Ask Cassandra Thorburn how she really feels about turning 50, and her face lights up with a huge smile, as she happily admits she's never been this content.
"I don't get how anyone could dread turning 50 – there's so much to look forward to, and so many wonderful memories to reflect on. I'm grateful for my life and the direction it has taken," Cass, who celebrates the milestone birthday this week, tells Woman's Day.
Snuggled up on her favourite couch with pet pooch Ponyo the Pug and the family's cats, Biscuit and Milli, it's been almost five years since her ex of 21 years, Karl Stefanovic, walked out for good.
Today, the single mum of three – Jackson, a budding musician, is 21, Willow [christened Ava Willow] is turning sweet 16, and sports mad River is 14 – is simply not interested in speaking about the past.
"You reach the stage when clarity becomes the norm, your children are thriving, and you feel within yourself a tremendous sense of pride," she says.
"I've made our new house I bought over a year ago into a warm family home. The next life chapters, personally and professionally, are going to set me up for the next 20 years. I've got a very robust sense of peace and well-being."
One quality Cass credits her parents for is their refreshing honesty, so it seems only fair to ask the question: has she got herself back into the dating scene?
"Gosh, I get asked that a lot, and for the record – no comment! I've had a few dates, but I'm too busy being a glorified Uber driver for my kids seven days a week – where would I find the time?" she says. "That said, if Morgan Freeman or Willie Nelson are suddenly single, I'll be taking that call!
"I'm very much in the stage of my life I've only got a few years with my kids at home, so I'm not on the lookout. If I'm meant to meet that special someone, I will."
Returning [to the workforce] for the first time in years after being a stay-at-home mum, Cass has spent the better part of the last 12 months working as a media and communications specialist for Taldumande Youth Services – an organisation who support vulnerable and homeless children across greater Sydney.
"I love working with young people, and I continue to work part-time with Taldumande. But I knew my true calling for my long-term future was to immerse myself in the aged care sector – it's something I considered even before I was married," Cass explains.
"I've always been very family focused. I think it was a culmination of my dad passing away, and the real challenges faced this past year that saw many of our elderly folk isolated. I haven't seen my mum in country Victoria for over a year," she says, wiping away a tear.
Already Cass has a number of clients, from a delightful man who loves to cook, to many others whose lives are that much brighter knowing someone caring is with them for a few hours a day in their own homes.
"I'm currently employed in low care and will make a decision if I go into high care, or go back to full-time university to become a nurse.
I'm studying a series of short courses focusing on dementia, an area close to my heart after my nana Marie battled Alzheimer's for over 20 years.
"Turning 50, I've had a lot of time to contemplate, and I truly believe I've found my place.
"If this is fifty and fabulous, then I'm in!"