New from Sarah Welch-Larson on Substack: 4: Anticipation

There’s a joke that makes the rounds on Twitter every few months about how adulthood is just saying “I just need to make it to the end of the week” or “I just need to make it to the end of the month” over and over until you die. I identify with this probably a little too much. I have a bad habit of saying “yes” to everything, then filling out my calendar and realizing that I don’t have any nights off for the next two weeks. It’s not that I don’t like doing things—one of my personal revelations from the pandemic is that I’m a much more social person than I thought I was before—but it’s easy to get caught up in the planning and logistics of it all.

There’s just so much to anticipate. This weekend I’m catching Crimes of the Future and a Buster Keaton movie on the big screen, plus a Phoebe Bridgers concert; we’re throwing a belated housewarming and seeing some good friends for the first time in years. The Mountain Goats just announced a new record, due out in August. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Jordan Peele’s Nope is as good as it promises to be. I have a few essays in the works, and a few more ideas bouncing around my brain that I’m going to need to keep bottled up a little longer. I keep catching myself looking ahead a few days in advance, rather than just enjoying whatever it is I’m doing in the moment.

So when something comes along to grab my full attention, I grab at it with both hands. Right now it’s my dog pressed up against my legs as I type; it’s warm, so she’s shedding onto my laptop, and she’s breathing heavily as she dozes off. The windows are open, and I can hear the baby robins off our back patio, chirping hungrily—they have just enough feathers that they’re probably going to try flying soon, and we’re going to have to keep a sharp eye on the dog when we let her out for the next few days. Most of the time when we’re outside I can turn my attention to the newly planted garden. Weeding and deadheading are the only activities that seem to drive everything else out of my brain. No plans, no complications, just me and the sun and the dirt and the business of keeping the green things in the backyard alive. It feels good to pinch back the old growth, to know that if I’m just patient enough, something new will sprout up in its place.

I’d love to hear from you—what’s something in your life that’s good right now? And what’s something you’re looking forward to this summer?


What I wrote:

Earlier this week, I wrote about Alex Garland’s horror film Men. I didn’t necessarily enjoy the movie, but I keep thinking about it. The imagery is sticky.

What I talked about:

Speaking of Men, we talked about it on this week’s episode of Seeing & Believing. Kevin and I disagree about whether Alex Garland succeeds in pulling off the story he set out to tell. We also disagreed on Anomalisa—the movie we paired with Men—making this the first podcast episode in my tenure as cohost where we’ve split on both movies we watched.

What I’m listening to:

It’s June, and the windows have been wide open for days on end, and the cottonwood pollen is blowing. My sinuses hate me and I’m feeling villainous. We’re just tipping over into what feels like summer, so I went ahead and made a playlist about sweat and desperation and villainy.

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