I started my Love Lists a long time ago because I thought I needed something consistent in my life that would remind me of the things I'm thankful for. And they help. Days when I can feel life draining out of me, I pour through my Love Lists and I get overwhelmed recollecting all the experiences I've had, all the people in my life, and other little things that make me so incredibly lucky. Here's my first, short Love List for 2012 for the things I'm most thankful for at this moment:

* Jonathan Safran Foer This man is a fucking genius. I don't know why I haven't discovered his writing sooner, but I haven't been able to put his books down. Start with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - his 2005 book about a boy whose father died in 9/11. It's honest, and sad, and so beautifully childlike at the same time. And the prose is so, so beautiful.

* Memory What do you do with memories you have of someone after they die? What do you do with the photos? What stops you from going back to his various profiles on social media and reminicing about the times you've spent together? How do you stop thinking about what will happen when other people you love die? What happens when you get that tightness in your chest, wishing he'd told you something so you would have known? What do you do? Death is the only thing in life that you absolutely have to be aware of as it’s happening. It's a scary thought. I hope he knew he is loved. And I hope, just as much, that he loved.

"Memory was supposed to fill the time, but it made time a hole to be filled. Each second was two hundred yards, to be walked, crawled. You couldn’t see the next hour, it was so far in the distance. Tomorrow was over the horizon and would take an entire day to reach."

* My hypochondria I am somewhat a hypochondriac. It's also kind of ironic: I'm a klutz who is a hypochondriac who has a phobia of medical facilities. When I'm not wasting time on the Internet looking at clothes and shoes, I am looking up medical websites, research projects, symptoms of various diseases, etc. I have various medical specialists on speed dial, and I have an amazing insurance plan through hard work and research. It sucks to have your blood pressure increase when you spot a new freckle on your skin, but hopefully, that means I'm battling any possible ailments the first time they strike. Hopefully.

What's on your Love List, kids?