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How to Reset Your Priorities for the New Normal

Posted by The Savvy Retiree on May 19, 2020 in Live Better

Last week, I agreed to write a freelance story about climate change research warning that as sea levels and temperatures rise, migration patterns in the U.S. will change. (Spoiler: Buffalo and Duluth could become “climate refuge cities” over the next few decades.)

Now, here at The Savvy Retiree, changing weather and migration patterns aren’t really our forte. However…the broader concept is relevant to us: Big events cause existential changes over which we have no control, and all we can do is reprioritize our lives as a new normal becomes just “the norm.”

Which, you know…corona.

If you’ve been reading my weekend words during this pandemic, you know I’ve spent a good deal of time writing about opportunities hiding in plain sight these days. Employees working from home are telling researchers they like this new work/life balance. And business owners and executives are saying they’re increasingly fans of this new normal, because having productive employees working from home—or from wherever—reduces the cost of maintaining, leasing, insuring, and electrifying the cubicle farms where companies have traditionally housed workers for eight or nine hours per day.

Both of those underscore this idea about reprioritizing our life to this new norm.

I’ve talked to several friends in the U.S. in recent weeks, from Boston to Florida to Louisiana and California, and I sense a pervasive and increasing amount of personal misery. I certainly understand why. If it’s any consolation, however, a budding sense of normalcy is returning to Europe, where I live, and it will very likely migrate to the U.S. soon.

But once that normalcy returns, then what?

It won’t be the same normal, for sure. 

And that’s what brought me to my original notion: How to reprioritize life as the new normal becomes just normal?

Frankly, I don’t know how the new normal will fully shake out. We’re still too early into this transformation. But some aspects seem probable. Which is why I’m convinced that online is where much of tomorrow will take place. That means working, shopping, living, entertainment, and socializing.

The three I care most about from a Savvy perspective are working, shopping, and living. That’s where I am now in the early stages of my own reprioritization.

Working: As I’ve written in recent weeks, I’ve busied myself on a variety of e-income projects. I’ve increased the number of online freelance profiles I have, and I’ve thin-sliced a few. Instead of pitching myself as a jack-of-all-trades writer, I’m carving out specialties as a business writer, e-book writer, and copyeditor/proofreader. I want to appeal to content buyers seeking a specific type of writer, since a specific skill set is worth more financially than a generic skill set.

To that end, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I wrote an e-book, Into Nomadistan, that details the five steps that, based on my experiences, can help wannabe digital nomads succeed in a work-from-anywhere lifestyle. Though it’s only about two weeks old, that book has already begun earning a little bit of money for me…and that, in turn, has prompted me to start outlining two other e-books.

That’s part of my reprioritization to exploit thinly sliced bands of knowledge I have but that I’ve typically not done much with. After years in the workforce or with hobbies, we all have those bands of knowledge. 

Shopping: Amazon has proven that online shopping works in a big way. Uncountable numbers of financially lucrative blogs and dropshipping websites underscore that reality. And though I’m certainly late to this party, this isn’t going to end. Humanity will buy more and more and more—and more—from online sellers.

That’s the primary reason I’m building three blogs. I have my primary blog— DigitalRoamad.com, which I’ve mentioned. And to that, I’ve added two news-aggregation blogs: one focused on news relevant to the gold market; the other tied to the cryptocurrency market. Because of the pandemic’s economic impacts, the monetary world I foresee will smile upon financial assets such as gold and crypto. I want to be part of that trend, not only by owning those assets (which I do), but by providing an aggregated source of news for web surfers…which will drive advertising and affiliate-marketing dollars into my bank account.

So, I am reprioritizing some of my daily hours away from freelance and toward building these blogs.

Living: This is more touchy-feely, but is nevertheless a huge part of my reprioritization.

I’ve made tentative plans to head to Uruguay once Crazy Corona takes a break. The tiny South American country is one of my absolute favorite places in the world (I’ve been to nearly 70 countries so far), and it’s in the process of overhauling its residency requirements to make it quicker and easier to obtain a permanent residence visa. 

I don’t plan on relocating away from Prague anytime soon; I love living in this city. But I am 54 years old and I do think about the tomorrows I want to live. I see a quiet, writer’s retreat in a small, contemporary house, in a small beachy village somewhere along the Uruguayan coast. And while I could wait until I retire to pursue the visa, I want to begin the process now because once I’ve been a resident for five years, I’m eligible for a Uruguayan passport…and in this topsy-turvy world, I see immense value in a second passport. So, I want start the eligibility clock sooner rather than later.

I understand my vision of reprioritization will look different than for other people. My point, of course, is simply to illustrate what reprioritization can look like. You have your own dreams and values and wants. I’m just saying use this moment of social and economic reformation to reflect on your changing priorities, too.

Written by Jeff D. Opdyke