The retrospective is engagement of looking back — of recounting memories or dealing with nightmares. Human beings live in a state of constant turmoil based upon the past, the present and the future. To be stuck in the past prevents the needed attendance to daily living; to disregard the past and merely live for “the moment”, is to repeat history’s mistakes and foibles; and to only live by greater angst for the future steals from experiencing the joy of today.
The retrospective is always a part of each of us; as we grow older, we tend to relate to things which have impacted us from the past; and so, to that extent, the retrospective is a necessary and natural, material part of our lives. The key, however, is to resist the temptation of allowing the retrospective to dominate our lives as we grow older.
There is a natural inclination — a deliciousness, if you will — in letting the retrospective rule; for, whether of a trauma or of joyful memories, the retrospective as something which has already passed, is passive by definition and can no longer actively harm us. Furthermore, it is important to have an objective, true view of the past, and not allow our imagination to warp or otherwise overstate the experiences of the past.
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 current job, it is important to provide a concise retrospective of one’s medical condition, but more importantly, to delineate the current impact.
As always, a balance must be achieved — of how the past is relevant; how the present is impacted; and in a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — how the medical condition will last a minimum of 12 months.
Thus, as with most concerns of life, the retrospective must be put in its proper perspective and context — of how far back; of how much; of what relevance; and it is in this balance of life that the retrospective can be invaluable in its present significance.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.