We tend to believe that life must travel along a linear path of consistent activity. Perhaps such a belief system is derived from the Western philosophical tradition of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, which first proposed the conceptual universe of things moving from states of potentiality to actuality, and where the unmoved mover attracted all physical substances to its presence.
But life rarely unfolds as planned; and instead, a retrospective view of most lives reveals one of missteps, pauses, turns of trepidation and wrong and directionless travels to dead ends and strange neighborhoods.
We like sitting and watching movies and shows which are well-directed, with a thematic coherence and a nicely packaged beginning, middle and end. But what of our own lives? Who directs it, and what thematic presence dominates the cogency of one’s own existence? The difference between such fictional production and “real life”, of course, is that the former is created through artificial control of what happens and who enters each scene; in the latter, there can never be total control, as interaction with a chaotic and vibrant world cannot ultimately be refuted.
We try, of course, by remaining within the cocoons of our own making; by following a well-established daily routine, and never diverging from the treadmill of daily living. But then, those unexpected and unwanted anomalies of life intrude, such as a medical condition.
For Federal and Postal employees who find that a medical condition impacts the ability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s livelihood, the option of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits will often be the only alternative left in order to remain on some semblance of a coherent, linear path of life. It is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal employees, whether under FERS or CSRS, and must ultimately be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
To be a movie director is one thing; the more important role is to have some authority in directing one’s own life, and that is by far the more difficult job in maintaining a thematic cogency in this universal chasm of chaos.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire