|My father, Byrl Thornton Jenkins on his 90th birthday. October 5, 1999|
Or, are you retired? Or, you’re retired, aren’t you? Or, when do you plan to retire?
These are various forms of the question I'm asked frequently as people note my apparent age. The answer to all is no. I haven’t retired, I’m not retired, and I have no plans to retire.
One of the conscious factors in my mind when I chose my profession was that I wanted a career that no one could make me retire from. If I had spent my life working in some other field I might be interested in retiring, but I’ve spent my life doing something I love. Why would I want to retire from that? I’m a photographer. I can still photograph. I’m a writer. I can still write.
I no longer solicit commercial or architectural photography, but occasionally someone offers me a job and I take it. I no longer book weddings on my own, but have kept my hand in the game as a second-shooter for an Atlanta photographer since 2013 and hope to photograph many more with her.
Meanwhile, there are books to be created. There are articles to be written and illustrated. There are a myriad fascinating things to see and do. There are places to go where I haven’t yet been, plus many more I would love to revisit.
|One of the Lost Barns of Rock City. Probably my next book.|
I’ve taken note of the statistic: everyone who retires dies. And often sooner than he should have. My philosophy is this: Think young. Thinking old will kill you.
My father, an electronics technician, Bible scholar, part-time pastor of small churches, avid photographer, and father of seven children, passed away at the age of 90. He was always active, always pursuing all kinds of knowledge, always looking ahead to the next thing, even after a serious health condition laid him low when he was 89. The last day we spent together, in January, 2000, just a month before he died, we spent the day shopping, even though we had to find a restroom about every hour because of the persistent diarrhea that weakened his heart and finally killed him. But what were we shopping for? A computer system, so he could go online to sell his antiques. He never gave up.
My goal in life is to emulate my father’s faith, courage, and perseverance. So no. I haven't retired and I have no plans to do so.
Blog Note: I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at alifeinphotography.blogspot.com. I'm trying to build up my readership, so if you're reading this on Facebook and like what you read, would you please consider sharing my posts?
(Photographs copyright David B. Jenkins 2020)
Soli Gloria Deo
To the glory of God alone