There are countless titles of books which predicate upon the presumptuous endeavor; palm readers who, for a prepaid fee, make their living from it; and wanderers who trek the Himalayas in search of it. Others merely change the definition or meaning of what constitutes the achieved goal, or drink themselves silly when self-deception fails to fulfill.
The problem with happiness is that it was once a byproduct of our lives; when it became the end-goal, the very nature and essence of it became unachievable. It is when a singular focus upon an effect becomes the sighted destination to reach, that the frustration of unrealistic expectations come to the fore, and dismay and doubt of self becomes the mainstay. Happiness was never meant to be a constancy of one’s trophied achievement; rather, it is a secondary effect as the residual of an accomplished life. Frustration thus dawns upon us because the fleeting aspect of its very nature is never within one’s control.
For the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from an ongoing medical condition, such frustration of purpose is self-evident on a daily basis, especially when one plays the never-ending game of, “If only X…” For, the contingent precedent is never within the grasp or control of the injured Federal or Postal Worker, or one who is beset with progressively debilitating medical conditions. Federal Agencies and the U.S. Postal Service make it their job to obfuscate, place obstacles, and ensure the daily denial of accommodations, and flout their open disregard of the laws and protections allegedly designed for Federal and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition.
Often, in life, there are limited choices; but the options we choose are the known pathways to happiness. Loss of it, or the denial of the effect, comes about when we rely upon those things which are beyond our control, and expect others to “do the right thing“.
For the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who suffers 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 positional duties, the key to happiness is to take affirmative steps in taking charge of one’s own life. Beginning the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is a pragmatic step which one can actually quantify with respect to the progress made towards a goal defined.
Purchasing another book with the word “happiness” in it will be to waste another dollar; identifying those issues within the purview and control of one’s destiny is a greater investment in achieving a realistic goal defined, so that one day, when the whispers of past days of dark and dismal hauntings are remembered from a place afar, the vestiges of unhappiness will merely be a faint echo in the peaceful slumber of one’s joyous summers yet to be dreamed.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire