Tag Archives: preserving your imagination

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement Law: The Carousels of Summer

The mounts littered throughout the roundabout can be diverse and captivating; in the swirl of the rotating platform, the child in us wants to sit upon every creature, from unicorns to zebras, the traditional horse and the mythological creatures of one’s limitless imagination.

As we grow older, we come to realize that the spinning sensation itself remains static; the difference between climbing into the bosom of one creature as opposed to another, is indistinct and ultimately irrelevant; when one’s childlike imagination and excitement wrought in ignorance of the cruel world becomes extinguished, the fun of being naive and clueless is no longer an option.  Cynicism comes with maturity; the older we get, the less likely are we to allow ourselves to travel into the realm of the unreal.  Life tends to do that to us.

The road of hard knocks is littered with tales of turmoil and turbulence; storms come and go, and while the devastation left behind can be somewhat repaired, the psyche and soul of damaged people can rarely be glued back together, as fragile porcelain leaving behind fissures wide and gaping as the childlike wonderment we once knew.

Federal and Postal employees know the experiences of life:  the internal battles, the power struggles and the herd-like mentality of agencies and departments.  Then, when a medical condition hits, and the Federal or Postal employee is no longer the golden-boy of past cliques, one is cast aside like the child who is left outside of the teams picked in linear sequence, until the silence of being ignored becomes a reality as shame and embarrassment shouts in muted suffering.  Sometimes, the wisest move is to move on.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is the best and only option remaining.  To attempt to stay is like the biblical admonition of “kicking against the goads“; to walk away and do nothing is merely to spite one’s self; and so the Federal or Postal employee who has a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, should always opt for the best remaining alternative.

To prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is ultimately not an admission of defeat.  Rather, it is to enliven that imagination once grasped, but since forgotten; of the child who discovered that changing from the seat of a dragon on a carousel to the bosom of a resplendent unicorn makes all the difference not in the change itself, but within the comfort of the limitless imagination of one’s mind.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


The Jewel of One's Imagination

      We all reserve it; it is there in the collected recesses for our solitary solace, to be taken out in emergencies, in times of downtrodden moodiness or imposed, deafening thoughtfulness; when the technological busy-ness of the world implodes and stirs the angst of our essence.  It comes in different forms: “One day…”, “We can always…”, “If all else fails…”   It may be an abandoned hotel on the roadside where we vacation.  Or, perhaps it is an old penny, discolored and with the date faded, kept in a box under the bed.  A painting by an unknown artist, of unknown origin, and undated.  But those chains which we cannot see engulf us, and from the incessant warnings of naysayers of what we cannot do, as heavy burdens delimiting the universe of our imaginations, yet we perpetually leave behind the fine imprimatur of our youthful mind-flings.  For, were it not that we reserved a crumb of insanity, we would indeed find that our sanity was unbearable; and were it not that we asserted our sanity, but for the insanity of our imaginations.  But as time goes on, and old age and infirmity overwhelms us, the old abandoned hotel on the roadside decays into beetle dust and throngs of invisible termites.  One day the roof collapses.  The neon sign which flickered a hopeful glare in the reflection of the evening sun, now stands with rusted background.  The once grand ballroom has been flooded over time, and when the reality of devastation overwhelms even the imagination, then dreams die, imaginations fade, and the human soul withers. 

     “Harry, my dear, should we have that penny appraised?”

     “Never, my dear, for one day we may decide to sell it and retire into the sunset.”

     Poor Maybelle.  She had such a look of puzzlement.  “But we’re retired, now…”

     Harry gave a sly smile; a knowing look, a mischievous glint of youthful pleasure.  “Never in our hearts, my love…never in our hearts.”

     And so the penny must never pass beyond the test of imagination.  And that abandoned hotel on the roadside?  It is the fodder by which dreams are made of – to restore it one day, to bring it back to the days of ballroom dancing.  Should one ever approach a banker with a business plan?  Never!  Not if you want your dreams to be squashed, rattled, crumpled and discarded.

     And that painting hanging in the den – the one which has evoked curiosity, conversation, and child-like awe.  Perhaps it was Picasso; or the granddaughter of your good friend.  No matter; it is what dreams are made of.

     Let not the human soul wither.  Safeguard the jewel of one’s imagination.