Barry Priestley and Tracey Barnes Priestley are pictured at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, with their dog, Bella. (Courtesy of Tracey Barnes Priestley)
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Times-Standard columnist Tracey Barnes Priestley is hosting a one-day conference titled “Your Third Act: Live It with Confidence, Purpose and Joy.” The event — a fundraiser for Humboldt State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute — takes place Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Sequoia Conference Center, 901 Myrtle Ave. in Eureka.

“Throughout my entire career, I’ve always strongly believed that providing people with accurate information, resources and useful tools was beneficial. This is especially true when one faces many of the challenges associated with aging. Trust me, as an almost 68-year-old, I live this topic every day,” said Barnes Priestley, whose column, “The Second Half,” appears Tuesdays in the Times-Standard.

Barnes Priestley — who has a master’s degree in community counseling psychology — worked as a counselor for over 40 years.

“During the last 15 years of my practice,” she said, “I became increasingly aware of how we approach aging in this country. Slowly, I shifted the focus of my work towards this fascinating topic. … Believing in the power of education, I returned to writing a weekly column, ‘The Second Half,’ and started a blog of the same name. This was about the time I transitioned my professional focus to coaching people navigating the second half of their lives. A longtime non-fiction writer, my first novel was published when I was 60. I am on the final edits of my second novel.”

Tracey Barnes Priestley is pictured on Adagio, a boat her husband, Barry, built. (Courtesy of Tracey Barnes Priestley)

The “Your Third Act” conference begins with registration from 8 to 8:30 a.m., followed by welcoming remarks and a keynote address. Then, there’ll be seven different breakout sessions, each focused on various aspects of positive aging. Those workshops include “Your Creative Self” with Valerie Gillett Bourne; “Science of Positive Aging” with Charmaine Mosher-Carbiener; “Fit for Life” with Jayne McGuire; “Spirituality and Aging Well” with Diane Renner Noyes; “Media Matters: A Constructive Approach for Savvy Consumers” with Jan Ostrom; and “OLLI at HSU: Lifelong Learning for Health and Well-Being” with Sheila Rocker Heppe. Barnes Priestley will also teach a breakout session, “Retirement: Ready, Set, Go,” and will give a talk titled “Music — The Gift that Keeps on Giving” just before the one-hour lunch break.

“Getting these speakers involved was a real pleasure,” Barnes Priestley said. “Each of them exemplifies positive aging, both personally and professionally. I was gratified by their enthusiasm for this conference and I’m thrilled they will be sharing their experience and knowledge with us.”

Barnes Priestley hopes that by the end of the “Your Third Act” conference, participants will feel empowered and validated.

“I want people to believe they have new insights and tools to make their Third Act the very best it can be,” she said. “In addition to the workshops, there will also be entertainment, a delicious lunch, gifts and some surprises. So, I also hope people leave feeling relaxed and motivated.”

This conference, she notes, is open to everyone.

“While targeted for those over 50,” Barnes Priestley said, “I think professionals working with an older population would benefit from the material we are offering. It might even be worthwhile for adult children to join their parents for the day, to better understanding between the generations.”

Kim Laney, OLLI coordinator, said: “OLLI’s mission is to create opportunities for academic engagement, civic involvement, personal growth and fun. We are happy to be collaborating with Tracey Barnes Priestley, the presenters, volunteers, participants and sponsors to bring positive aging to our community. We want to change the way people think about growing older — to realize the potential for living life to its fullest and all of the opportunities that exist. … We want our participants to walk away with the feeling that anything is possible in their later life, to be excited about the opportunities, tools and resources to live a joyful and fulfilling life.”

The cost to attend “Your Third Act” is $40, with scholarships available. To register or for more information, call 707-826-5880 or visit https://extended.humboldt.edu/olli/news-events.

 

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