It is always interesting how words expand over time, and how conceptual constructs and meanings extend beyond the elasticity of roots and origins, like the rubber band which can be stretched further than the critical juncture of the snapping limits. Reference to the “weekend warrior” was once limited to the military reservist who — during the week, a mere civilian like the rest of us — on weekends would don a uniform and act like a career soldier.
Somehow, the delimited conceptual construct extended to non-military personnel, as in: Anyone who engages in some form of strenuous exercise or activity, then beyond that to: Everyone who does anything of any nature on weekends different from the rest of the week.
Perhaps a decade or so ago, if a person referred to someone else as a “Weekend Warrior”, it was meant and understood that such a person was a military reservist who went away on weekends to fulfill his military commitments. Then, perhaps more recently, such a reference was presumed by many that, well, X played softball or climbed mountains, or rode a bicycle beyond a leisure activity until, today, it might mean that X considers himself a Weekend Warrior if he gets up off the couch to go down to McDonald’s for a milkshake.
The problem with the malleability of words is that, once they get beyond the origin of their roots, not only does meaning expand, but they also lose much of their meaningfulness. For, the Weekend Warrior now refers to the Federal or Postal employee who struggles every weekend to just get enough rest in order to make it back to work on Monday. The sadness of such a state is that such a struggle deflates not the meaning of the word, but of the meaningfulness of work and life itself.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must become Weekend Warriors by simply resting up in order to maintain one’s health in order to struggle back to work during the week, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.
Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider what the true meaning is as to what it should mean: Of a Weekend Warrior who can once again use the weekends for its intended purpose: Of a Warrior on Weekends, and not to recuperate from weak ends.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire