It is the “high” of reaching it and the satisfaction of proceeding down and away. The ascent is focused upon attaining a goal; the descent, a time of reflection in the satisfaction of knowing that the goal has been achieved. What next? That is what the challenge is, isn’t it? Of knowing what to do next after something has been achieved and accomplished?
There are, of course, “voluntary” goals achieved, and those that are placed before us as obstacles through no choice of our own; of mountain climbers who search for the impossible — like the North Face of the Eiger where the tombs of countless attempts whisper in the arctic winds of time; or of Everest, where the icicles of history betray the foolishness of human attempts at immortality. Then, there are obstacles that one must bear because of accidents or nature’s imperfection — of a condition one is born with, or one gets later in life.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the ascent to achieve has already been surpassed — you need no longer “prove” yourself; it is the fear of the descent that makes you pause.
Perhaps you do not see the descent as a challenge, but more of an obstacle. Yet, obstacles present a challenge, as well, and the medical condition itself is one such challenge. What would you say about the mountain climber who was concurrently playing a video game on his or her Smart Phone? Or reading a book on Kindle while trying to conquer Everest? “Foolhardy” would come to mind; “Not focused” upon the task, would be another.
So it is with the Federal or Postal employee who continues to try and struggle with the medical condition while concurrently trying to work; and that is what a FERS Disability Retirement allows for — an annuity which then gives the opportunity to focus upon one’s health instead of always being distracted by the demands of work. The ascent has already been achieved; filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is the descent afterwards, in order to focus upon one’s health and well-being.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire