notice things that would be interesting to do, are never the same. So I keep a list.

Making or finding lists can be a way to turn an activity into a hobby--ie, sitting around on the weekend watching TV feels boring; deciding to work your way through the Best Picture Oscar winners is a goal.

I think when you're looking for human connections, it helps to sign up for activities where you commit to be a certain place at a certain time (ie, sign up for a martial arts class, not going to the gym)...and if you have reason to think you like an activity in general, give a new group a few tries before you decide for or against. When I went back to choral singing, the first week the director broke out a piece with five sharps and a weird time signature, and I thought "What have I done?" Seriously thought about quitting, but in a few weeks, I was totally up for it.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2019, 02:22:01 AM »

This is my favorite list when I am trying to think of things to do: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/CCI/Mental%20Health%20Professionals/Depression/Depression%20-%20Information%20Sheets/Depression%20Information%20Sheet%20-%2006%20-%20Fun%20Activities%20Catalogue.pdf I like it because there are some ideas that are very quick and easy, and others that are more involved--and could turn into long-term hobbies if they really catch your interest.


Thanks for the list. Also named as fun thing: "getting out of debt/paying down debt". ;-)

I did see some unexpected things on the list, like "swimming with dolphins". First I thought that was something for people in warmer countries. But we actually have dolphins in the Oslofjord on a regular basis and that is only 15 minutes driving from my home. So even that is a valid option, given that the dolphins are there at that moment.
My DH has once been joined by an otter when swimming and that was a fun experience.

Edit: I totally confused dolphins with seals, which we have in the Oslofjord. I have never heard of dolphins here. But I have seen them along the coast further north.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 02:28:17 AM by Linea_Norway »

Roadrunner53

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2019, 04:13:09 AM »
Metal detecting is a fun activity. You have to be careful of local laws and not all treasure can be kept. If it is an ancient artifact, you might be required to turn it over to your State. Some local laws will allow you to dig but you must replace the soil and not leave chug holes. Beaches are a good place to metal detect, but in some cases you are supposed to turn in watches and other things you find. Every State, Town and Parks have their own rules. Another way to metal detect is to meet with people who own large parcels of private land. You can make a deal with them to split the value of your discoveries.

Holyoak

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2019, 08:22:22 AM »
Metal detecting is a fun activity.

It is.  I used it as mild exercise therapy, after my back blow-out.  Bought a crazy cheap, discounted Radio Shack Discovery 3300 (they were still in business) for $89 back in 2006.  Also invested in rechargeable 9v batteries for it.  Works very, very well, full range of adjustment (ground balance is a must IMO), light and easy to swing for hours.  I've found tiny objects so deep I thought it must be an error...  Nope - If it signals a tone, bank on it.  I found a ton of coins, and really enjoy using it.

Same model today is a bit more:

https://www.amazon.com/Bounty-Hunter-Discovery-Metal-Detector/dp/B00123OUMI

honeybbq

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2019, 01:04:26 PM »
What are your hobbies? Try meetup.com

There's everything from singles groups to chess players to outdoor hiking.

Make some friends and have fun!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2019, 01:17:53 PM »
Meetups is a good idea but in my area you have to drive 25 miles or so to find a group or go over the next states boarder. Meetups seem to be in larger cities.

use2betrix

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2019, 02:35:03 PM »
Exercise could easily fill up an hour or more a day and would have a million other benefits. You could use it to meet friends, better your health (physically, but even more so mentally), etc.

You could hop on some dating sites and try dating again?

Does your apartment allow dogs? Do you like dogs? If so, a dog is an amazing companion, you could do training classes to meet people, you could compete in local events (agility, obedience, etc.) You could first spend a ton of time researching dog breeds, dog training, good breeders (or adopting), then spend time with the training, exercise, occasional grooming, etc. I have had my own dog since I was 16 (30 now) and even when my world was crushed two years ago as my 13 year old lab died, it was amazing how soon I was ready for another dog (although nowhere near being over the loss of my previous dog)

What part of the country do you live in? What sort of outdoor opportunities are around?

frugaldrummer

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2019, 04:40:46 PM »
Re-establishing a social network after divorce and kids can be difficult. I took up playing the drums when my ex left, then joined an adult rock band class - like School of Rock but for grown ups. I met lots of friends through that and ended up playing in a couple of bands for years. Not bad for a middle aged woman in her fifties!

frugaldrummer

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2019, 04:41:21 PM »
Also start or join a book club!

Lady SA

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2019, 04:57:04 PM »
join some athletic clubs or pick up an athletic activity. Volleyball leagues, cross country skiing, running clubs, hiking clubs, rock climbing gym, kayaking on local rivers, etc. There are a million options! You can either join an existing club, look for a meetup, or start out individually (take lessons first) and meet other people doing the same thing organically.

My DH and I live in an apartment and most of our non-working hours are spent prepping for races, training, and traveling to races/competitions. The community we have with these sports are pretty great too, plus the life-long health benefits. Highly recommend!

nereo

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2019, 05:28:47 PM »
Wood turning.  Knew a guy who made some incredible stuff in an apartment 2nd 'bedroom' (really too small to be a bedroom).

Holyoak

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2019, 05:42:04 PM »
Wood turning.  Knew a guy who made some incredible stuff in an apartment 2nd 'bedroom' (really too small to be a bedroom).

Same here, cept it was a 6-plex, and in his garage.  This guy could do ANYTHING, and had a garage full of power tools, table saws, band saw, lathe, etc...  Always interesting to walk past his place, and see the wood chips flying!

zenyata

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2019, 01:22:33 PM »
If you have any interest in music I'd say learn to play guitar.  There are vast resources available on-line for learning.  If you wanted to you could expand to taking lessons somewhere and supplementing those at home.  If you go down the rabbit hole of learning to play and are really into it then it will very likely consume the rest of your life :)   I started playing about 6 years ago with absolutely NO experience playing music - just really digging music of so many types and wanting to try to reproduce it in some way - to PLAY it !  And ultimately that's what it is - PLAYING music.  It can be frustrating but it's more often exhilarating and fun and you can never ever stop learning with it.

If you are worried about noise you can get a nylon string classical guitar which can be played very softly while still sounding amazing and even an electric guitar played without plugging it into an amp is really pretty quiet (or you can play thru the amp but connect headphones to totally contain the sound but still get the cool amp vibe).

If that's something you think might be interesting and have questions about anything related to guitars etc. let me know - there are others on the forum as well who play and I think are far more experienced than I am and would likely be very willing to provide advice.  Give it a shot - it really is a pretty amazing, diverse hobby...

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Hobbies for apartment dwellers
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2019, 03:07:56 PM »
Get out of the apartment and join groups. Look up meetup.com for your city or the nearest one. Take classes in photography, painting, acting, cooking or foreign languages at your local community college. Thereís so much to do. Also, plan things for you and the kids. Donít let them get away with not spending time with you, these years are precious and then theyíre gone. Youíre also still the parent. At least one weekend a month they still have to be with you, so make it fun and a adventure for everyone. Make that your hobby too. Consider hiring a life coach to work out some things to do and focus on. Oh, and stay in the best physical shape as possible.