I recently watched a one-man show called Every Brilliant Thing. It the story of a young man who starts writing a list of every brilliant thing in the world for his mother after her first suicide attempt. I will do the same. My list will be incomplete, but I will return to add items to it as I think of them.

  1. That God thought, “I need one of these",” when He made each person

  2. Waking up next to a dog

  3. Puppies

  4. This video

  5. Friends

  6. Feeling understood

  7. Family

  8. The thrill of victory

  9. A genuine compliment

  10. Being with someone and not needing to speak

  11. Walking a dog on a peaceful evening

  12. Sitting out on a patio/porch on a peaceful evening

  13. New socks

  14. Ice cream

  15. The excitement of dogs when their owner returns home

  16. Helping someone and feeling as though you were more impacted by it than they were

  17. Laughing so hard that you can’t breathe

  18. When the ice on the sidewalk is so thin you can crack it just by walking on it

  19. New love

  20. Singing at the top of your lungs and not caring what you sound like

  21. Connecting with an audience while on stage

  22. Making someone laugh

  23. The music of Gavin DeGraw

  24. The music of Jamie Cullum

  25. The music of Matchbox Twenty

  26. Gregorian chant

  27. The music of Billy Joel

  28. Finding others like you

  29. Having a conversation so enjoyable that time disappears

  30. “Spiegel im Spiegel” by Arvo Pärt

  31. Doing a physical activity that is so enjoyable you do not care about how tired you are

  32. Sleep

  33. The Star Trek TV shows

  34. Learning

  35. That desire to share something you just learned with someone

  36. Being creative

  37. Improv comedy

  38. The Sherlock Holmes stories and books

  39. The BBC show Sherlock

  40. A good mystery

  41. Board games

  42. Playing RPGs with the right people

  43. The writing of GK Chesterton

  44. The TV show Frasier

  45. Catching your dog in a cute pose

  46. Goofy smiles

  47. Dressing up in a costume

  48. Playing pretend

  49. Inside jokes

  50. Quoting movies, TV shows, and books with someone in place of a conversation

  51. Being vulnerable with someone and receiving vulnerability in return

  52. The Eucharist

  53. Receiving good advice

  54. New ideas

  55. Putting on an outfit and thinking, “Dang, I look good.”

  56. A beautiful painting

  57. Processing a movie with the right person immediately after watching it for the first time

  58. Going to a movie in the theaters by yourself

  59. Putting your feelings on paper

  60. The right song at the right time

  61. Prayer

  62. Holding a book you wrote in your hands

  63. Being an ADHD coach

  64. Improvisation