As children, many are taught that life’s promise is unlimited in potentiality, full in its discourse of uncharted waters, and expansive in its promise for tomorrow. Somewhere, in middle-to-late years, we begin to have a somewhat more “balanced” view: not of fullness merely painted with hope and promise, but with graffiti unasked for, undesired and unwanted: the perverse side of fullness.
Life can indeed contain and present a “full plate” (as metaphors go), but the question then becomes: What is on that plate? When a potluck dinner is coordinated, there is an interesting phenomenon that occurs, where judgments are fairly quickly made by the systematic depletion of certain foods, and the untouched portions carefully avoided. Anonymity is crucial to the success of the endeavor itself, but defensiveness is easily assuaged by the general rules of etiquette when asked and confronted: “Oh, I plan on getting seconds” or, “My plate is too small to get everything the first round!”
Excepting social pressures and avoiding hurt feelings, we all tend to gravitate towards that which we desire; yet, we also put on our plates the food items that “balance” the diet – with knowledge and admonitions that certain foods are “healthy” for us, while avoiding those that we have specific allergic reactions to, or otherwise leave us with uncomfortable residual gastronomic pains.
Every now and again, of course, we take on too much – or, as the saying goes and the wisdom that we impart to our children, “My eyes are too big for my stomach”. It is then that we surreptitiously look for the hidden garbage bin, and infelicitously dump the “leftovers” beneath the mountain of other paper plates, and quickly scurry away from the scene of the crime committed. Yet, why we fret over an infraction of taking on too much, is often a mystery; is it because waste balanced by greedy overreach combines to reveal a character flaw? Or is it much simpler than that – that we are often too hard on ourselves? Taking on “too much” is not a crime; it is simply an anomaly in the general dictum of life’s perverse fullness.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who are at a critical juncture where filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits – whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset – becomes a necessity, it is often the case that one’s “life-plate” has become overburdened: work, career, personal obligations, medical conditions, effects of surgery, etc. – the balance can no loner be maintained. Something has to “give”, and whatever that “something” is, it usually ends up further impacting one’s health.
Filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits should not be forever stuck on the “pause” button; the longer it stays in a rut, the greater opportunity for deterioration and detriment to one’s health. We often wait until it is almost “too late”; but just remember that, where life’s perverse fullness includes one’s deteriorating health, it is never a good thing to leave that which is most important, untouched – one’s health. And, as Federal Disability Retirement is a means to allowing for one’s health to improve so that, perhaps, one day, a second career, vocation, or further productivity can be achieved, so preparing 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, is often the portion of the potluck meal that requires first attention.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire