Michelle Obama’s days as a public figure will soon come to an end as she is considering retirement.
Recently, the former first lady talked to People about a variety of topics, including the highs and lows of her quarantine experience. According to Obama, she took advantage of her free time during lockdown and taught herself how to knit and become a better swimmer. She admitted that she also found herself listening to the virtual classes taken by her daughters Sasha and Malia, who she’s been spending more time with since their return home from their closed-down campuses.
When discussing her darker moments, Obama revealed she suffered from “low-grade depression” in the early months of the pandemic.
“That was during a time when a lot of hard stuff was going on,” she explained. “We had the continued killing of Black men at the hands of police. Just seeing the video of George Floyd, experiencing that eight minutes. That’s a lot to take on, not to mention being in the middle of a quarantine.”
“Depression is understandable during these times,” she continued. “I needed to acknowledge what I was going through because a lot of times we feel like we have to cover that part of ourselves up, that we always have to rise above and look as if we’re not paddling hard underneath the water.”
Despite the challenging moments, the Becoming author said that she and her husband, Barack, are dedicated to “developing the next generation of leaders through the Obama Foundation” who will continue on the fight against racial injustice when they retire from their lives as public figures.
“I’ve been telling my daughters I’m moving toward retirement right now, [selectively] picking projects and chasing summer,” Obama said. “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.”