The cyclical nature of the seasons provides for comfort in its monotony of regularity; we are subject to nature more than we realize, and the onset of the next season means the end of one, the beginning of another and the endless cycle of repetitive regularity.
That concept, in and of itself, is a strange one, is it not? Of “repetitive regularity”; for, can “regularity” encompass a series of elements without repetition? And, is not repetition itself the foundation of regularity? Is there a distinction with a difference to be made?
If a person goes to the same coffee shop every day, at the same hour, and orders the same cup of coffee each and every day of his life, we would describe that person as being a “regular”. Further, we might describe what he does as “repetitive”, and thus would say of him: “He engages in an act of repetitive regularity”.
That perspective would be a fairly accurate one from an objective, outsider’s viewpoint. But what about from the subjective perspective – from the person himself who goes to that same coffee shop each and every day? He might say: “No, it is not repetitive, because each cup of coffee, to me, is a brand new one, just as each day I wake up is a new day; and, besides, I might wake up one day and go to a different coffee shop, and then you would not consider me to be a ‘regular’.”
Would such a statement be accurate? Would it be truthful? And what about the short time-frame within which we assign so quickly the label of “regular”? From an omniscient viewpoint, would doing X for a month, a year – or even a decade – properly constitute “regularity”, when eternity is the standard by which it is being judged?
A season’s end and the next one’s beginning can certainly be considered as repetitive regularity; for, that is often what we rely upon as a security of comfort, in the very knowing of the next one coming. That is the insidious impact of a medical condition, is it not? That it creates uncertainty, and suddenly repetitive regularity is no longer guaranteed, as if the season’s end may be its last.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job duties, the medical condition itself may be likened to the season’s end.
Fortunately, there is the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement, however, and that may, as well, be likened to the repetitive regularity of a season’s end – only, it is the onset of the “next season”, and that is some comfort upon which to take refuge, like the flock of geese that fly south for the warmer climate of tomorrow.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire