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40 Over 40 Project:

Celebrating women whose power, beauty, strength, grace, and spirit do not diminish with age.

 

I have photographed, profiled and celebrated 40 women over the age of 40.

WHY 40 OVER 40?

I have been witness to the strength and resilience of all kinds of women in my life but the stories that get to my heart the most often, are the ones of women that society used to label as “past their prime”.

What gives me hope for the future is that I have met woman after woman that have said HELL YES! Women that refuse to be labelled or diminished, are now stepping into their own power. Personally, I feel like I am only beginning to hit my stride. Now I feel called to give a platform to 40 of these women. I want them to be seen, celebrated and have a platform to use their voice to call out to us. I want women all over to hear their stories and be inspired. Will you join me on this journey?

I would like you to meet the UNSTOPPABLE

LORI SWEENEY

I have known Lori for years. Our sons played hockey together when they were little. But I didn’t really get to KNOW Lori until she applied to be a part of this project. I always knew her to be a positive force, an amazing mother and a great friend in her circle, but I also learned that she is fierce, driven, a risk taker and clearly unstoppable. I think after you read what she shares, you will completely agree.

Anita Watkins

Lori Sweeney's Portrait in Anita Watkins Photography Studio.

Lori Sweeney’s Portrait taken at Anita Watkin’s Studio in London, Ontario. 

What is the one piece of advice you would give your 20 something self? 

Wear sunscreen! 🙂 

Be brave – you are smarter than you give yourself credit for.

Don’t worry too much about things you can’t control – it’s amazing how often things work out for the best in the end, so trust in that.

Be grateful for what you have – really focusing on this is a key ingredient to happiness

Be grateful for what you have - really focusing on this is a key ingredient to happiness

After hitting snooze at least 3 times, I definitely need a cup of coffee and then I'm up and at 'em!

What gets you up in the morning?

After hitting snooze at least 3 times, I definitely need a cup of coffee and then i’m up and at ’em! I do like getting an early start to the day but actually getting up is often a struggle.  

I’ve been married for 25 years and have 2 sons who are 19 and 21. I am also an accountant and co-own and manage an AirBnB with my husband and another couple who are good friends. It’s been a surprising passion project! Just what we needed as new empty nesters coming out of the pandemic.

When in your life, so far, have you felt most confident and why?

Now! I am not exactly sure why that is. I guess it’s experience. It’s having some parts of my life in the rearview mirror and knowing that they turned out just fine. For example, it was always extremely important to me to be a good mom, and of course, it still is!

But now my boys are just old enough that I know they turned out just fine. They are adulting on their own for much of the time, being away at school. They are happy and healthy and I am very proud of them. So I guess I feel like “mission accomplished”! There is a certain confidence in that. 

I also don’t care as much about what people might think of me or my choices. I do what makes me happy.

Now! I am not exactly sure why that is. I guess it's experience.

I feel beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and confidence and wisdom truly defines how our perfect imperfections make us most attractive, always.

Have your perceptions of what being “attractive” means changed over time?

I feel more attractive now than I did in my 30’s. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. Attractive now means confidence, experience and ease. And it helps that I found a fantastic hair dresser in my 40’s! 🙂

Are there any myths you would like to bust about being a woman over 40? If so, can you tell us about them?

I can remember thinking that when I reached 40, my life experiences would slow down for some reason. That all the good stuff happened in your 20’s and 30’s.

While it’s true that a lot of “firsts” happen earlier in life (marriage, kids, etc), there are LOTS of new things to try at 40 and beyond. I have had lots of “firsts” since turning 40. I played soccer for the first time at 40 and met some lovely women!

I learned to surf at 42, got my boating license at 45, a tattoo at 47 and I took up tennis at 48 and played in my first tennis tournament at 50. I quit a job that I didn’t like at 39, found one much more suited to me at 40 and I’m still there. It was a scary move, but the best thing I could have done. 

Don’t ever think life stalls at 40, or that you’re “stuck”. It’s never too late to change or learn new things. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

Don't ever think life stalls at 40, or that you're "stuck"

Do you want to learn more about working with Anita?

Portrait Photographer in London, Ontario

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