Some avoid it; others run to it like an obsession that cannot be abandoned; and for most, it is merely a daily habit that must be tolerated.
The face in the mirror that we view in order to “present” ourselves to the world is the one we are born with, attempt to alter in multiple ways throughout different stages of life – perhaps by artificial means ranging in spectral thunders of surgical alterations, color-dying, parting the hair on the left side instead of the right; trying to cover that growing bald plate that shines like a heavenly orb not needing the assistance of the Hubbell Telescope from afar in galaxies far and wide; of make-up, lipstick colors and hair-style alterations; and yet, somehow, it is those eyes that stare back that seem to pierce within.
And what of that image we hold; was it the imprint from our youth that forever became frozen in the timeless synergies of our inner consciousness? Does the reflection in the mirror last, for some, for only a second, such that we have to run back to it – whether by the closely-held compact in the purse, the reflection in the store window, or even that oblong shape of a car’s side contraptions – and reassure ourselves that it has not changed much since the last encounter?
Or is it the image we continue to hold onto as that innocent child of long ago who forever swore that neither time, old age nor ravages of bygone years would ever defeat the compliments received and which we hold so dearly?
It is, in the end, the eyes – what Plato described as the windows to one’s soul – that tell the tale of a person’s past. Does it haunt? Does it enliven? Will it glitter and sparkle like the moon’s reflection upon a summer’s pond in its tranquility of calm? Or does life bring such sorrow within the chasms in between, where the haggard look befalls and betrays the unhappiness residing within?
We need not look in the mirror to gather much that we already know, and yet we keep going back and speaking to that ghostly appearance reversed in proportionality as the negative photograph that smiles when we smile, cries when we cry, but feels not the inner pain that grows with each day.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are at a point in their lives that filing for Federal Disability Retirement must be considered, it is a critical point to consider when you look at the face in the mirror – for, the reflection seen is often not the “real” person that stands in front of the mirror, and the “appearance” is never the essence of the inner soul concealed. That is the sad truth when dealing with the Federal agency or the Postal facility; they all see “you” as “that person who has a medical condition and is no longer as productive as he/she used to be”.
That is why filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits often becomes a necessity, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset – because the face in the mirror is just that – a reflection of unreality – that doesn’t ever reveal the truth of one’s potentiality in a universe that barely cares beyond the appearance of reality.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire