It all depends upon one’s perspective, doesn’t it? For some, watching television is time wasted; for others, reading a novel, and even within that subset of opinions and viewpoints, it often depends upon “what” you are reading before the hammer of judgement is struck: If a beach-time novel, then it is a waste of time; if a classic, then you are utilizing your time wisely.
But what if you are, in fact, sitting on the beach enjoying the lazy lapping of waves, and merely want to get lost in the fantasy of a junk novel — isn’t relaxation a good use of one’s time? When does “constructive” relaxation turn into time wasted — i.e., laziness? Is it when the bare necessities of life are no longer attended to?
Of that proverbial brother in-law or other distant relation who is whispered about, who barely holds on to a job, is found spending more time at the corner pub than attending to one’s kids, or the one who constantly oversleeps, overstays his welcome or overstates his woes — is it just a guy who likes to relax, or is he a lazy bum?
Is there a mathematical formula in determining when time is well spent doing nothing, or is wasted? Sort of like: Time multiplied by the extent of bare necessities required divided by the extent of need, minus particular circumstances that must be taken into account factored by 3.
Can a lifetime be wasted, and if so, what would be the criteria to be applied or imposed? A wealthy person might contend: We have about 60 years or so to make our fortunes, and if a person has not done so within that timeframe, it is a lifetime wasted. Some others might counter with: Amassing wealth is not the sole criteria of a worthwhile life; the fostering of human relationships, of making someone else more comfortable, or of even granting a dog some happiness, is what makes this life a worthy one.
Does a medical condition bring about a differing perspective? For the wealthy person who makes enemies throughout and angers almost everyone with his or her single-minded focus while disregarding the feelings of all else, but who suddenly is hit with deteriorating health — does time take on a different meaning?
For Federal employees and Postal Service workers who suffer from a health condition, where the health condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from carrying out one or more of the basic elements of one’s job — is time being wasted by the struggle itself? Does it appear that everything is an uphill struggle: of juggling doctor’s appointments, work, family obligations, etc.?
Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may not be the best solution of all, but it may be the most prudent one, as time is not a friend to be wasted when it comes to one’s health and future security.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire