Life Intelligence: Keys to Surviving

If you always look down, you will miss amazing things. As I write this, the world as we know it is slowly disappearing. Two weeks from now things could be even worse. Uncertainty grips everyone’s heart. Is it the end or a new beginning? Do you have enough toilet paper?

I lived through severe deprivation in the ’80s, waiting on breadlines, milk lines, meat lines since 3 am in the morning in the middle of the winter. I remember my parents making the equivalent of $3 a week. The pantry always empty. Electricity on and off every two hours. Running water, a couple of days per week.

I also remember families, neighbors, and friends figuring it out. We took turns on said lines. Neighbors watched over other people’s children while the parents hunted down supplies or went to work. Grandparents growing produce in the countryside. Everyone canning, sharing, bartering, and inventing things to make it all work.

We survived.

Because we had common sense and support.

But also, because we laughed and looked up to the many things in our lives that were worth still living. We made things and we made do without things. People sang over a bottle of home-made wine. Before cell phones, we talked and knew each other. Before social media, we had real friends.  Before 50 TV channels all proclaiming doom, we gathered over a single cup of coffee to share news about each other for hours. We borrowed money from each other on a schedule such as we could all pay our bills with someone else’s help. We joked constantly.

Do this and you will be OK.

Check on your family, neighbors, and friends. Call them. Don’t just watch their social media feed. Have long conversations. You’re likely stuck doing nothing. Use your time well. Clean up that garage. Finish your sewing projects. Learn how to bake a cake. Everyone still has internet, electricity, and water. Don’t hoard food you will have to throw away because you won’t cook it, use it, or need it a couple of months from now. Remember, others need to feed their families too.

Take your eyes off of the endlessly repeating bad news and focus them on your loved ones, your garden, your pets, your hobbies, your health. Go outside and enjoy nature. Go inside and repaint your living room. Study a language or how to play a musical instrument. Write that book you started 20 years ago. Do stuff that’s productive, educational, and enriching, and for the most part, it is still easily available and even free. Don’t squander this valuable time. Organize your finances. Figure out your resources, your options, your plan B, C, and D. Get to know your children and teach them how to help. Make plans for when things go back to normal.

Because they will. And hopefully even better.

It’s in trying situations that people show their true character. Who are you on a rainy day?

Valentina Petrova has been helping people with life, health, relationships, financial, career, professional, and business challenges since 2015. She has a Master’s in Psychology and is a certified Life Coach. You can reach her at (805)909-1401, and watch her at


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