Few of us want to think of ourselves as past that point. For, the “apex” is the top of it all; it is the place which is reached, and then there follows a downward trajectory such that what had been reached cannot be repeated; and from there forward, there are only memories, regrets, and echoes of past glories stated in hollow monotones that betray and failures of lives lived.
Mountain climbers persist in reaching new ones; it is the ever-pervasive “high” of the challenge faced, to be able to conquer new heights and reach for cliff faces never before overcome. To try and reach the apex is to constantly grow; to have reached the apex, a completed task; and to have gone beyond the apex — the direction can only be of degradation in comparison to what was before.
We — none of us — want to think of our lives as in the past, or of slow and steady deterioration. While our bodies become decrepit, we cling to an image of ourselves as being…25, 30, perhaps a little older? Or even of immortality do we embrace; and of trading in secret pacts in order to retain our youth. Medical conditions tend to be reminders that the apex has been reached and we are on a journey beyond — though we often fail to realize that the “beyond” can be just as rewarding as the climb before.
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, it will often “feel” as if such a move means that you are now beyond the apex — a “has been”, a “failure”, a person who is no longer a member of “the team”, etc.
Yet — though your Federal career or Postal job may become something in the past, beyond the apex should be seen not as the end of something, but the beginning of the next phase of your life. Yes, beyond the apex is often a frightening thought, but it is also an opportunity to refocus and reorient your life upon the priorities that matter: Health, relationships, and what all of those politicians say when they leave office: In order to spend more time with my family.