I strap on my running shoes as I so often do when I feel anxiety take over my thoughts. When I feel the doubt eating through my cerebral cortex. When foggy clouds cover my thoughts and obstruct my mental vision. When I don’t know where I’m headed. When I don’t know which foot to move first. Then I strap on my running shoes in order to force myself to systematically place one foot in front of the other. One step at a time.

Brill — Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

While running, I usually manage to get my thoughts under control. I try to get a better grasp of the problems I am facing. They are normally of a similar sort—if not the same—all the time. No big changes, no big revelations, but it is good to refresh the memory. The running helps me visualize and organize the next baby-steps I can take towards a solution to my problems. I just need to place one foot in front of the other. And repeat.

On today’s run none of that happens. The only thing that goes through my head is the song from the Brill margarine commercial. On repeat. How it is praised. How filling it is. How it nurtures. The same lines of lyrics over and over again from the time I leave the garden gate until I finish the last stretching exercise.

That’s how it is sometimes. Sometimes you achieve what you planned for. Sometimes not. Then I just need to accept it and move on.