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How to build up a social circle from... zero

I'm in my early 30s and, embarrassingly, don't have a lot of friends. I don't have much family, either. Over the past few months, I've really thought a lot about my life and what I need to change. I really need to put the effort in to create strong social bonds with people and make new (hopefully long lasting friends), but... I don't know where to begin. Has anyone done this from scratch? [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain to Human Relations at 4:41 PM on Feb 24, 2021 - 24 answers [35 favorites]

Learning to adult in middle age

I've lived all my life with others, but eventually that will change, and the idea of being on my own in middle age is both exciting and terrifying. I could use some stories of what it's like. [more inside]
posted by The otter lady to Society & Culture at 10:11 AM on Feb 20, 2021 - 17 answers [31 favorites]

Funny, light-hearted memoirs from outside the US

I love reading low-stakes memoirs, like celebrity ones (Rue McClanahan's is a great example!) and funny and/or quirky life stories (Wendy McClure, David Sedaris etc), but I'm trying to read outside of the American bubble. Please recommend something that no one has blurbed as "exquisitely heartbreaking".
posted by Gin and Broadband to Media & Arts at 12:20 AM on Feb 23, 2021 - 27 answers [30 favorites]

Learning to Learn + 'Superlearning' + Memory development

How did/do you prep for information intake? How did you build skillsets to develop the knowledge for your degree/craft/profession? How do you maintain? [more inside]
posted by firstdaffodils to Education at 5:26 PM on Feb 18, 2021 - 10 answers [26 favorites]

Daily Secular "Devotional" Books?

I'm reading "A Poem for Every Night of the Year", edited by Allie Esiri with my kids. What are some other similarly-constructed daily devotional readings that I could add to my habit. I'm athe-agnostic, so secular-ish would be preferred.
posted by po822000 to Writing & Language at 8:30 AM on Feb 24, 2021 - 10 answers [23 favorites]

What's Your Nightcap?

Sometimes I like a little drink before bed to help me wind down and fall asleep. I don't drink much in general though, so I never have, say, an already open bottle of wine, and I kind of find spirits a little much last thing at night, so my current nightcap of choice is Lillet Blanc. What other - I guess, liqueurs? - would make for a not-too-strong night-time wind-down drink?
posted by my log does not judge to Food & Drink at 12:42 PM on Feb 20, 2021 - 32 answers [22 favorites]

I have zero need for a good scarf, let alone a bad one.

I want to knit! I'm a low-skill knitter, and I want to just do really simple projects to get better at the simple stitches. But it feels really wasteful, because the end result isn't anything useful. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by meese to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 8:30 AM on Feb 19, 2021 - 31 answers [20 favorites]

What are your favorite short hikes?

I've been doing a lot of hiking this past year, and I have come to especially appreciate the kind of hike that you can do before lunch and still have time and energy left to do other stuff in the afternoon (work, sightsee, even do another hike). So like, a chill 2-3 hour hike, not too hard. What are your very favorite short hikes in North America? [more inside]
posted by goodbyewaffles to Travel & Transportation at 8:29 AM on Feb 22, 2021 - 21 answers [20 favorites]

How to enjoy reading again?

I haven't enjoyed reading in a long, long, long time. How can I enjoy it again? Or, alternatively, how can I be "okay" with just not being a big reader anymore. [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts at 9:21 PM on Feb 19, 2021 - 42 answers [19 favorites]

Give me your most stylish cat stuff ideas

We have finally been approved for our kitten, and will be taking him home from the shelter soon. We have a small space and want to provide for the best for our new cat while at least aiming at a nice aesthetic. We know that cats will mess everything up, but we at least want to try. What are the best/most effective, stylish litter boxes (we know cats have preferences, but again, we will try), cat trees, etc. that you have come across and liked?
posted by heavenknows to Pets & Animals at 8:15 AM on Feb 20, 2021 - 17 answers [18 favorites]

Podcasts about process

I'm looking for podcasts that feature artists and other creative people (visual artists / designers / performance artists / comedians / musicians / chefs / writers / perfumers / etc...) talking about their work and process. [more inside]
posted by prewar lemonade to Media & Arts at 8:32 AM on Feb 20, 2021 - 11 answers [18 favorites]

Non Sweaty, bite sized exercises to do throughout day?

I would really want to spend the 1-2 minutes between meetings during the day to do exercises that will have a positive impact on my overall health. Want to do these 2-3 times a day, but don't want to break a sweat. I work from home. Ideally with a program/progression to follow. What do/would you do?
posted by sandmanwv to Health at 3:11 PM on Feb 17, 2021 - 18 answers [49 favorites (16 in the past 7 days)]

Lastpass replacement with specific needs

Lastpass, my long-time password manager, is starting to restrict free accounts to only desktop or only mobile. This is inconvenient but perhaps it will result in a better user experience since Lastpass stubbornly refuses to autofill my bank app. What I'm looking for is a password manager that syncs between desktop and mobile, and can autofill Android apps (my bank app), Windows apps (like 365), and within desktop and mobile browsers. [more inside]
posted by irisclara to Computers & Internet at 11:26 AM on Feb 18, 2021 - 11 answers [19 favorites (16 in the past 7 days)]

Tell me about being a project manager

I only have a very vague idea of what the options are for a career in project management. I'm aware that the PMP is a thing, although it seems like it requires quite a bit of actual experience before you're eligible. I'd love to hear about how folks ended up in project management and what your actual day-to-day work life is like. [more inside]
posted by forkisbetter to Work & Money at 8:41 AM on Feb 20, 2021 - 10 answers [16 favorites]

A better Earl Grey

A couple of years ago, Trader Joe's was offering a loose leaf Earl Grey tea that I really liked, they discontinued it, and I then switched over to their bagged Earl Grey. It is not so good. Can you recommend a good quality, loose leaf Earl Grey? I am willing to entertain all price points, as long as I don't have to order it from overseas, as sometimes seems to be the case. I am in the U.S.
posted by nanook to Food & Drink at 10:06 AM on Feb 24, 2021 - 36 answers [16 favorites]

Sense of doom after waking up at 3am

I noticed that recently, if I wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, (for example, to let my elderly dog outside to pee, or to use the bathroom myself), for the period of time that I'm awake to do the thing, I notice that I have a strong sense of doom and intense level of anxiety that I never normally have. (more inside...) [more inside]
posted by koolaidnovel to Grab Bag at 4:18 PM on Feb 19, 2021 - 24 answers [15 favorites]

The best Baltimore neighborhood I don't know about

Fantasy Zillow-ing is currently my best substitute for believing in the future. What neighborhoods in Baltimore should I be making sure to check? [more inside]
posted by babelfish to Travel & Transportation at 9:28 PM on Feb 18, 2021 - 7 answers [14 favorites]

2AM Wake-up call

For the last several weeks, I have been dealing with sleep fragmentation. I reliably wake up around 2-2:30 AM and can't get back to sleep for a couple hours. This means that I get somewhere between 4-6 hours per night, except for weekends where I make up my sleep debt by hardly getting out of bed at all. I start feeling human again by about Sunday afternoon, just in time for the cycle to repeat itself. List of things I've tried inside. If you have had this, what worked for you? [more inside]
posted by basalganglia to Grab Bag at 5:25 AM on Feb 19, 2021 - 50 answers [14 favorites]

Lull my kids to sleep

I'm looking for full length albums appropriate to use to lull my kids to sleep from a variety of different music styles and genres. I'm not interested in individual songs, just albums that are mellow listening from top to bottom. Any music style welcome and appreciated! [more inside]
posted by potrzebie to Media & Arts at 11:31 PM on Feb 24, 2021 - 45 answers [14 favorites]

Sprawling, adventuresome novels with a strong sense of place

I'm in search of novels that scratch a particular itch. These books are typically long, with a meaty, engrossing plot line and a strong sense of place. Something that will absorb and transport me. More elements and examples inside! [more inside]
posted by rabbitbookworm to Media & Arts at 9:44 AM on Feb 25, 2021 - 28 answers [14 favorites]

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