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home : columns : dear harriette May 13, 2021

3/24/2021 8:12:00 AM
Friends looking for new hobbies to occupy time

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am in desperate need of a new hobby. During quarantine I have done my fair share of puzzles, I have crocheted ad nauseum and I am so sick of reading. What can I do to stop myself from going stir crazy? My friends only seem to want to sit around and watch Netflix. I would like something that all of us could do together. We are all women in our 40s with kids and differing schedules, but we can come together on weekends. What would you suggest we do? -- Bored of Netflix

DEAR BORED OF NETFLIX: Yes, it has been a whole year since we were able to move freely in the world. It surely has taken its toll on all of us. Here's where creativity needs to step in. Thanks to the weather warming up, it may not be so hard to manage. Can you ladies start a walking group in your neighborhood? Getting outside and moving your body can be tons of fun -- and good for your health, too. You may want to take a yoga class on the weekend or start a gardening project. Think outdoors. Even with the threat of COVID-19 lingering for all of us, doing activities outside is still considered safer than being together inside. Plus, you get the added bonuses of being away from the TV and communing with nature.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a 53-year-old woman, and I have not been in the dating world since the year 2000. I have dedicated my life to raising my children and developing my career, and I did not have the time nor the energy to date. Now that I am 53 and my kids are adults, I feel like the best parts of me are no longer there. I am not as young and as attractive as I once was. How would someone like me reintegrate into the world of dating? I am nervous that I could possibly meet untrustworthy people on dating websites. I also feel that I've been independent for so long that I don't know how to compromise anymore. What should I do? -- Not Dead Yet

DEAR NOT DEAD YET: All of your concerns are legitimate -- but it's time to let down your guard a bit. Start by defining what you are looking for in a companion, how flexible you are in the world of compromise and where you draw the line. Refresh your memory of what you think is important in a relationship and what you value.

Next, don't give up on dating sites. A female friend of mine who was in her late 50s met a man on a mature dating site, and they have been married now for several years. It can work. You have to be open to it -- while remaining appropriately cautious.

You also need to go out and be with people -- socially distanced and masked, of course. But as local events begin again, attend them. Pay attention to what's going on in your community, and show up. Don't fret about your looks. Do your best to present yourself well, and let the true you shine through. If you hold the attitude that you want to meet a new friend, you create space for that to happen.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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