"I gotta mix it up a little bit," she said on The Drew Barrymore Show Dec. 13. "I'm 53, my brain is like scrambled eggs. I gotta do something new. You can't do The New York Times crossword puzzle every single day."
And leaving Grey's, where she's been scrubbing in as Meredith Grey for 19 years, gives her a chance to finally spread her wings a little bit.
"I mean 19 years, that's more than people keep their kids in their house," she told host Drew Barrymore. "People keep their kids in their house until they're 18 and then they send them off to college, so this is like me like going away to college."
Now, with Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital mostly in the rearview mirror, it begs the question: What comes next?
Though her final episode is set for February after the ABC's shows mid-season hiatus, Ellen told E! News at the 2022 People's Choice Awards that Meredith would also be back for a little bit more.
"I think we've aired six episodes or seven episodes, possibly," she said. "Maybe after the winter hiatus, I am in one more, maybe, and then the finale, actually."
We're sure that won't be emotional or anything.
Grey's Anatomy returns Feb. 23, 2023 on ABC.