I need a hobby!

When people ask if I have any hobbies, I am stumped. I think my hobby might be worrying about my children. I feel like I need an obsession, but not sure what. Any ideas here? One requirement is my hobby should not involve creation of stuff, like no socks or paintings, because I get overwhelmed by having too much stuff and certainly don’t want to burden people with it in the future (guilt over not displaying grandma’s embroidered pillows or grandpa’s paintings.) I like photography but don’t feel like investing in all those lenses. I like music but am not that great a musician. I like to go bike rides but am not obsessive about it and don’t even have the shoes that clip to pedals. I am reasonably active. I like the ocean. What to do that could keep my mind engaged? (I have a full time job which I like, so am not looking for all day hobbies.). Thanks for any ideas!

How about social or duplicate bridge? It can become an obsession as well as a social experience. Depending on where you live, there be games at night and on weekends. In between you can read, and play online.

My hobbies are staying busy. I’m not obsessive about any one thing. But I always find things to do that keep me busy and are one or more of the following: enjoyable, involve interacting with people, a new experience, interesting, educational. No need to have one thing you’re obsessive about.

interested in this thread as I too am looking for a hobby now that I have a completely empty nest I have too much extra time (Daughter graduated college and is gainfully employed and living in another city)

Take a few lesson to see what fits:
Stand up paddling
Dance - ballroom, line, latin, whatever
Knitting (which has known calming benefits) and get involved in the communities of people who knit for a cause, like preemie babies
Download the app Duolingo and learn another language, plan a trip to use the language skills
Join a book club
Hike area trails

My current, new hobby for bad weather days, is using an app and program (I use Heirloom, but there are other good ones) to scan, tag with info, organize and digitally store all of our family photos and historical documents. I am up to 1991, having scanned and identified thousands of photos and documents in the past year. I will give the login information to my three grown kids and their spouses when I am finished so that we all have access to all of these photos.

When the empty nest was looming, I created a list of things that I had wanted to do but had never had time for. Then I put them in to categories. I found that I was interested in exploring museums, going to hear live music,becoming more physically active ,travel and a few more.

When I find I have some time (I also work full time), I refer to the list and make plans to do something. If hear/read about something going on, I go. I reach out to friends to join me.

On rainy days, I work on family history. On good days, I garden or train my dog, walk my dog or I go hike some trails.

In the last couple of years I moved, changed jobs, and am experiencing a (mostly) empty nest. I am reading a TON now. I love reading, and my current job involves lots of travel. I have been using the book suggestions here on CC.

My H and I have also been taking advantage of cultural offerings in our area, many of which are free. We go to lectures, concerts, exhibits, etc.

I’ve used retirement to take advantage of cultural offerings in my city - all the things I’ve wanted to do for 20 years but never had the time. Yesterday a friend and I visited the Illinois Holocaust Museum. It’s been here probably 10-15 years and we had never been.



In the summer, when I have more time, I write (more than a hobby, actually), read voraciously, bike (no clips for me!), kayak, walk, cook.

Thinking of getting back to drawing which I loved back in HS.

I’m good on nice weather hobbies - I like golfing, boating, walking, anything outside (as long as it’s not 100 and humid) I’m stumped on bad weather hobbies. Right now I’m working on decorating my house, but that only takes so long. Do you like to cook? Apparently my new hobby is the instant pot. I read once that when you retire you need 4 hobbies. I’ve got to work on that. I’ve wanted to take a knife skills class (cooking, not killing). I also don’t like arts and crafts things. I like reading but I like more activity sometimes. I’m so picky with books, I haven’t found a decent book club - will any book club ever talk about the book? Which is fine if you really like the people, if you don’t feel a kinship to them it can be painful.

How about writing? Ten years before he died, out of the blue, my dad started writing mystery novels. He got published and made a modest success of it. None of us would ever, in a million years, have predicted that because he had never previously written a single word.

I’ve got so many hobbies I’d like to give you one or two of mine.

You don’t need to be awesome at something to make it a hobby. You learn as you go.

Also, most hobbies grow organically as one becomes more interested in activities one is doing. I don’t think you need a hobby just to say you have one.

Another vote here for reading. If you get all of your books at the public library, then it is almost free (you only pay for transportation there, and the occasional over-due fines)! If you feel like sharing what you read, your library probably sponsors any number of book groups, so you can find one that fits your schedule.

Volunteer! I work at the local food bank through Feeding America. In the past I have worked as a mentor for Science Olympiad at the local school.

I agree with @nottelling. You don’t go “shopping” for a hobby. You should just be looking for experiences that expand on an interest. When you experience more it it, it naturally becomes or doesn’t become something you make more time in your life for.

I applaud you for looking to fill up your time. But I also must say to anyone who is NOT empty nest yet…don’t wait for this moment! Start shaping YOUR world before you find yourself alone. Your home does not need to be perfect, your child can occasionally find a ride to an activity on their own - even the “best mom/dad” (or “best wife/husband”) is more than that - they are a good, active, well rounded, interested person - not just a caretaker.

So OP, give us 5 things you enjoy - tinkering in the yard? Going to the library? Jazz? A certain form of exercise? Visiting bakeries? Learning about history?

Do you like to sing? You don’t have to be Barbara Streisand to join a local chorus (in fact you probably wouldn’t fit in if you were). Lots of fun, meet people, mostly meets at night. Check out Sweet Adelines and any community groups around you.

You like photography. There are some excellent cameras with built in medium to long telephoto lenses that are relatively inexpensive. I’ve got a Canon that is fairly lightweight and has a super long zoom.
No need to buy extra lenses.Perfect for outdoor photography (and those beach walks) A bit of research will narrow down your choices to something that suits your needs at a good price. Just pick out what features are most important to you before deciding .
I used to do a ton of photography and had all the filters, lenses, etc. but carrying extra equipment is heavy and is bulky unless it’s for a specific purpose. This is now my one go-to camera and I’m enjoying photography more than ever. You can still play with filters (they are pretty cheap) and all the effects you want to explore. Get photoshop or another creative program and you’ll be busy for years.