When facing new challenges, we can draw courage from our past accomplishments. Tauria Catlin shares how her experiences and the challenges she's overcome in the past have propelled her forward into making a life that matters to her and her family.
Finding courage from the challenges we overcame in our past
Tauria Catlin is a wife of 29 years, a mom to three daughters, a businesswoman, and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy–a member of only the ninth Academy class that included women. The Academy was not receptive to having women being there at the time, so she and her female classmates experienced some adversity. Tauria says it has turned out to be a foundational experience, informing how she looks at life. She refers back to the challenges of that time to boost her courage whenever she’s afraid of whatever is ahead of her.
A typical day
Tauria gets up between 5:30 and 6 a.m. and tries to start her day with exercise. Then she studies her Bible, checks her calendar to see what’s in store for the day, and depending on the day she squeezes in a morning run to the grocery store before opening the candle shop or working on her fundraiser business. Her husband works 5 hours away from home, so their evening routine changes based on whether or not he's home, but usually it involves driving her daughter to school activities, running errands, and preparing dinner.
Biggest productivity challenges
Like many women, being able to say no is a challenge for Tauria. She has learned to make decisions based on the fact that she’s simply not available once fundraising season begins.
Another big challenge for Tauria is that she can't always control her schedule. For example, if she doesn’t order candle ingredients on time she could find herself scrambling to label candles at 9 p.m., or if a fundraiser client requests she attend a meeting out of town, she has to figure out a way to clear her calendar to make that happen.
Being an entrepreneur, it can be challenging to manage the demands on her time because no one else can substitute for her while she’s gone, but on the flip side, she enjoys the flexibility it brings as well because she can be present for her family when the occasion arises.
Tools Tauria recommends
Tauria actually walks the walk when it comes to the products she and her husband produce. She uses their Making Light candles as part of her morning routine, lighting a candle when she sits down to read her Bible, check her calendar, and set her intentions for the day.
She uses a digital calendar to capture all her appointments and commitments, then sits down weekly to transfer her schedule onto her Hobonichi planner. The combination of digital and analog works for her–digital calendars are great for capturing the information and seeing the long-term big picture, but the physical act of writing helps her think better as she plans for the week ahead.
As part of her commitment to her health, Tauria uses several tools to keep track over important health metrics. To track her workouts and get support from friends more athletic than her, Tauria uses the Strava app. She tracks and reinforces good habits using the Streak app. The LoseIt app helps keep her honest about what she's eating; together with her Apple Watch, it motivates her to continue pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
What happens on a day when everything gets away from you?
When she fills out her calendar, Tauria puts a star next to the tasks that she really needs to get done each day. When things get out of hand, she takes out her planner to reassess; she looks at all the things she considered to be most important, compares them against her priorities and decides which ones could be postponed.
When Tauria was at the summer boot camp before her freshman year at the Naval Academy, she was required to read a document called “A Message to Garcia.” The soldier in the story was asked to deliver a message to Garcia, who lived in the remote mountains, but the soldier was given no directions on how to get this message delivered. The soldier faces all sorts of adversities, but he gets the job done. The document is a story about the importance of mindset and persistence. When you encounter an obstacle, instead of giving up, you need to use your imagination and find a way to work around it. And sometimes this means you do the littlest thing first just to get started.
What’s on the horizon for Tauria?
Tauria’s eldest daughter got engaged recently, so she’ll be learning about wedding planning. Her family has also returned from a recent trip to Scotland, so they are enjoying the after-glow of that trip.
Last thoughts on making a life that matters
Everyone should believe they do matter. When you feel overwhelmed or feel like you haven’t accomplished things, take tiny steps. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to get my entire house spring cleaned,” say “I’m going to work on my desk.”
What do you think?
Connect with Tauria
More about Tauria
Tauria graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1988, part of the 9th class of women to graduate from the institution. The 4 years in the Academy and the 5 years spent in the Navy afterward have informed her decision-making and outlook on life ever since. She served as a detailer in Washington DC for a year and then as a Personnel officer at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, RI for the next 4 years. After she left active duty, she and her husband started their family children; she spent the next 14 years as a stay-at-home mom.
In 2009, Tauria helped turn her husband's hobby business, Middle Davids Artisan Candles, into a full-time business. Their main business is fundraisers for all sorts of groups, but they’ve also added a retail store which now carries the works of over 50 artists and have a successful subscription service called Making Light.
Tauria has been married to Dan for 29 years and they have 3 daughters ranging from new college grad to high school freshman. They are avid cyclists and readers. She also has a small weaving business on the side. The best motto for their family is “We do hard things the hard way.”
Resources and Links
- Making Light Candles
- Hobonichi Planners
- Strava App
- Streaks App
- Lose it App
- A Message to Garcia
- Apple Watch
Announcements & Reminders
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