Lisa Wilkinson has opened up about just how much her life has changed since her abrupt departure from the Today show in 2018.

The former morning show host told Stellar that stepping away from her role on Channel 9 meant doing away with the intense early morning starts.

After a decade of sleep deprivation exhaustion, Wilkinson said there was a state of permanence to being tired.

“I’ve got these new reserves of energy and I feel challenged and invigorated,” she said.

“I love it when the alarm goes off and I see the number seven at the front. I wouldn’t change any of it.”

The current Project 10 host said leaving her former gig allowed her to make time for the people most important in her life – her husband, Pete FitzSimons and her three children, Jake, Louis and Billi.

She said: “It was about six months after I made the move, and Pete, the kids and I were sitting around having a midweek barbecue that ended up going well into the night.

“At about 11pm, we were all still chatting when Jake, our eldest, turned to me and said, ‘Mum, it’s so great that you can do this now – stay up late and not be frantically watching the clock so you can get to bed. I feel like we’ve finally got you back.’

I was suddenly reminded of the price your kids pay when your job can be all-consuming. That’s when I really knew it had all been worth it.”

Wilkinson made a hasty exit from Today in January 2018.

“I’m thrilled that at the age I now am, I’ve never felt more valued as an employee, more engaged with what I do and never felt more excited about what’s ahead because, clearly, I’m in my second half now,” she explained.

The Project 10 co-host also went on to reveal just how close she is with her former Today co-hosts.

Wilkinson stated she was still “extremely close” to Ben Fordham and Sylvia Plath but admitted she hasn’t seen Karl Stefanovic or Georgie Gardner as “the timing just hasn’t worked”.

The star also opened up last year about Karl’s return to Today after being dramatically ousted from the show, and admitted she was “surprised”.

“Look I was surprised because he now knows what it’s like to sleep past that 3 am alarm,” Wilkinson said of the decision.

“But he clearly feels like there is some unfinished business so I can’t wish those guys anything but luck,” she said.

“They have obviously had a tough couple of years (and) I wish them well. When you know the pain of that 3 am alarm and you are still prepared to do the hard yards I wish them luck.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.

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