Tolerations Update: April + May


The thing about declaring something publicly is that even if nobody else remembers, I do. I’m talking about my monster list of tolerations, naturally. Those pesky little buggers that would free up so much mental clutter if I’d just hunker down and deal with them. I started bold and strong in January and since then, each consecutive month has seen a marked dwindling of productivity.

I clocked in with ZERO tolerations-busting for the month of April, but I’m okay with this. April was an especially busy month. And so far in May, I’ve only crossed off two items, but at least these were long-standing ones that I’m happy to have accomplished.


First off, I finally got new glasses. I accidentally sat on my old pair about two years ago (don’t ask) and never bothered to replace them. I’m blinder than a mole, and have been since I was a little kid. I think I read too many books in the dark, way past any acceptable bedtime. I’ve been wearing contacts for at least two decades, and I prefer them to glasses. At night though, up until two years ago, I used to wear glasses to read just before falling asleep.

Anyway. I like these and it’s nice not to have to squint while reading at night. I’ll show you a picture of what they look like on at some point, but I’m especially fond of the colorful case (Kate Spade! So fancy!). Rather stylish, no?


Also on the semi-fashiony side of things, I have at long last stretched out my beloved Cydwoq boots that I got ridiculously cheap (full story here), but due to my cankles and robust calves, I’ve been unable to zip them up. I tried various suggestions and used a broom handle to add some ease (unsuccessful), attempted to force-stretch them by wearing ’em several days in a row (painful and awful), etc. etc. Since DIY wasn’t producing any results, I dropped them off at my neighborhood cobbler and in a week they came back with roomier ankles and calves. In fact I wore them with my district 12 dress last week!


So I started out with 108 items on my tolerations list, and I’m down to 68. I’m currently working on re-organizing my sewing area and that’s a big, big one on my list. Let’s hope June is a more fruitful month. I have to say though, overall, working on these tolerations really helps. I feel a lightening, and a sense of increased freedom as I mend, purge, clean, replace, prettify or organize, albeit slowly. Ah, feelsย good.

15 thoughts on “Tolerations Update: April + May

  1. I really liked your Tolerations post and keep meaning to do my own list. It’s a great idea! Mental clutter can be so challenging to deal with. Even though I don’t have a list, I did take care of a couple of things that had been nagging at me over the weekend and I feel so great today! Thanks for the update.

    1. Isn’t it the best feeling to get those niggling backburner to-dos out of the way? Even if you don’t have an official written list, Sarah, I think we all have a running list in our heads, and it sounds like you’re tackling the stuff – awesome!

  2. That is about how my monthly room redo is going… I started off strong and it’s getting weaker. But stuff is still happening so I’m happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It’s always that way, isn’t it? I’m raring to go in the beginning of the year on all fronts and by the middle of the year, I tend to lose steam. At least we’re still chugging along! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. These glasses are really great! When I put them on, the girl at the shop said, “Oh, that’s the one,” so I took her word for it and I’m glad I did.

    1. They are indeed! I found out that stretching isn’t something all cobblers do though, and the first one I went to rejected me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. so May may not have been the most productive month is terms of reducing tolerations, but gentle on yourself – you WERE productive in many other ways! And look – that list of tolerations is going down, rather than up. Surely that progress is encouraging:) Congrats on wear-able boots – I remember how much you wanted them to fit!

    1. Thanks Lucinda! Yep, even though I wasn’t rip-roaring on the tolerations list these couple of months, I do feel like I front-loaded in the beginning of the year so I’m pretty happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Congrats! From 108 to 68 is pretty good! And there is a bonus: It makes ME feel good too! Just reading about you working on your tolerations list also gives me a sense of acomplishment (and encouragement!). Weird but good! Thank you!

    1. Yay, I’m glad it gives you a sense of accomplishment too, Ute! I do think it’s a super useful exercise to chip away at all the little annoying things that often get bypassed. It might not look like it on the blog front, but I’m getting a lot done lately and I think it’s because of reduced mental jumble.

  5. That’s a pretty impressive reduction in tolerations as it stands! Keep up the good work, you’ll be half way before you know it. Put on a good podcast for the sewing area clean up and you’ll be away laughing. Fresh Air is my all time fave but what about Strangers or Stuff You Should Know? The New Yorker Out Loud podcast is great too. You didn’t ask for tolerations soundtrack suggestions but a great interview or story always boosts my productivity! Or a Brahms symphony…

    1. Love Stuff You Should Know! Josh and Chuck are so funny ๐Ÿ™‚ Fresh Air is on my to-listen list for sure. I’ve not heard of Strangers and I think I’ve only listened to one TNYOL podcast and remember liking it a lot! Thanks for the recommendations, Bella!

  6. Ever since you mentioned these tolerstions, I’ve been eyeballing certain parts of the home landscape with suspicion. Places that I have left untended, disorganized, or unfinished for so long that I don’t even consciously notice anymore unless in stop and think about it. Then I realize that the mere knowledge of them does make my brain feel crazy. Occasionally I see one of the tolerstions and I actually stop what I’m doing and tell myself to “just fucking deal with it now!” Half of the time I don’t finish, and make things worse than when I started (fabric stash. Always gets spread around to “organize” it and then stays an exploded mess) but at least there’s sooooome effort happening?…….

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