Perhaps it is not merely an arbitrary demarcation, after all. It is around the time when the winter solstice reaches its pinnacle, and the days become lengthier, the nights shorter. The year following – the “new” year – begins its ascendancy, leaving behind the frigid desolation yet to endure.
And the excesses of behavior – of drinking, celebration and abandonment of all societal decorum and convention? It is a way of expiating the pent-up constraints of self-discipline and customary resolve; a way to release the energy of social boundaries for a few hours, a fortnight, and a morning after without regret or remorse.
It is often said that, in psychology and therapeutic intervention, the “aha” moment of gestalt realization is less important than the long and enduring struggles which must be faced immediately thereafter. We often put too much emphasis and relevance upon that proverbial encounter on the road to Damascus, when in fact it is the long and arduous path that follows which will determine the success or failure of one’s life.
Marking a moment in time as the “cut-off” point of a new beginning may be convenience for multi-variegated purposes; in the world of objective reality, however, the artificial lines will only serve us so far.
This new year will bring out contradictory perspectives; some, as often as not, will predict doom and the soothsayer’s gloom; others, in herds of blind followings, will enter the dawn with hopes unvanquished and dreams yet to be realized. The rest of us, as always, will have to plod along and live our lives.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must contend with 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 job, the artificial demarcation of “before” and “after”, and the insertion of the increase in the last digit from a 6 to a 7, will be marking an unnoticed blip in time. That’s the thing about medical conditions; they cross cultures, time and even years.
When the medical condition becomes magnified to a point in 2017 where essential elements of the Federal or Postal job one is working in becomes impeded or otherwise unable to be performed, then the significance of the contrast as against the previous year becomes unmistakable, and the Federal or Postal employee may want to consider preparing, formulating and filing 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.
In the end, the “New” year is likely like the old one, and the one before that; only, our bodies deteriorate over time, and the uncaring behemoth of the federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service may only become exponentially worsened.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire