Hey y’all! I wonder… does anyone else have issues “checking out” of life like I do? I get focused on a project, focused on one room of the house to clean, one sewing idea, one blog post, one person, one health issue, one business… that I nearly completely ignore the rest of what’s going on around me. It’s true that there are seasons of life which require intense focus and minimal distractions, but when “checked out” is “normal”, problems arise. Lots and lots of unhealthy problems. 
Relationships need fostered. Laundry needs done. Emails deserve replies. Customers expect their products. Responsibility to duties and healing your immune system are not at odds. Life doesn’t happen in neat clean blocks of time that you’ve scheduled out. It’s a painting. There are layers, some blue, some white, some red, some green. It’s a little here, a little there, a big can’t-tell-what-that-is glob smack dab in the middle. It takes time to see the picture when it’s just a bunch of little brushstrokes, sometimes seemingly random and disjointed. Layer after layer after later, sometimes starting a section over, sometimes turning a mistake into a bird. Only use one color and the painting isn’t a painting. Only focus on a corner and the scene will be incomplete. This has been my struggle lately– checking back in, re-establishing my own responsibility, dealing with reality– all the parts of it.. I’m far from doing life well, but I hope I’m on the road to doing life again. 
This is a super easy outfit, featuring my favorite white skirt. I would wear it every day the entire summer long if, well, it weren’t white. Thankfully it’s a sturdy skirt, but it’s color is cautioning. πŸ˜‰
// outfit details //
Shirt: ThredUP
Skirt: Banana Republic brand, ThredUP
Shoes: ThredUP
Photography: Sofia Hilder
Do you have a favorite white skirt? How do you keep from getting too focused on one “thing” in life? 

28 thoughts on “Coral + White”

  1. I had the same issue. My mom had to confront me on it. I was constantly reading my KBR magazines and neglecting my school work and household duties. I solved this problem by putting my magazines away for a week. I wouldn't let myself open the cover. Then gradually, I only let myself open it when all my school work was done and my tasks were finished. Even now I only read my older issues when I hold my sleeping baby sister and can't really do much else.
    The problem isn't really that the obsession is bad, but that we are neglecting other things because our lives are centered on the obsession. The easiest way for me to overcome obsessions is to get rid of it for a little while. Well, I don't always do this with everything… Ice cream is probably next in line… πŸ™‚
    I love your outfit! I have a favorite white skirt too, but thankfully it hasn't gotten stained yet. I love that shirt too!!!
    By the way, I am the same 'anonymous' who commented on the hemming post to ask about where to find jean skirts. Another 'anonymous' answered, and I wanted to let her know that my mom saw me looking on Ebay the day you suggested looking there, and then sometime later went and bought me a jean skirt on there as a surprise! I wore it to my brother's violin recital tonight and I totally love it! Thank you again, anonymous! πŸ™‚

    1. I just read this and wanted to say thank you. Both to Olivia and Anonymous.
      This post was very well timed as this is something I am working on right now and I really appreciated you sharing your testimony, Anonymous. It was really encouraging to me!

  2. You are very skilled at writing Olivia! This post was so true. Thanks for taking the time to write and share a portion of your life with all of us readers.

  3. Hello Olvia Howard. so good to know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am so blessed to stop by your blog post and your pictures with a dress of modesty honoring the Lord. I am from Mumbai, India and have been in the Pastoral miinistry for last 37yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with greart contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have you come to Mumbai to work with us during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you.

  4. This has always been a struggle for me. I am due any day now with my first baby, and the nesting instincts are very real. I fixate on one project, and it could be something silly like framing a few photos I could have framed any time since we got married almost a year ago…. but it has to be done NOW or I go crazy. The only thing keeping me from completely losing it is that my wonderful husband needs lunches packed, dinner on the table, a focused conversation about his day when he arrives home etc.

    I think it's just something about being a woman!

  5. Needed this right now, thank you for being so "real". Your blog, and life, is inspiring.
    Brittany G.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I have been struggling with this exact same issue lately…actually, to be honest I struggle with this a lot! The knowledge that I'm not the only one is very encouraging. What you said about life being like a painting— that puts it all into perspective.

    Also, I love coral and white! I do have a favorite white skirt. I love how yours has lace; it's so pretty. πŸ™‚

  7. This post hits home. Right now I'm so busy with finishing my thesis and portfolio, working towards my graduation, that it's the only thing I can focus on. But really, when I'm being honest with myself, it's like that a lot. I focus on one thing and lose track of everything else that has to happen. My room, household duties, other projects that need to be finished… I let go of them and figure I'll get to it when this episode of my life is complete. But like you said, that's not how it works. I need to zoom out and try to see the whole picture.

    Anyway, you look gorgeous as always. πŸ™‚ I don't think I have a white skirt, but I love white tops!

  8. This is really cute :)! I do not currently own a white skirt… my sister does, and so I've thought of getting another… but the one and only white dress I have ever had,. I was given a hug by a toddler who had just eaten a chocolate bar, hahaha… I've been scared of them ever since ;).

    I do tend to zone in on one project, as well… It's both a blessing and a curse. I've really been working on finding a balance to my life lately; getting in all that I need to do, while still having time to do things like reading to my younger siblings. But I've become so far behind in the past two years since our move, when I just let go of everything, it is very hard to catch up while going about the "here and now" stuff, too…

  9. I tend to do that too. Being in college forced me on focusing on many projects and still getting them accomplished….super hard for me. Now what helps me is a to do list and planning all these things….giving them there blocks of time…. jest enough to work on everything needed over time.

  10. Good lesson to learn now…if the Lord blesses you with a husband and children, you simply can't get focused on one thing for a while, because the responsibilities are not only present but urgent! I agree with others that college helped me learn to manage time and responsibilities under pressure/little sleep, but even now as a mom, there are times I become so overwhelmed and thankful for my husband stepping in to ground me in reality. πŸ™‚ I don't know if you've ever heard the stories about Susannah Wesley throwing her apron over her head and praying, but I can relate now (and don't yet have nearly as many children as she did!).

    Lovely outfit, too…

  11. I _definitely_ do the same thing! Life really is a painting. I absolutely love that analogy. We must accept that life just isn't and will never be perfect, but it is always beautiful, and focusing on responsibilities is so important πŸ™‚ Thank you for this. It was so encouraging, especially because lately I have had such a hard time with distractions and focusing on what needs to be done and just the reality of life and my problems. πŸ™‚ Bringing everything back to God and what He would have me do and wants me to do, as far as I know, usually helps me to not focus on one thing. He needs me to organised, so I can give everything in my life: religion, family, school, chores, friends, what-have-you, the proper attention.

    1. Amen. I enjoyed Olivia's analogy, too, and your response summed up what I was thinking after finishing her post. So I had to reply… not to mention, I love your name! πŸ™‚

      In Christ,

  12. Yes, indeed!!! It's a HUGE balancing act! πŸ˜›

    Writing a "to do" list is an age old concept, but I've started doing it when I get on the computer, too, and found it can be super helpful. That way I can work right down the list and know I'm not forgetting something or wasting time doodling when I should be doing something specific (so "I need to email this person and this person…..and look this up and price this" etc.) and then be able to physically see what I've done. It does seem to help keep focus. It's definitely a daily struggle, though, so thanks so much for sharing! It's so encouraging to know others are working through the same thing.

    (And lovely skirt, too!!! ;))

    1. I second that, Heidi! When I am being responsible (which would not be the past month :P… was just realizing that last night, and am hoping to reclaim that part of my daily life over the next couple weeks!) with my computer time, that is the best way for me to handle not getting on for too long/too many times! Instead of, "Oh! I HAVE to look that up/reply to that message before I forget *again*!", I just write it down on a list, and knock it all out in about half an hour each evening, instead of getting on to "just check this phone call date" and then staying on fb for too long several times a day. It really does help condense things and save you time!

  13. Wow, loved this post. It's true – it is SO easy to get distracted by one thing and put the rest of life on hold. I've found that this year, I have made some really good friends; and I try so hard to have quality time with all of them, often, that I have no time for anything else. So today, I will focus FIRST on the responsibilities and the family I have.

    And also, that second picture of you is my FAVORITE of you ever! Lovely photography, lovely woman!

  14. I live in Australia and have been following your blog for awhile it's great, As it fall nearly winter i have been working on getting all of my fall/ winter clothing together, that been said in the past 2 years now i have been collecting and creating a wardrobe to fit my modesty / comfort standards and i like the look of. I started dressing more modestly and for true comfort 2 years ago at 18 i'm 20 now when i started to realize that i have to dress for me as i have autism and sensory processing disorder and ehlers danlos syndrome and with spd you have a hard time finding clothing and a lot of thing comfortable so i most probably have more clothing then most people as one day you can be comfortable in one thing and the next you can't stand it. and not for fitting in as i now found that layering a cami and an undershirt it great for most of my sensory issues. I have learnt to layer in all kinds of weather like the Aussie heat! i do have a white linen skirt that i love but have yet to wear. and i think you are an inspiration to anyone oof any age you have great style.

  15. Great post! Balance in life can be hard. I love a good list. It helps me be productive and also helps me feel better. I also like to include "reward time" for myself on my lists when I actually make them (which I could do better at lately). I fhave found I need to include something on the list I enjoy for when my work is done. Like internet time, or sewing/pattern designing, or cooking something new I want to try. I find if I don't include time to take care of myself in my list of priorities, I end up feeling overly stressed, unhappy and like life doesn't have a lot of meaning. Then it affects my performance in the things that are important. So I have found it's good for me to schedule some "unstructured time" into my week. Time where I occasionally even tell people I am busy if I need to if unstructured "me" time has been drug out too many weeks, so I can make sure I am balanced and have done something I enjoy without worrying about anything else. I also have noticed I am never happy unless I put God first. So I try to make sure my prayer and scripture study are the most important and everything else usually falls into place much easier if I've put good effort into that.

  16. I do this all the time! I focus on one thing, it might be a big thing or a small thing,but I spend a lot of time thinking about it. Love this outfit!!! I love my white lace skirt (I got it from goodwill!). It comes mid-calf. I might wear it on memorial day, but we have 2 families coming over, and they have little kids, so maybe I won't πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing ❀

  17. It can be hard to make longer skirts work well (at least on me) but this looks nice. every time I googled 'how to wear long skirts fashionably' the wearer almost always had heels on but I'd rather not have to!

  18. First of all you have great advice.

    If I am focused on one thing and block everything out I write a list of things I need to pay attention to. I keep it by me when I'm working on one thing as a reminder to pay attention to other things.

    My favorite white skirt is the one that I got a couple years ago. It is shorter in the front and long in the back, but still modest. It has a lace pattern over it and is super elegant but classy. : )

  19. I have been reading your blogs for a long time now and really enjoying all of them! I just turned 14, so I've been needing some helpful hints on how to dress fashionably but modestly. I love to sew too; I've been sewing for about 5 years now. That coral shirt is really pretty! Coral is one of my favorite colors, so I have a lot of shirts like that. You really have a great website!! Pleez keep posting!

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