My 50th Birthday Manifesto



I have, for quite a while, harboured a desire to write my very own Manifesto, as my way of recognising and marking my 50th birthday. Today

May 12th, 2018 feels like a landmark day and a unique occasion to draw a line under some parts and to make room for the next phase.


So this is it.


This is me acknowledging the good and the bad in my first fifty years, releasing what needs to be let go of, and of embracing, what I know,

will take me joyfully into the next fifty.


I’ve mixed feelings about turning 50. On one hand, I always feel a sense of magic around the time of my birthday, it has always represented

surrendering what needs to be surrendered, but on the other more wizened hand, I honestly cannot believe I am 50! I know, I know, we all

say it, we feel younger than we are. I feel 30, maybe, at a push almost 40, but definitely not 50. Yet here I am.


Having given it way more thought than is appropriate, I have decided that my deep resistance to this big ‘roundy’ birthday is based on one

thing – my firm belief that I am in fact only getting started and I have so much yet to say, write and do.


I feel sad that this is my belief, simply because I know it’s true.


I totally understand that everything that has happened in my life, needed to happen, for me to get to this exact point, but I am human and

just wish I had opened my eyes sooner. Much sooner.


That being said, there is no time to dwell on that, so I am drawing a line on looking back and only looking forward to where I am right

now, in the present.


And so back to “Niamh’s 50th Manifesto”… which consists of those things that I hereby pledge and commit to doing, feeling and being

from this day forward.



I pledge to stop showing up in my writings, verbally, online and in person as how I think other people want me to be, and I commit to being,

saying and doing only what feels right for me. I know this may not always please all of you and I am okay with that. You may decide to

unfollow me here and really that’s totally okay as well. For too long I’ve played it safe and I don’t feel it has helped me at all.


I accept my role in this, in that I chose what you could and couldn’t see, but from now on I promise that everything I write or say here will by

my truth and not anyone else's. Does that sound fair?


I pledge to say NO more often and only commit to saying YES if I truly feel it is the right thing for me to do.


I pledge to fully believe that what other people think of me, or what I am doing, is absolutely none of my business and I commit to listening

to what always feels right inside of me and to follow that only. Alignment will be my guide.


I pledge to be more vocal about the place God has in my life, to not hide it for fear of being judged or mocked, and to recognise that for so

many of us now, put spirituality is what gives our life meaning. I commit to sharing how making sense of my relationship with god and

spirituality made sense of so much in my life and I am infinitely happier for it.


I pledge to let it be known that while I accept I am a strong, resilient woman who always gets back up, that every day is not like this. I have

had, and will continue to have times, where I struggle and where I questioned ‘why the bloody hell life was messing with me so much?” and I

let that out in anger, resentment and bitterness. I commit to releasing those feelings and making room for honesty, acceptance, joy and



I pledge to remove myself from victim hood, to forgive myself for not belonging always and I commit to a future of love, hope and promise.


I pledge to release my belief that good things happen only to other people. I commit to focusing on everything that I actually HAVE in my

life and NOT what I think I would like to see in it.


I pledge to maintain the vows I made to my husband, Michael, on March 12th, 2015 and to commit to loving and supporting him as much

as he makes me feel loved and supported. I truly am blessed to have him in my life.


I pledge to practice gratitude for everything in my life, every day of my life. I commit to acknowledging all the gifts I have been given and

direct my energies towards them.


I pledge to look after my health and my body more and I commit to eat more nourishing food and exercising daily, as my way of saying

thank you to my hardworking body for putting up with such abuse for so long!


I have much to be grateful for. I have lived a colourful 50 years. I cannot deny that the losses and sadness have shaped me considerably

along the way, but what I do know with absolute certainty is that each of these people have left their mark on me and have left me a better,

kinder, stronger person than before.

It is time for me now to draw a line under the grief and the loss. It is time for me to redefine my present and my future as someone other

than the girl who has experienced much loss. And so the final pledge (#11) is this…


I commit, from here on out, to be only known as the girl who turned it all around (yes I can still be a girl at 50!) and yes I can definitely turn it all around.


I am finished trying to keep everyone around me happy by going along with things just so as not to upset them.


I am no longer available for people to treat me unfairly or unkindly. I let these people go with my love and acceptance.


This is my time to shine and the light will be bright and it will be pure and above all it will be honest. I am done with playing it small, with

playing it safe.


I hope you will stay with me on my journey, but if not, please know I fully understand. I am not for everyone and I get that.


Thank you all for sticking with this and reading my 50th Birthday Manifesto. It felt good to write.


It’s documented now . It’s out there. There’s no turning back.


Which is just as well. Because I have far too much to get done than to waste any more time looking back.


So onwards I go. Excited, hopeful and with a heart full of gratitude.


Niamh xx


PS This photograph was taken the night of my birthday and for me it represents how I felt all day – happy, blessed and loved. x


  • Susan Haggas
    Posted at 08:30h, 12 May Reply

    An honour to read. Very powerful. Happy 50th Birthday Niamh. Much love you you, Susan x

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:04h, 13 May Reply

      Much appreciated Susan ? xx

  • Kay Davin
    Posted at 08:39h, 12 May Reply

    Wishing you health & happiness Niamh. I love your manifesto ❤️ Happy birthday xx

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:04h, 13 May Reply

      Thanks Kay xx ?

  • Caroline
    Posted at 09:19h, 12 May Reply

    Just beautiful Niamh and very honest. I may borrow this for my own life right now too. It is just magic to have read this today, thank you for sharing your manifesto and giving me the words I needed for today. Happy birthday. Wishing you much happiness for the next 50.

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:06h, 13 May Reply

      Thanks so much Caroline. It’s veey much appreciated. ?‍♀️? x

  • Suzanna
    Posted at 09:21h, 12 May Reply

    Beautifully focussed and beautiful words to share with us all. Wishing a beautiful lady a Happy Birthday!
    … Likewise I feel I have so much to do and there are loose expectations, though I know the outcome is beyond my vision … meanwhile there's so much gratitude and appreciation for the Journey X

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:47h, 14 May Reply

      Thank you sincerely Suzanna. Please believe me when i say nothing is ever beyond our vision. xxx

  • Caroline Kennedy
    Posted at 09:45h, 12 May Reply

    Good woman, Niamh! You’re one of the strongest, wisest women I know so I know when you put your mind to something- in this case your manifesto- you’ll see it through and you will be brilliant! Happy birthday today. Xxx Caroline

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:03h, 13 May Reply

      Thanks Carlotta. I’ll remind you constantly of my wisdom for ever more xx ❤️❤️

  • Bridie Connellan
    Posted at 13:06h, 12 May Reply

    Thank you for sharing Niamh. Or is truly inspirational . I do feel it will help me to begin my journaling which so far I have been
    So bad at. Good health and peace for your
    Long life ahead

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:07h, 13 May Reply

      Thanks Bridie. Xxx ?

  • Mary Lonergan
    Posted at 18:37h, 12 May Reply

    Happy birthday Niamh hope you are enjoying your day. Love your manifesto, thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:03h, 13 May Reply

      Thanks Mary. So glad you liked it. ?‍♀️ X

  • Brenda Quinn
    Posted at 18:48h, 12 May Reply

    Onwards Niamh!!! And don’t spare the horses…No going back, lots of looking back… but only to smile and say “I made it!”
    A great manifesto. For a great girl. Much love on this your roundiest of birthdays yet. And as only the best can say..Fairplaytoya. ❤️✌?????

    • Niamh
      Posted at 16:08h, 13 May Reply

      Aw thanks Brenda. I really appreciate the kind words. Honestly. #fairplaytoyatoo ?‍♀️?

  • Anna van Randeraat-Handgraaf
    Posted at 18:55h, 15 May Reply

    Dear Niamh,

    First of all Happy Birthday again!!
    Second: I feel very flathered about the fact that there is sufficient trust between us, for you to share your manifest (also) with me….

    The funny thing is however, that there were no real surprises in it.
    I mean, I´ve always seen everything you mention in you…….
    perhaps you had to make it clear to yourself…

    You look stunning on the photo you posted on your birthday!!

    My wish for the future is that we will always stay in contact…..

    Really miss you lots,

    Love Anna

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