At what point does the transference occur? Minor pleasures are those interludes in life that make for everything to become, and remain, worthwhile; sometimes, because of various tumults in our lives, the designation of “minor” becomes altered, and becomes “major” – like the dream fulfilled of that kid who toiled in the minor leagues for so many years and finally got his big break by being called up to the majors.
Is such an indication of a metamorphosis a harbinger of something else? If the minor pleasures of life – coffee with a piece of chocolate; reading a favorite book; a swim in the ocean; an early morning walk (or run) with the dog; or even a weekend, afternoon nap – are suddenly taken away, what (major) consequences would accrue? Does subtraction of it, or negation of the enjoyment, determine the substantive input and extent of the designation?
If it is missed to the point where it makes you miserable, does it indicate that it was never “minor” to begin with, but of major proportions all along, but you just didn’t realize it?
How about its opposite – a “minor irritant” – does that possess a meaning encompassing a parallel but corollary effect? What if your “significant other” engaged daily in a habit that irritated you, but in a minor way – you know, those things that, when you were dating (or, to show your age, applying the anachronistic terminology of “courting”) or just hanging out together until you both decided to make the arrangement permanent, it all seemed “cute” and attractive, but now is a bothersome dig, but not enough to engage a war over – like blowing one’s nose loudly in public, or picking one’s toenails and leaving the remains on the bathroom floor; or leaving a door unlocked, etc.
At what point does a “minor” irritant become a major one? When you get into a fight and you point out the laundry list of such irritants?
But take it in another sense – all of a sudden, that significant other dies or departs, and you realize that all of those irritants are suddenly missed, and you actually wish that you were tormented by them, because they amount to minor pleasures that awaken the dull sensibilities of life’s monotony.
Medical conditions can be like that – like a minor irritant that becomes a major complaint. Or, the absence thereof can be the minor pleasure, where you remember that once, not so long ago, you were fit and healthy, and just the mere fact of a medical condition’s absence is a minor pleasure in life.
For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from 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 Federal or Postal job, the question is, What is the point of life’s minor pleasures? Is it to make everything else tolerable, or to be enjoyed regardless?
Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application is often not just a necessity, but a path towards regaining a sense of balance – of asserting those minor pleasures in life that have been erased and eradicated because of the constant harassment at work and the hostility that kills all joy.
Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is just the first step in the long road towards getting an approval from OPM. But it is a worthwhile step, especially if the goal of life itself is to enjoy those minor pleasures of living – like attending to one’s health as a priority in order to once again relish those minor pleasures.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire