Why do we have angst over the nonexistent, the unknown, the yet-to-become, while concurrently failing to appreciate the concrete, that which is realized and the presence of those whom we declare to love, is before us and has stood by for all these years? What is it about the future participle of life that haunts us?
It is Kierkegaard who gave us an insight and understanding into the anxiety that humans throughout history have felt, of this life of striving for happiness, yet never to be realized because of an inner sanctum of unease and joyless emptiness. It is like the party never thrown; no one was invited, or no one cared to show up; in the end, whether thrown or no one came, it all amounts to the same thing. That is the conceptual construct which Kierkegaard posited, for all doubters to latch onto: The either/or of life, of that leap of faith into the unknown, in order to fill that nothingness and abyss of life’s mysteries.
We feel cheated, empty, withdrawn behind a curtain of unknown and unknowable puzzles, and left to die in the emptiness of an unforgiving universe. Misery, unhappiness, disappointment, illness, chronic pain, and finally death; is this the best that the gods could do?
The party never thrown is not unlike the one where, you are told of it but uninvited; or, invited, you arrive and find that the host had misinformed you, and the guests had already arrived, had a good time and left, and you have entered into the used bits of paraphernalia, half-eaten plates of crusted and stale cake, and ice cubes still melting in the swirl of activities you can now imagine and picture – without you in it. Then, to add insult to injury, you are asked if you could help clean up the mess, and perhaps as a consolation, you could have a leftover piece of pie?
The party never thrown is the one you will never experience, and yet you worry with the angst of having never been invited, never been considered, for that which is nonexistent and without a future of foretold happiness.
For the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a chronic, progressively deteriorating medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates the preparation, formulation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the feeling that one is about to leave the Federal workforce or the Postal facility just when there is a party to be thrown, is an understandable abyss of a feeling experienced, a sensation touched upon and an angst still to be faced.
But know that the party never thrown is a mere nothingness, like the man who falls asleep, dreams of a butterfly that awakens thinking that the butterfly dreams of a man who fell asleep, awakens and wonders if it is the butterfly or the man who is dreaming at all.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire