Vivacious – happy and lively in a way that is attractive

The thing is I wasn’t always like this. In fourth grade I won the “humor award.” I remember my teacher, Mrs. Hamilton, saying something like I always had the ability to make the class laugh and find good humor in normal situations. I remember being surprised by the award because I thought Darryl was really the class clown. But I understood later what she meant. Good humor isn’t about pranks it’s about understanding the irony of life.

I understand your deep need for love and I see daily your deep love for our family, for our kids. But it has been a long time since I have felt that love given toward me. I feel as though you tolerate me out of some Christian obligation and that given the choice you would rather not deal with it any more. I wonder if you want me back? Or do you want me to go away? Do you miss the old Chris? The guy who can make anyone laugh even in a difficult situation? I remember you saying you don’t like my joy, and sometimes my joking and sarcasm gets old. Well now they are gone, either buried, or ailing, or perhaps just dead. Wherever it went, it’s missing.

In a great line from an episode of the old show “Barney Miller,” Harris retorts to Wojo, “Wit is a spontaneous thing, it’s not the kind of thing you just flip on like a lightbulb.” (Season 5, Episode 23 “Graveyard Shift” – isn’t the internet awesome! The scene begins at 19:45)

I used to wake up each day with a sense of optimism and joy. I’d encourage our kids and speak enthusiastically about the possibilities of the day and the week and of life. In a lot of ways my attitude naturally seemed to express the often quoted Psalm 118:24, “Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I got this sense of persistent well-being from both my Mom (who used to use that verse a lot!) and my older brother who never met a challenge that was impossible. My mom says that her mother would come into her room when she was a girl and each morning to wake up her and her sisters she opened the curtains and declared, “Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

For quite some time now, I am having a hard time rejoicing in today. Though absolutely, I know in my mind that God created all things, and I sense deep within God’s grace and so I know that today is still a day he has made.

I started 2015 with a simple plan: Strong Mind, Strong Body. A quest to begin reading again, reading anything and allowing (or hoping) the curiosities of my mind to become active again. My end hope I guess is some optimistic reflection, and intellectual reasoning to make sense of my day to day and the course of my life. Along with this is my hope to take back my body. To start running more, to become stronger and build instead of maintain, to be active in general, to feel 45 instead of 65. Strong Mind, Strong body.

The words I used earlier in the year to describe what I was aiming toward were vitality and virility – in some ways, however, I knew this was not quite right, that this was going toward a person that I never really was. (My brother – he was and still is virile and vital!) But today driving to work, I thought of the word: VIVACIOUS!

Vivacity is what I used to have and what I’ve missed!
Look this word up (I love to look words up to see the subtlety of their definitions).

OK, here, I did the work for you. From Webster online:
Vivacious – happy and lively in a way that is attractive
Virile – having or suggesting qualities (such as strength and sexual energy) that are associated with men and that are usually considered attractive in men
Vitality – a lively or energetic quality; the power or ability of something to continue to live, be successful, etc.

There was an awesome girl I knew in high school, Wendy. She thought I was the coolest guy ever and told me as much – I think I actually really did have that about me at one point. People said I reminded them of Michael J. Fox – this I was in the “Family Ties” and “Back to the Future” era. Anyway – happy in way that is attractive – I’m sure that is precisely what she saw and liked. I used to be vivacious.

There are hints of that guy still around. He easily comes out by habit in light social situations, like making the rounds through the office. I remember my grandmother (same one as above) being frustrated when she took my grandfather to the doctor late in his life. He had Alzheimer’s. She’d get frustrated at the doctor because my grandfather had been a doctor himself. The environment at a doctor’s office was so familiar to him, he easily reverted back to a vital time in his own life and seemed fine. The atmosphere was so familiar, he didn’t have to try and act like he had it all together, it was part of who he was. This frustrated my granmother because at home it was a different story. This is the power of habit.

This is similar to how I feel. I can get along fine, but the vivacious guys isn’t really home any more. I’m looking for him, looking for Chris . . . vivacious, witty Chris. Let me know if you’ve see him. I really miss that guy, and I know others in my life do too.



  1. woah. did i write this or did you? i used to be vivacious. now i’m so dull. it’s weird though,i know i don’t know you well…but to me you are funny and witty and you’re encouraging. you’ve taken time out to help a stranger and connect. all those ‘v’ words seem to apply to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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