Life's GPS

Today I'm still thinking about that student who called me his map. On a follow-up conversation Friday morning, he said that I was his GPS. His Gruener Positioning System. Isn't that so sweet? When he realized his name also starts with a G, he said it should really be called a G2PS.

What he doesn't know is that on Friday, shortly after that fun conversation, I was having a little full-blown meltdown over something that today seems really insignificant and small. And you know why? 

Because I was letting some trivial small stuff overwhelm me and
overshadow the awesomeness 
that should have been looming larger than life, 
like the fact that The Giving Tree at our Book Fair
was picked clean so that our friends who might not
have gotten a new book this time around did,

the fact that to keep up with our bigger class sizes this year,
 three ukuleles that were donated to our Lab on Friday
just in time for Social Stations to start on Monday,

and the fact that our upcoming SOCKtober collection will allow us to celebrate our riches by helping warm up the homeless.

These things matter so much more than that pesky tough stuff.

How quickly we can descend from the mountaintop into the valley
 and how difficult it can be to get back up.
But get back up we must.
And I have an idea how my student's G2PS idea can help.

What if G2PS stood for a Gratitude & Goodness Positioning System, if in the tough times we were grateful for the good things.
On purpose.
With resolve.

What if we took a page out of the Scott Hamilton book of life
and embraced challenges as opportunities to get up and grow?
Just recently diagnosed with his third brain tumor, 
he's choosing to focus on celebrating life,
and he's grateful to have been 
"blessed beyond my wildest imagination."
Or a page from the book of our favorite ventriloquist Dennis Lee.
He had a horrible car collision this past spring that left his left side broken from head to toe. He still uses crutches to get from pillar to post.

But it didn't break his spirit. 
As he gets up and continues his trek around the globe, 
his motivational message doesn't focus on asking why?

but instead, why not? 
Why not try? 
Why not use tragedy to triumph? 
Why not find the blessings in the burden?

So vulnerable.
So inspiring.
So real.

On the mountaintop.
And in the valley. 
Gratitude and goodness.
In all things.

How much better could life be if we would all get back up
and forge forward into our new normal fueled by 
 hearts full of overwhelming gratitude and goodness.

Talk about your road map to success ... 


  1. I LOVE that! Gruener Positioning System:)
    Thank you for the reminder to focus on the good stuff when life is getting you down.

  2. Thank your for your inspiring words. This was a great way to start my Monday morning!

  3. Barbara - Could you say a little bit more about your Giving Tree? I was just talking with my principal about the fact that so often the book fair breaks my heart. I see quite a number of kids who don't have any $ to spend. At the same time they see so many of their friends buying fun items with cash from their parents. I am sure this really bothers the parents who are struggling to put food on the table too.

    I was trying to find a way to get $ into the hands of the kids that really need it so that they can enjoy the book fair too. Your giving tree looks like it just might fill that need.

    1. Hi Elizabeth ~ We put the names of children in need on the tree, children we thought might not get a book, along with two titles from their Wish List so that they would get one of the books they wanted. Parents were told about the Giving Tree so it was an option for them to purchase that specific book for a specific child. We numbered the apples to maintain anonymity. You can email or call me if you want more details and in on our discussion about how it might work more smoothly next year! {bgruener5 at}.

  4. WONDERFUL! Thank you for your very useful examples!

  5. I found you! You disappeared from my Blogger reader. Enjoyed your article about focusing on the positive when things aren't going well. It really is our only choice. I'm in a Joy & Healing class and everyday I have to pull out a moment of joy and work with the joy. Over time it becomes a natural thing to do.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!