How do you move out of a monotonous rut

If you want to try something new, or socialize more what do you do to try to start doing more of that? What are your methods? Do you call up old friends and relatives, join a new club, or what? Where do you get ideas for new things to try? Do you check the yellow pages, ask around, or what exactly.

I joined some night classes - specifcally art. Loved it!

Yeah, classes are great. A lot of towns have infromal, night classes in all sorts of subjects. Pick one that’s interesting to you and try it. You might not meet any one you’ll remain friends with but at least you’ll learn something and get out of the house.

I see your location as Bloomington, IL - home of Beer Nuts. If you’re actually in Bloomington, the best way to find new things is to ask anyone around you for suggestions of what to do. Friends, co-workers, families are all great places to start. The catch is that once you’re out and about on the town, you have to TRY to make yourself interact with those around you. As a person who likes to avoid meeting new people (they’re usually not worth the effort), I know that doing exactly that can shake things up a bit and make new places and situations more interesting.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a change, and have a little money to throw at it, a small vacation (you’re close to about 3 major cities in Bloomington) could do it. Be sure to take a more socially-minded friend with you. This is my favorite way to break the ruts I sometimes find myself in.

Did you ever find that 3xl Star Trek uniform you were looking for? You could wear that to work. It’d be a sure-fire conversation starter.

I decided to go as a college student who ate too much candy and stayed at home that halloween. I forget what that thread was even about anymore.
TwoOnSunday - Bloomington, Indiana. And I’m not technically there right now. It is summer and I am with family. Bloomington actually has alot I can do, but my hometown has almost nothing. It is a farm town of about 6,000 people and I don’t really know many people here anymore.

I can check the community colleges for night classes, but the semester may have already started. Perhaps I can just learn for the sake of learning.

Most newspapers have a “briefs” section, or a “calendar” section. Check those out - there are classes, seminars, or even special nights at bars that are sometimes posted. Newspapers generally don’t charge for those areas, so a lot of places put them in for free to get publicity about Ladies’ Night or any other random crap they’re doing.

I do those sections at the newspaper I work at, and it’s a big draw. I’ve noticed that most newspapers I’ve run into across the country have a very similar section.

If your hometown is that dead, is there a bigger town within driving distance? I go to Reno all of the time for fun stuff, and that varies between a 30 minute to an hour long drive away from me, depending on traffic and the amount of police officers patrolling the Valley.

Check your local listings for what you like - if you like to sing, see if there are any karaoke bars around. If you like to read, check and see if there are any book clubs, or start one. If you like to write, see if anyone would be interested in setting up an ezine or just post on or a similar site.

I had to do all kinds of stuff like this when I got into a rut about a year and a half ago. Also, I got a new boyfriend, which also may have helped. :slight_smile: Best of luck!


When you say “with family,” does that mean just Mom and Dad, or are there siblings around? Where does everybody go to have a beer? Are you just looking for someone to hang with, or are you more interested in dating? I know this is going to sound really weird and lame, but what about church? They’re always looking for volunteers, and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was at covered dish dinners. (Yes, I’m actually serious!) I have good friends who met their one-and-only through church.

All I know is that the ideal outerwear for a man stuck in a rut is the trench coat.

I’d laugh, but I threw my trenchcoat away a few months before I managed to get myself unstuck from my previous rut. Sadly, not joking.

Second take some courses. You can learn something, make friends, meet chicks.

about 12 years ago I threw my TV and VCR into the alley, started a martial arts class and a drawing class at at night.

My life wound up changing so much from these beginings that I have a hard time tracing the weird path my lafe has taken since then. Ups and downs to be sure, but I place the start of this wonderful time when I decided to stop sitting on my butt and get the hell out of the apartment.


Boxing club
Volunteer work at hospice, church, food bank, etc.
Karate lessons
Art class
Cooking class
Book club meetings at the local library
Ride-alongs with the local police department, volunteer for same
buy a bicycle
All of these things are cheap or free, and they involve meeting other people, some things may fizzle out, some may lead you to something else that you really like. The one that involve any kind of exercise are key to feeling better about yourself and being healthier.

Good luck!

BMalion you are my hero. I’d love to throw out my TV, but apparently the World Cup is a critical thing to watch.
Here is what I did:

I took up knitting and bowling. ( not at the same time). I’m so middle class.
Bowling is one of those sports that requires a team effort, but it really is just you against yourself. Very zenlike. Loads of laughs and even more WTF happened to your game? and the ever popular The food here sucks…gah!!! hell I guess I’ll eat the chili dog surprise again. Its very affordable and you get spiffy shoes! (and loads of tattooes to look at and gambling! Really, what is not to love?
Knitting, which any sex can do, is the best conversational starter I have ever had since having kids ( rather drasic out-of-the-rut jump) or getting a dog ( semi-drastic) I have started convo’s with people everywhere I take out my stuff. It is as affordable or as expensive, hard or as easy as you want it to be. It aint your granny knitting anymore.

Hanging out at the library and getting to know the staff, they know loads of stuff and libraries always have something going on.
These have worked well for me. YMMV.
But, wandering around the cubby’s at work in a Star Trek Uniform would be freakin’ awesome.

Bloomington, IN.

Everybody always says to join a group relating to an interest of yours. I used to think that was good advice, but never really took it. About four years ago my husband and I started going to No Kidding events (a group of childless-by-choice couples), and it has become a fantastic source of entertainment for us. The thing about joining a group with interests similar to yours is THEY HAVE INTERESTS SIMILAR TO YOURS! :smiley:

Seriously, give it a try. What have you got to lose?

Volunteering always turns up neat people. Are there any politically active groups in your town? You are probably looking for something short-term anyway, right? When do you go back to Bloomington? That is one cool place! Love its multi-cultural aspects, the look of all the limestone, the seasonal changes, the size of the place – just the whole atmosphere.

There are plenty of opportunities there to get into mischief!

I have made some big changes in my life. Most of them have happened slowly over a low period of time by following the pull of my own intuition. But a few have happened almost spontaneously by deciding to take a chance when life presented me with an opportunity.

Sometimes just changing my personal physical style has given me a boost. A change in my surroundings – a different way of decorating. Reading authors or subjects that I haven’t explored before. Anything that puts a different perspective on how I view myself.

Have you read Tom Brown’s The Tracker? Take what he says with a grain of salt, but read the book anyway.

I’ve definitely seen changes in you, Wesley, in the time that I’ve known you.

Do you have an email address Zoe?

Fair enough

Ayup. If you take a math or astronomy class, or something like that, you can always snag a study buddy. A community college probably has something like karate or judo, as clubs, and those folks are almost invariably positive, upbeat people.

When I was sick w/ cancer back in ‘94-ish, I needed to be a student to stay on my folks’ health insurance, so I took classes at the community college: algebra, literature, watercolor painting, guitar. Lots of people to meet. Most schools will let you “audit” a course, which means you take it for fun rather than for a grade and each course should cost less than $100. Bonus: if you’re learning for the sake of it, you’re probably not going to be creepy, like you might be if you’re just there trolling to pick up strangers… :slight_smile:

Finally, do what slortar did and throw away your trench coat. Sorry, remember Color Me Beautiful? Well, when that was out, someone gave my dad Color Me Macho and that joke was in it. It cracked me up. What can I say? I was still giddy from the '84 World Series win by Detroit. Yeah, that’s it. I swear.

featherlou, I’m intrigued. The hubby and I are also CBC and moving to a new area, and a little apprehensive about finding new friends. What kind of interests do CBC couples share other than, um, a non-interest in having kids? It never would have occurred to me to seek out childless friends specifically, but the notion of socializing without rugrats underfoot is attractive.