*Michelle Obama is opening up to PEOPLE about her life this past year and what’s next.
“These have been challenging times. Many people have struggled: jobs lost, people going hungry,” she said. “We’ve learned to count our blessings, the importance of health and family.”
The 57-year-old former first lady also admits she’s ready for retirement.
“I’ve been telling my daughters I’m moving toward retirement right now, [selectively] picking projects and chasing summer,” the former First Lady told People. “Barack and I never want to experience winter again. We’re building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other—and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he’s got nothing else to do.”
Check out Obama’s PEOPLE cover below.
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This past year has also allowed her more time to bond with her daughters. “Our girls were supposed to have emptied out of my nest. I was sort of celebrating that they were out building their lives and allowing me the emotional space to let them go. Well, they’re back!” she said.
“There’s something about witnessing your children become adults and developing a different relationship with them,” Obama continued. “They didn’t come back into the house into the same set of rules, because I didn’t want them to miss out on independence. They came back as young women and our conversations are more peer-oriented than they are mother-to-daughter.”
She added, “With everybody homeschooling, what’s interesting for me is to listen in on some of their classes to hear how they interact with their professors. When your kids are off in college, you don’t get to see that part of them.”
In related news, Obama will headline the National Women’s Hall of Fame 2021 induction ceremony on Oct. 2.
PEOPLE writes, “Obama will be added alongside eight other women, including American soccer icon Mia Hamm, renowned science-fiction writer Octavia Butler, former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and artists Joy Harjo and Judy Chicago. Rebecca Halstead, the U.S. Military Academy’s first female graduate, will also be inducted, while famed NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and 20th century abolitionist Emily Howland will be posthumously inducted,” according to the outlet.
The organization called Obama “one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century.”