Kym Motley
Photo by Kaleidoscope Pictures, Inc.

According to my Third Grade report card, I listen attentively yet talk too much, and play well with others. Years later, the same characteristics still apply, proving my theory we’re all just big kids. So how have I used these powers for good? My closest friends call me when they need someone to listen, and crisis management is offered upon request. I talk for hours on Saturdays with friends and family during my “coffee tawk” sessions – we talk about “the dawg and the dawter.”

Throughout the years, I have tackled a myriad of creative endeavors including writing, drawing, painting, mosaic tile and photography. For five years, I co-owned a furniture company, taking a 5,000 square-foot space filled with air to a full-fledged wood shop, furnished with equipment, employees, toilet paper and coffee. Afterwards, I started a jewelry company where I designed and manufactured pieces made of precious metals, pearls and gemstones.

Then, my kitty, Inky, and my father were both diagnosed with cancer. They died within six months of each other and my world was turned upside-down. I kept a journal of my caregiving experiences but the jewelry stopped cold-turkey. I managed to eek out a performance in Pecha Kucha (pronounced pe-kach-ka), where I presented 20 slides for 20 seconds. Jewelry and photography were my subjects, and as I prepared for my talk, common themes emerged — optimism, light and reflection.

I started thinking again about my creativity and I realized it was possible to indulge in all of my artistic endeavors. I started Daily Modern Living, a blog where I capture life’s fleeting moments through words and pictures. It is in those moments, when we are fully present, that we experience life in an authentic way. My most recent project, Inky, My Dad & Me, is a short memoir and guidebook for friends and caregivers of dying loved ones. Through it, I share my experience with the intention of providing guidance and peace for all involved during such a difficult time.

I know now my creative expression provides those around me with feelings of peace and optimism. I hope by sharing my experiences you find inspiration to create awesome things and use your Third Grade powers for good!

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