Kristin Keck

Age 49

My favorite thing about being a woman over 40 is that I’ve finally let go of my pursuit of perfection. Rather than focusing on what I could do or how I could be better, I choose to focus on finding happiness and fulfillment in the moment. That’s not to say I’ve given up on improvement altogether – it’s still important to have goals – I’ve just chosen to prioritize those things that are worth my energy and to let go of those that aren’t.

As someone who has always been very uncomfortable with change, I’ve decided to lean into the discomfort and push myself to try new things – even if (maybe especially if) they scare me – and that feels extraordinary. In addition to this photo shoot (which excited and terrified me at the same time), in the last few years, I’ve trained for and completed a 26.3 mile charity hike, taught myself to knit, and jumped into new volunteer opportunities. Who knows what challenge I’ll tackle next?

In less than a year, my husband and I will officially become empty nesters. I’m still wrestling with my feelings about that, and probably will be for quite a while. But that will also open the door for more time. In the next decade, I aspire to make an impact through volunteerism for causes I care about and experience new places and cultures through travel.

When I saw my portraits for the first time, I felt beautiful. I was awestruck by the things Karianne brought out in my photos that I hadn’t seen in myself. I found myself looking at the photos and thinking “She looks fun (or caring, or dramatic – depending on the photo). I’d like to be friends with her,” and then having to remind myself that I AM her.