The phrase can have multiple meanings. It can mean, for example, that an individual is engaging in the act of defining a particular moment, or a series of moments — say, for purposes of writing a novel, or to make sure that he or she memorializes the moment in his thought processes for future reference.
Thus, in being introduced to someone and engaging in a conversation, someone might be asked, “So what do you think of so-and-so”, and as you struggle to define the moment, you might use various adjectives to describe the encounter. In such an instance, the person doing the defining might recognize what he is doing, and mutter to himself, “Let me define this moment.”
Or, the phrase, “Defining Moments” might be applied in a more “objective sense” — that an event, an occurrence or some mishap was one of the “defining moments” of one’s life, meaning thereby, that the event had some profound impact upon one’s character, existence or approach to future actions.
Thus, an individual who once was a workaholic but had a near-death experience, who then gave up his career and became a lowly clerk in order to radically alter his lifestyle, might say of that experience that it was a “defining moment”. The phrase itself can therefore be seen as either an “internal” event or an “external” one or, to put it another way, a “subjective event” or an “objective” one.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where that medical condition must lead to a change of careers and thus the proper and effective preparation of an FERS Disability Retirement application must be initiated, the term “Defining Moment” can be applied in both senses of the phrase.
For, the medical condition itself is a defining moment (in the objective, external sense), and the initiating of a Federal Disability Retirement application is also defining the moment — in the sense that the Federal or Postal employee who recognizes the need to make a change by preparing, formulating and filing an effective FERS Disability Application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, has recognized the need to define the moment (internal, “subjective” thought process) in order to be able to focus upon the priority of one’s health.
In either phraseology-usage, it may also be a defining moment to contact a Federal or Postal Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the defining moment of a denial from OPM makes for a further definition of the defining moment: Of a legal fight against a bureaucracy that often represents the battle between David and Goliath.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.