It is that penultimate question – the one that has multiple cousins and unwanted siblings, illegitimate off-springs and uninvited guests, like: What is the meaning of my life (refer to previous posts concerning Russell’s quip that such pedantic queries are often the result of indigestion)? Did I do the right thing (such lines of interrogatories often emerge from a guilty conscience, so you might not want to ask that one)? Did I spend enough time with my kids (almost always, “no”)? Did I remain true to my marriage vows (sadly, according the statistical analysis, most people would have to answer in the negative)? Have I behaved honorably throughout (it would depend upon the definition of the term, and of by-the-way, we tend to have private dictionaries defining words these days in a subjective, self-serving manner)?
“Was it all worth it” goes in so many directions, it is like the catch-all phrase or the “general aegis” over which all other questions and queries reside. To whom? By what measure? In contrast to what other “it”? And the more important one: Can we clarify and “flesh out” what the “it” refers to?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prompts a need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the interrogatory itself often means that the point of “worthiness” refers to the delay and loyalty shown by the suffering Federal or Postal employee before taking the next needed steps in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.
Often, to the detriment of the Federal Disability Retirement applicant, such a query means that you have already pushed yourself well beyond that which is actually for your own good, and while loyalty, faithfulness, hard work and such similar attributes are laudable and “example-setting” characteristics reflecting well upon the one who asks the question, the answer may be – at least from a medical perspective – formed in the negative.
For, isn’t part of the point in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application to do so before the medical condition gets to such a severe crisis point of deterioration so that there is actually a retirement to enjoy?
Remember that the standard of proof in obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement is not to reach a state of “total disability” (which is the standard in a Social Security case); rather, it is to show that the Federal or Postal employee cannot perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s position.
Thus, when you ask the question, “Was it all worth it?” – it is indeed important to know what the “it” refers to, both in the second word of the question as well as the fifth and last.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire