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A 50th Birthday Message to Michelle Obama

Dear Mrs. Obama,

So you’re 50. Welcome to the club. I have to tell you, you’re looking really good for 50. Or for any age, for that matter. Because really, what does it mean to “look good” for 50? Is it your toned arms? Your way cool wardrobe? Your beautiful smile? Your unlined skin? Nope. The reason you look good for 50 is because you own it.

Turning 50 in front of the entire world is a big deal.

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I remember when I turned 50. Just two short years ago, I entered the decade of my life so many fear. But I didn’t fear it, and neither should you. Being in your 50’s doesn’t even remotely mean that you’re old. Far from it. Turning 50 just means that you’ve lived a long time – and in your case, you’ve done a lot of living. You spent much of your 40’s being the first lady of the United States – no small task. And on top of that, you’ve been raising two daughters and dealing with their pre-teen and adolescent years – a challenge for any mother, but I’m sure even more so for you, since your girls are growing up in the White House. They seem to be really great girls, by the way. You and the President have obviously been doing something right.

I know you’ve already been celebrating – a girl’s getaway in Hawaii with Oprah is not a bad way to kick off your 50th birthday festivities – but don’t stop there. I hope you have something really terrific planned for today, because you deserve it. Heck, we all deserve a big celebration on our 50th. Make sure there’s a splendid cake and even a tiara for you to wear – even if we don’t have royalty in the United States, today is your day to be a queen.

Oh, and about the gifts. I know your first instinct is to say “no gifts,” since you probably have free stuff coming your way all the time and get to fly on that big private jet the government provides for you and your family – which is well-deserved, in my opinion. I wouldn’t want to see my country’s first family schlepping through Dulles International Airport, even if you had first class seats. But you know what, Mrs. Obama? You deserve gifts on your 50th. We ALL do. So let the people who love you shower you with pretty packages chosen just for you. I hope President Obama gets you something sparkly and wonderful.

Mrs. Obama, you have done a lot of good things for a lot of people since your husband became president. I know sometimes the job of First Lady can be a thankless one – but I for one notice the hard work you’ve put into your childhood obesity prevention program, Let’s Move. I think it’s an important program that suits you and your position as not just First Lady but also first mother. Your style, wit, approachability and genuine personality are evident every time I see you on television. You’re the kind of woman anyone would want to be friends with – and you have those arms every woman covets (plus there’s that awesome wardrobe). If you are what 50 is, then that’s good news for all of those coming up behind you. Because turning 50 is a privilege, a gift – and the beginning of, I’m sure, a new and exciting chapter of your life. Maybe your 50’s will be more about you and less about that husband of yours. He’s lucky to have you.

Happy birthday, Mrs. Obama. Blow out the candles and make a million wishes. I hope they all come true.

Sharon Greenthal

Sharon's blog, Empty House Full Mind, focuses on observations of the world from the midlife empty nest. Sharon is the Young Adults Expert on Sharon writes for the Huffington Post and Purple Clover. Sharon is the mother of two grown children - a daughter, 26 and a son, 24. She lives in Long Beach, CA with her husband and their perfect dog, Lambeau. Instagram: sharongreenthal

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Claudia Schmidt

Friday 17th of January 2014

Lovely post, Sharon! I'm a big fan of both Mr. and Mrs. Obama and this note is a lovely way to recognize the class, style and dignity she brings to her role.

Sharon Greenthal

Friday 17th of January 2014

Thanks Claudia - so glad you liked it.

Cathy Chester

Friday 17th of January 2014

Your letter is so beautiful I got chills while reading it.

I admire Mrs. Obama for all of her amazing achievement,s and for one more reason: she is a great mentor. She shows through her intellect, savvy and charm that it's ok for a woman to be smart and beautiful while using your intelligence, and following your passions to make a difference in the world. What a great role model she is not only for her daughters, but for the women of the world. All while only being her true self. Quite an accomplishment.

Happy Birthday to her. I am so glad she's our First Lady, and I applaud this lovely letter to her, Sharon.

Sharon Greenthal

Friday 17th of January 2014

She is most definitely a shining example of doing good and I'm (obviously) a big fan!

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Friday 17th of January 2014

Sharon, let's hope Mrs. Obama reads your words and keeps dancing through this day as she has danced through many others! It would be a wonderful way for her to begin her celebration and a wonderfully thoughtful way for you to reach out to her. Thank you from those of us walking on Midlife Boulevard for expressing these things to her.

Sharon Greenthal

Friday 17th of January 2014

Thanks Margaret - I think she's probably having a lovely day!

Joan Stommen

Friday 17th of January 2014

What a lively, beautiful letter, Sharon......just like the 'girlfriend' vibe she make it friendly and loving from all of us! I am honored and grateful to know you and be a member of Midlife Boulevard!

Sharon Greenthal

Friday 17th of January 2014

Thank you Joan - I'm so glad you're on the boulevard with us!

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