The various components of our lives reveal the type of species we are, and the reflected anthropomorphism that parallels cannot be avoided. Is the clutter in our life an expression of functionality or of an ostentatious display to stand out and apart?
The car we choose to drive; the clothes we wear; the expressions we adopt, undertake and use with aplomb like so many water balloons thrown from around the corner in anonymous chuckles once the projected implements explode upon the shameless lives of unexpected strangers.
What do we place upon the shelves that line the walls of our own personalities? The shelf is a strange contraption of human invention; what other animal or species of alien origins has invented such a thing?
It serves a purpose both of functionality, practicality in storing effects, and at the same time, satisfying a human need to display and present to any who visit and succumb to the curiosity of watchful eyes. Or, is it to store and forget? Where the shelf is placed is telling; is it in the basement where relics are stored, or out in the living room against the wall, or the foyer, the recreational room?
What do we place on the shelf — photographs, and if the photograph lies face down, does it mean that those who posed for it are now in disfavor and no longer merit the studious appreciation of all who visit?
Is the shelf lined with books, and are they in alphabetical order, or in some semblance of genre-driven or other means of clean and logical categorization? Are they first editions, signed, hardback or paperback, or just a bunch of books bought at a used book store to impress any who might peruse the shelves of you?
And what of our “mental shelves” — what do we line upon them, what storehouses and warehouse are collected in dusty bins and small knickknacks that clutter the inner thoughts of our lives? Have we placed certain memories upon “the shelf” and forgotten about them? Or do we reach for them when we are lonely, abandoned and left to our own devices? Have we come to a point where we consider our own lives to be “shelved”? Or, do we submit quietly as others have determined to “shelve” our own careers as we sit quietly upon the shelf of living and wait for the dust to collect?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where one’s career has been placed on a metaphorical shelf — one where you are now relegated as a nonentity and barely recognized, much less acknowledged to even exist — it may be time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
Agencies and the Postal Service tend to do that to their fellow human beings — of treating them as mere displays upon the shelf otherwise placed in a corner or down within the basement, and often, it is the medical condition and the loss of productivity or efficiency that determines the order of where you are placed on the shelf.
Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application can take your off of that shelved status, and return you back to the world of the living, where dust and detritus may not be the order for the day; at least, not yet.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire