Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Being “somebody”

Such a phrase cannot pass by without a reference – whether directly or by innuendo – to that famous scene in, On the Waterfront, when Marlon Brando, playing Terry, tells his brother, “I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am…” “Being” somebody presupposes certain antecedents that need to be explicated, like the archaeologist who carefully brushes away the soil and debris concealing the prize of ancient artifacts, lest the unveiled site remains hidden in the mystery troves of undiscovered histories. To begin with, it establishes a sense of existence, [….] Read More …

OPM Disability Retirement: Fairytales, mythologies and lies

They all constitute the arena of “make-believe”. Yet, we excuse the first, ignore the second, and feel guilt and shame for embracing the third – or, at least some of us, do. Of fairytales, we share in the delight of passing on such tall tales of wonderlands and Eskimo nights full of shooting stars and talking Polar Bears; of mythologies, we recognize the need for lost civilizations to have embraced a means of explaining, but consider such trifles to be beyond the sophistication of modernity, and arrogantly dismiss such dusty irrelevancies as mere fodder for a fairytale told: […] Read More …

Medical Retirement from OPM: Dreams, daydreams and nightmares

Of the first in this triplet trope, the concept can envision two distinct avenues: in a state of somnolence, to have them with minimal control of appearance; or, in another sense, to possess aspirations beyond one’s station in life or current circumstances that may impute dissatisfaction. The second in the series is somewhat connected to the second concept branching from the first; it is a moment of reflective escape, where the reality of “now” and the encounter with Being is temporarily averted and subsumed in a meditative silence of self-repose. […] Read More …

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Fodder for our own folly

We often collect that which we know we need not; and of fodder for other’s play, who but the foolish gather the refuse of one’s own folly? Why does youth engage in a greater percentage of folly, and why do old men insist upon driving uncomfortable cars which make them look foolish once they park and struggle to get out from a position of near-supine discomfort so debilitating that you can almost see the decrepit arches of an arthritic back? Foolishness, of course, is not the reserve of the young only, as middle-aged men with youthful grins and old men with conniving friends whose sole purpose in remaining a soul-mate is contingent upon peeking at the bank account of retirees, reveal and manifest daily. […] Read More …

Federal Gov. Disability Retirement: Of dreamers and doers

There is a time for dreaming; of mental wanderings into wafting willows of soft surfs, where the ebb and flow of moonlit sparkles in the quietude of motionless tranquility pervades like the morning mist in weightless calm. But in a world where action, doing, accomplishment and “getting ahead” constitutes the springboard of recognition and rewards, the temperament of timeless thinking rarely is allowed, and with grim furrows of brows judging with severe penetration of unforgiving eyes, the dreamers of the world survive at the behest of small windows of tolerance. […] Read More …

OPM Disability Retirement: Another Test

Peel an orange, and you have the fruit; skin a nut, and the unmasked food is revealed; but how does one get to the essence of a person? Schools do it repetitively; job interviews count on it; security clearances rely upon it. Life is one set of tests after another; and whether through formalized questions designed to reveal the extent of rote knowledge, or of more subtle encounters to discover one’s character, the attempt to unravel the essence of an individual comes in many forms, in multitudinous appearances, and in engagements which never fully define the person tested. […] Read More …

OPM Medical Retirement: On the spectrum between fear and overconfidence

The “what ifs” of life tend to predominate; then, from the deep recesses of brute carnality, where evolutionary Darwinism remains wired in the DNA of a time when civilizations were yet to flourish, and where tea cups were merely in the imaginations of more genteel souls, a sense of uprightness, fortitude and strength of inner character dawns, and we walk out the door refreshed with a sense of deliberative purpose. But it turns out that such fleeting flourishes of fortuitous firmness lasts but for a twilight, and then we desire to crawl back into the womb of our former skeletal selves. […] Read More …

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Cherishing those small pleasures of life

Perhaps it is reading quietly by a crackling fireside; or playing fetch with the dog; or that moment of peaceful quietude just before sleep overwhelms; those moments, where worries of the world and daily living expenses intrude not, and time remains frozen just long enough to allow for an interlude of soundless music. There have always been pleasures in life; we often overlook them, take them for granted, or merely avoid recognition, lest an identification of it as such would mark them for extinguishment by those imaginary goblins of demonic demolition set out to destroy all remaining vestiges and residues of joy and comfort. […] Read More …

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: Leaving without a Blip

Remember those old films, of silence, submarines and sonars (an acronym we have forgotten from the combination of terms, SOund, Navigation And Radar)? There were those tense moments of complete silence, where heartbeats and perspiration could be palpably heard when life and death depended upon it, and the moment when someone coughed or dropped an object at the crucial moment; then, the sudden entrance of old Navy footage of depth charges being flung like spitballs from a rubber band, splashing into the ocean, then the angst of awaiting the slow sinking until the violent detonation of that camera-shaking explosion. […] Read More …