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Are We Really “Clueless” Before Age 50?

By Margaret Manning April 25, 2015 Mindset

Being a woman is hard work. For most of our lives, we are battered around by external and internal forces alike. As girlfriends, mothers, wives, colleagues and grandmothers, we have to deal with the expectations of others. At the same time, we are often our own worst critics. We worry about how we look. We criticize our own decisions. We worry about the future. And on… and on.

Then, in our 50s, something magical happens. We suddenly start to understand how the world works. As the world’s gaze shifts away from our physical appearance and our social roles start to change, we start to see the world with fresh eyes.

Ok, I’m not saying that this literally happens at age 50, like a light-switch. But, there is no denying that most of us look back on our lives in our 20s, 30s and 40s and cringe at the things that bothered us then.

This reminds me of a quote by Nora Ephron, “In fact, looking back, it seems to me that I was clueless until I was about fifty years old.”

Getting Older Quote - Nora Ephron - In fact, looking back, it seems to me that I was clueless until I was about fifty years old.

I’m not sure that I felt “clueless,” but, I can certainly appreciate the spirit of Nora’s comment.

Do you agree? Let’s get a conversation started!

Do you look back on your life before age 50 and wonder how you could have worried so much about what other people think? At what age do you think that you really started to understand how the world worked? What one piece of advice would you offer to young women in their 20s and 30s that you wish you had known?

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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