It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. After over a year of lockdowns, restrictions, isolation, uncertainty, stress, and fear, it feels as if life springs hopeful again. I don’t know about you, but I am not excited to go back to all the things that used to be. I’ve been pondering what future I would like to invent.

This transition to post-pandemic life is an opportunity for all of us to re-design our personal lives, communities, work environments, education, and much more. We don’t have to go back to all things pre-pandemic. Hopefully, through the year-long 20/20 lance, we can see what’s worth keeping, what’s essential, and the many ways in which we used to waste life’s resources.

We can turn our collective COVID-19 nightmare into something positive, should we choose to accept the challenge and adopt a mindset of urgent optimism.

Hopefully, by now, you realize the indispensability of quality family, friendships, and community interactions. Humans need other humans. Imagine ways to strengthen your human connections. How much more resilient could we be if we have each other? How much more life could we live if we live for each other?

Realize that “health” is not the same as “healthcare.” Our society has a lot of work to do before we feel that we are in good hands with our healthcare. At the same time, we can take health into our own hands. We saw that the overwhelming majority of those who suffered and died of COVID-19 were people with pre-existing conditions and poor health. Lifestyle changes lead to changed lives. We will never know how many lives could have been saved if people met the pandemic with a commitment to excellent health.

Remember, work is a means to an end, not the end itself. After a year of pets, home cooking, gardening, home improvement projects, and outdoor fun, returning to work feels bittersweet. Can we set boundaries and find balance in the future?

Living in fear is no way to live. Perhaps, we can disconnect from the endless bad news crammed down our throats by the media and look around instead. Look for all the beautiful things budding and growing in our own communities and within the sphere of our influence. We pay for worrying about things that are out of our control with diminished creativity, increased anxiety, and paralyzing anger.

Could we have fared better as a society if we did not have the pre-existing conditions of income inequality, political polarization, climate crisis, a broken healthcare system, and massive mistrust of each other and the government? How and where do we go from here?

I take this transitional moment seriously. Many conversations must happen if we want post-pandemic flourishing. But before they could happen, each one of us must be able to see that future in our mind’s eye, want it, and be willing to build it. Each of us must re-envision our individual lives. Commit to living more, love more, and do more!


Valentina Petrova has helped people with life, health, relationships, financial, career, professional, and business goals and challenges since 2015. She has a Master’s in Psychology and is a certified life coach and a certified mediator. You can reach her at