Tag Archives: confidence


When you go to your first office party as a participant in the ugly sweater contest but it’s not an ugly sweater contest at all.

The first person you see is the admin at the front desk who is dressed in such a cute elf top she could be the lead toymaker in a live production of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Her green, red and white top even has jingle bells adorned on the cuffs and collar but you are na├»ve enough to think it is just attributable to her happy nature. Clearly she hadn’t read the memo that she emailed to the staff.

That’s when you go to the break room and see the one woman that is older than you in a gorgeous black velvet jacket with a silk embroidered Christmas scene that could land itself in a gallery. Obviously, she had not bought it at Walmart nor worn her best jacket because she thought it was an ugly contender.You smile and say hello like it’s any other December day but do not take off your coat.

A walk to your private office will help you sort this potential fashion blunder out. You stayed up all night sewing crocheted snowflakes to the oldest red sweater you owned. It was embellished with the worst felt Christmas decorations your kids had ever made. Even midnight hadn’t stopped you from adorning it with gold and silver glitter you threw into the smeared overdose of glue gun horror.

As you mentally change your mindset from clear winner to office loser, you wonder how to continue the morning? You start by rereading the office party luncheon invitation. Lunch is at noon and there will be two judging’s in the morning: one for the nicest office decor and a second for the ugly sweater winner. As far as you’re concerned, your sweat equity ugly sweater efforts are confirmed, so you proceed to the ladies room.

You just about melt when you see the lawyer leaving the bathroom in not just a gorgeous merino wool snowman sweater but an entire dress. She even has black high-heeled boots to emphasize her Christmas fashion statement. Only a top hat and pipe would have heightened the look. She probably had them back in her office so Kris Kringle himself could ask her to perform some magic during the luncheon.

You do what you have to in that situation. You take a shit to demonstrate how you feel, hold your head up high and own it as you strut back into the office – even when people look away or smile in a way that neither acknowledges nor inquires about your holiday sweater. You swallow hard once you’re back at your desk and realize you still have to stand in front of the entire office when it’s your turn for the Yankee swap.

All of this composure is held together even when you realize that joke gifts will not be the norm either. Booze and lottery tickets are the hit as you wonder what you’re reddened face will look like once someone opens your six pack belt of gingered ale.

The hour and day go by as slowly as an entire winter in New England. Snowman lawyer wins both the office decor and “sweater” contest with a fast tally of 32 to zero. A clean sweep…and all you can do is take the broom to clean up the glitter from your participation in the not-ugly-sweater-contest.


<I just found another unpublished draft that’s interesting in retrospect. It was dated November 2016.>

Someone told me once that the devil comes at night…

At 2 a.m. he arrived. My eyes were frozen open and my tingling body was on fire. My mind raced. I rethought the past and doubted my future. I even questioned my professional competence and overall value to society.  I couldn’t fall back asleep. I tossed. Turned. Sweat!

When the sun came up, there was also a dawning on me. I realized I have made an impact in my career and have always volunteered in a big, devoted way. My energies were renewed. It was a beautiful new day. Confidence and faith slowly came back.

I wondered if I would have removed my conflict sooner if I’d prayed, had more trust in God or at least read my devotional in the wee hours of the morning?

I would have. Here’s the entry:

“You have a glorious reputation because of those never-to-be-forgotten deeds.”

Nehemiah 9:10

I’m telling you once – I didn’t make this up. Don’t doubt it for a minute.


I lacked confidence as I began the journey outside my comfort zone.

At the border, I picked up a jog and my hesitations fell away.

Once I gained momentum, I found the road to self-discovery.

At each crossroads, He knew which path I’d take.

The world is now before me and My comfort is His grace.

It is too wonderful.


Inspired by Psalm 139:1-6