The Freelance Diaries: It’s time for some positive thinking
I woke up two days ago and thought to myself 'I’m fed up with my life being placed in neutral'
In the latest in our series of guest blogs, freelance sports production manager Natalie Diamond provides another personal insight into how she and her family are coping with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – revealing that she is now looking to re-train in order to keep her life moving along in a positive direction.
Over the years I have worked hard to reduce my working hours and days and the need to travel to a place of work.
I am a production manager and for the last five years, I have been the company director of my own limited company. In my opinion, the majority of my work can be managed flexibly and at home. I’ve had some frowns and disapproval from most of my clients on this. Even those companies that appear to be onboard eventually get tired of the lack of presence, even though I always deliver on my commitments.
So here we are just over five weeks into lockdown and those lucky enough to still hold positions that haven’t been furloughed are successfully working from home with all possible support from the government and their companies.
Is working from the office absolutely necessary? Obviously, some sectors inevitably need to be at their place of work but isn’t it time we looked at sustainability and the office?
I don’t know about you but the roads around here are peaceful and the air seems clearer and I have never seen so many bumblebees as I have witnessed this spring despite the threat of their extinction.
Birds of prey glide over our house: it’s beautiful to watch in the clear blue skies. This is down to the reduction in our carbon footprint due to Covid-19. This is an absolute upside to all the devastation and loss.
“When I reflect on where I am mentally I keep pining for the life we had before this outbreak rather than accepting what is and what might be the norm for some significant time. I think this is where the daily struggle is for most individuals: the inability to accept the simple life and the enforced change.”
Moving back to myself and family life we are doing ok but cabin fever is starting to kick in. Despite my daily routines some days this just isn’t enough to keep me sane.
When I reflect on where I am mentally I keep pining for the life we had before this outbreak rather than accepting what is and what might be the norm for some significant time. I think this is where the daily struggle is for most individuals: the inability to accept the simple life and the enforced change.
My children seem to be doing OK but that’s perhaps because they are too young to know any better. Keeping them entertained on a daily basis however is sometimes hellish and I know most parents can relate to this. I don’t think the online homeschooling is going down too well with any family.
Meanwhile, in our home office at the bottom of our garden, my fiancé (who also works full-time in the sports broadcasting sector) is getting itchy feet and it’s starting to show. This is the first time he hasn’t travelled regularly with his work for the last 21 years. He is still immersed in meetings and training to help create remote productions which in my view is quite exciting but I know he would much rather be onsite as normal.
It’s now sadly becoming apparent that there will be little lift on restrictions without a vaccine. I am hopeful that they will allow sports to be played behind closed doors but, right now, the Premier League’s request to be tested before they play again will surely take a back seat to front line health workers. If Premier League footballers need testing then what about the lower leagues and other sports? Who and what takes priority?
I’ve been following my Linkedin stream and it does appear that there are many conversations about, and a desire to, conclude the Premier League this season but how they work this logistically will be a juggling act.
With all this going on, I woke up two days ago and thought to myself ‘I’ve had enough of this now I’m fed up with my life being placed in neutral.’ So I’ve decided to take stock of my business and family life and embark on some retraining but not in this industry. This time I’m looking at setting up a business that’s far more holistic and one that I can operate flexibly from home and around family life. The studies are all online and therefore it’s a positive step to keep my mind functioning and my life moving along in a positive direction.
In the words of Mick Jagger “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need”
In other news, life does go on without us. The sun still rises and the birds still sing their morning and evening songs. My thoughts go out to anyone recently who has lost a loved one either from the virus or not. It’s a really tough time to lose anyone. Please know that you are not alone.
*This article was edited on 9 June to include the author’s real name