I seem to spend a lot of time on MetaFilter, especially here on the green. -/
For the "how common this is" side of things - typical evening activities include: too much television, web surfing, reading, video games (more for my husband than for me), general housekeeping, dog-walking, errands. We're 26 and 28, for reference, even though I just made us sound old.
Books, books, books (not the web!). And long walks and bike rides are good too. I've found it best to stringently eliminate the evening activities that make you feel gross and bad, e.g. TV, drinking, web-surfing, etc. in favor of activities that make you feel nourished, like reading great books, cooking elaborate meals, and so on.
Also, invite people over for dinner rather than meeting them out. Entertaining gives you a whole new set of things to think about and do at home.
Go for bike rides, walk the dog, volunteer.
posted by k8t at 5:13 AM on July 12, 2005
ferocious kitty, 28 and 30 here, and we roll the same way, sans dog. We look at each other sometimes and wonder "How did we get so. docile?" And it usually comes out that we're just so darned happy to hang out with each other that the locations don't matter as much anymore. Having said that, we make concerted efforts now to "be" adventurous, have Saturday driving trips, impromptu excursions to the (50 miles away) beach at sunset, that kind of thing. Also, we try to gauge TV Time now. Sounds funny, and I don't want to invite any of the "I don't have a TV! Harumph!" elitists, but it really becomes too easy to become engrossed in a story for 2 hours -- we are all social creatures after all -- and lose the majority of your evening. Nothing wrong with a movie, per se, but balance, ah, that's the key. and that's what we're striving for every day.
Having said all that, I got caught by a West Wing marathon on Bravo last night and pretty much did none of the above. Fnord.
Sorry I had no magic hobbies to offer ;)
Oh, that West Wing is evil.
I'm early 30s and single. It's tougher when you're single 'cause you don't have that 'hanging-out' person, per above. But I don't get bored.
My solo evenings include: working out; going to the beach to read and watch waves; strolling downtown and people-watching; bookstore browsing; playing music; cooking good food; housekeeping chores; growing an herb garden; writing; web surfing; arty/crafty projects.
Evenings in company include: bluegrass and old time jams; going out to hear live music or see a film; dinners at people
s houses; drinks or dinner out; and attending events, things like festivals, fairs, fireworks.
I don't understand what might be wrong with "too many hobbies". Too many hobbies is, for me, a key to staying interested in the world. Are your hobbies isolating?
Gaming, together. Some television, but not a lot at all (we DVR most anything we want to watch anyway). Home improvement. We go to trivia once a week with "The Atlanta Bloggers' Guild" (which is a pompous way to say "these people who live in the area and blog, but by no means all of them"). Our parentals live not far, so we see them fairly often (mine more than his as mine are twice as close). We have our friends over randomly. We cook. We see movies on some weeknights, but not uber-often (more in the big movie times, like around Christmas). We read, but we both tend to have books to read at work during lunchtimes, or else we fiend off and read for hours on end. The reading is a little all-consuming for us.
Um. I have no magic hobbies to offer, either. We're 25 and 33, by the way. The home improvement front is huge right now, but that comes and goes. We're thinking about getting bikes.
25 and 33. Video games and online communities (Metafilter, a few other sites). Family Guy is the beginning and end of our television. We pretty much eschew movies, bars, social activities. Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays are spent in front of our computers or at family functions maybe once a month, since we're close to both our families. We're going to do some hiking come August and earlier September, but that's really about it. It's a good life.
posted by Ryvar at 6:03 AM on July 12, 2005
My evenings alternate between playing video games and knitting and going out to concerts (on those nights, I get my knitting done while I'm at the concert - I'm betting I'm the only person who has ever knit through the Supersuckers Big Show).
I agree, Monday West Wing marathons are like crack.
When I was married, I went to the gym, then cooked dinner, watched tv, and fell asleep. Every. Damn. Night.
Now that I'm single, I go for a run (outside), then go home and read or do crossword puzzles, talk on the phone with my friends, take care of personal business (bills, errands, etc), make dinner, answer emails, straighten up. On social nights, I go over friends' houses for dinner, go out for drinks, see movies, or host poker night.
We spend a lot of time cooking dinner at home. Really preparing good food from scratch takes time and is something we both like. We go for walks in the area and bring our cameras, sometimes grab a daily newspaper. We've both gotten more into birdwatching and so feeder maintenance and bird book consultation have become a small side project. The town pool is open now and sometimes we go swimming there. Greg always goes for a short bike ride after work. Sometimes we do house maintenance stuff like food shopping, laundry, tidying up, fixing things, listening to music while we do a lot of that stuff.
A few times a week we'll get a movie or try to go out and do something but the good local theater is about a 45 minute drive and live music is further so we make these trips into big events usually and try to see people and/or go out to dinner at the same time. We have almost no close friends in the area we live in, so incidental personal contact just by getting outside and saying hi to the neighbors is important, as is chatting with friends online. A lot of times we've both got books we're sort of deep in to so we often taper off the evening reading.
That said, it's pretty easy to check your email and sort of "come to" 90 minutes later after getting sucked in to your newsreader, or turn on the Daily Show and then realize you're sitting through the next, or next-to-next show after it. A lot of it really depends on how tired we are. If we're exhausted we'll allow for more space-out time but if we've got energy we'll try to do something that involves not sitting around, as much as we love to sit around. 29 and 36 here.
Run, dinner, reading, chores, bed. It's pretty routine, too routine. I try to avoid TV, but sometimes watch it. Sometimes I go out for a walk. Often I find that if I delay getting home for a little bit after work, by going to a meeting or something, my evening seems longer and fuller.
I think josh, as usual, makes good points.
jessamyn writes "That said, it's pretty
easy to check your email and sort of 'come to' 90 minutes later after getting sucked in to your newsreader, or turn on the Daily Show and then realize you're sitting through the next, or next-to-next show after it."
After reading this I realized that this is the thing that I am most working on changing. I'm trying to make the things I do very conscious, evenings and weekends. Web/tv are devices that can suck me in and leave me feeling as if I've wasted time. So, I've begun to really try to limit those things and to be very aware of what I'm getting into when I do do them.
You people live fascinating lives.
my solution (partly chosen, partly forced on me, but a good one, in practice) has been to work shifts where i do 8 days of 10 hours a week. on a working day, after 10 hours working i'm pretty much ready for bed after cooking + eating dinner, especially if i'm getting up early next day to go running. if i have any free time, i read a book or the lrb.
on my non-working days (6 in a row every two weeks), i either fix the house up, do stuff with my partner, or work on software projects (currently designing and implementing a little programming language, for example).
i hate tv - never watch it.
Netflix! Aside from that, I often go running after work. Great tension reliever. Also cooking, chores, read, play with cat. Dizzyingly glamorous, innit?
I'm 26, he's 35. Gaming, tv, movies and him listening to me dreaming about doing something other than gaming, tv and movies.
Seriously. My SO is quite happy getting home, having beer and playing Battlefield online. Me I want to go OUT and DO THINGS and BE CREATIVE and HIP but if I have to be honest I more often get depressed about the fact that I'm not doing these things than that I make an effort do actually do them.
Let's form a club, shall we.
I quit cable to keep myself from getting sucked into stupid TV that I don't even like. (I replaced it with Netflix, so I'm now happily engaging my latent film geek. Two or three hours of movie a night is a lot healthier for my brain than reruns.)
At home alone after work is taken up with cooking and reading and oftentimes the aforementioned movie. Sometimes I go out to dinner after work with friends. Sometimes there's an opening at a gallery. Sometimes I come home and relax for a little while before going out to see a band play (I have a lot of friends in bands/love live music.)
Whatever you do, just try to remember it real hard. 'cause you'll be nostalgic once you've got those kids.
posted by MattD at 6:30 AM on July 12, 2005
I read, do yard/garden work, cook, brush the cats, watch tv, and/or listen to music, or to baseball games now that it's summer. Also some chores like laundry. Right now the bathroom has just been painted and I have the happy task of deciding how to further decorate it. I used to spend a lot more time online, but once I moved, and the computer was put downstairs in the basement, I'm usually only online during the weekends. (There you go -- if you're trying to watch less tv or do less internet, put the tv and computer in rooms that aren't very comfortable.) I don't go to movies much; I prefer rentals at home. I don't really like nightlife spots or clubs because they're too loud. Sometimes I go out with coworkers for beers, or to a friend's house for dinner. In the warm weather I like to make sloe gin fizzes. I should add that I very much enjoy watching tv and don't really think of it as a time-suck.
I used to be more of a joiner -- community theater, church choir, vestry, etc. -- but now I much prefer to be home and despise meetings of any kind.
Are your hobbies isolating?
Yeah, kinda. I'm a recovering/relapsing geek who has spent a whole bucket of money on various RPGs, miniatures, and card games. Problem is most of my friends are more recovering than relapsing geeks so it's hard to get any use out of them. I mean, it's well and good to spend an evening working on converting and painting a Blood Dragon knight, but at the end of the day I don't have anyone to share it with (well, I'm married and all, so I do have someone to share it with, but it's a different kind of appreciation - "That looks nice" vs "Hah! You put a Strigoi head on his pike!"). As for other past geekery I have laying about, most of it is out of date thus requiring a reinvestment into a hobby I got out of once or twice before.
I played darts in a league for awhile before the team folded, read constantly, and have had a few vaguely successful cooking attempts lately. Reading is kinda isolating (and can lead to just as much booze as TV), darts is great if you 1) have a place to play nearby and 2) decent people to play with, and cooking can keep me busy up till dinner time.
Skyanth -- we have a club. We meet online to put bullets in each other, to stem the ever-rising tide of enemies.
It's a good question -- I've often wondered this about other people. I'm married, 29, living in the middle of the desert. so my schedule gets a little funky during the summer, when it's over a 100 long after the sun goes down.
This time of year, I get up early to run, so I end up crashing out super early. My evenings are generally spent hangin' with the wife, taking the dog to the dog park (where I drink beers to beat the heat), and playing battlefield 2. Sometimes, I read books or work on my little programming projects.
Getting rid of the TV has been the best thing ever.
When you think about it, if working/commuting takes up a significant chunk of your day -- altogether, I leave at 7:00 am and return at 6:00 -- then you only have a few hours to enjoy yourself if you wanna get a full 8 hours of sleep.
posted by ph00dz at 6:33 AM on July 12, 2005
Some sort of physical activity. It makes you feel better about yourself, gives you more energy and (depending on where you live) can give you fresh air and good scenery, which will improve your mood.
Grab a friend, a frisbee and you're pretty much set.
Not to derail, but why do people, in this day and age, still fall back on the old canard "reading books=good, watching tv=bad"? There is a ton of excellent programming being produced on an ongoing basis, and a casual look at bestseller lists doesn't leave a good impression of the quality of what people are reading these days.
Single, 28, late afternoon i usually work out or fall flat asleep, on nights i get together with friends and cook good food, or eat out, play music, and usually end up at a bar for a drink or two or ten. the way i combat going to bars so much is to try to date 19 or 20 year old girls that can't get into bars.