Steve Barnes' World of Happiness

A year of rings.

Not trees.

It seemed a humble post on which I stumbled a few years ago. The man felt it wasn’t much, but wanted to share he’d “filled his rings” every day for a year. Though even Apple seems to have rethought the Apple Watch’s “reason for being” over its five years on users’ wrists, its interface for measuring activity has remained a fixture: one ring for standing up, one ring for calories. One ring for exercise, and in the darkness finish this sentence.

It might have been the humility that inspired me. Anyone who walks for pleasure each day would fill their rings regularly without trying. I had never been that, and as a person whose creative adventures (and such social ones as writing this) stem from stationariness, I’d even considered prolonged residency something of a virtue. I’d also seldom worn a watch, and though that habit was forever changed the first day I could get an Apple Watch on my own wrist, my own rings – when their minuscule arcs glowed with colour – looked more like sparse crystals in a cave from Month View.

This week I realized with surprise that it was past midnight. I’d lost track of time, and hadn’t noted my rings before they’d reset. They were full, except the green ring: 28 out of 30 minutes. The first time in over a year I hadn’t filled them myself.

People can change their own thinking, and part of that change is made by thinking. That’s something I discovered a long time ago, and I was fortunate to get the abstract lesson so early. Thinking underpins doing, and since reading that humble post, it’s come to feel wrong not to enjoy a walk or jog almost every day. I was about to say I was now qualified to write my own humble post, but then realized.